NEO is an initiative led by the IDB, through its Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) and its Labor Markets division (LMK), the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and partners: Arcos Dorados, Caterpillar Foundation, CEMEX, Fondation Forge, Microsoft, the Brazilian Social Service of Industry (SESI) and Walmart.

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The Inter-American Development Bank works to improve the quality of life in Latin America and the Caribbean. We help to improve health, education and infrastructure through financial and technical support to countries working to reduce poverty and inequality. The IDB’s Labor Markets and Social Security (LMK) division promotes the creation of more and better jobs

Arcos Dorados is McDonald's largest franchisee in the world in terms of systemwide sales and number of restaurants, operating the largest quick-service restaurant chain in Latin America and the Caribbean. The company operates or franchises over 2,100 McDonald’s-branded restaurants with over 90,000 employees and is recognized as one of the best companies to work for in Latin America.

The Forge Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2005, in Switzerland, to help low-income Latin American youth gain access to quality jobs, creating opportunities for a better life, based on the culture of work

By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people

The Multilateral Investment Fund is the innovation lab for the Inter-American Development Bank Group. It carries out high-risk experiments to prove new models for involving and inspiring the private sector to solve economic development problems in Latin America and the Caribbean. MIF addresses poverty and vulnerability, focusing on small and medium enterprises and small farmers who have the ability to grow and create economic opportunities.

Caterpillar Inc. supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than US$500 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. YouthSpark is a global initiative that aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries during the next three years.

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) is a global non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young men and women to be productive, engaged citizens. IYF’s work in 100 countries over 25 years has equipped youth with the training to succeed in school, work and life. Since 2001, IYF has been collaborating with MIF to prepare vulnerable youth for the world of work.

CEMEX, a global building materials company with a presence in over 50 countries, actively participates in NEO, an initiative that positively impacts the employability of vulnerable youth in Latin America and the Caribbean. To date, over 7 million Mexicans have participated in the programs that CEMEX, together with different sectors, is implementing with the goal of positively transforming their quality of life.

Established in 1946, Serviço Social da Indústria (SESI) has assumed the challenge of developing excellent education focused on the world of work and on increasing industry productivity, promoting worker welfare. SESI offers solutions to Brazilian industries through an integrated network, which include educational activities, job security and quality of life

Implementation Committee
Alliances and NEO Associated Projects

Businesses, government and

civil society work together

to improve the job

opportunities for youth

Complete List of Partners

Why NEO?

What is NEO?

Innovations in Youth Employment




The regional NEO initiative has two types of projects:

NEO Alliance Projects, developed, managed and co-financed by an alliance of businesses, government and civil society at the country level.

NEO Associated Projects, developed and co-financed by a regional NEO partner, and that take on the challenge to reach 1 millionyouth.

  • Actively involve business, government and civil society leaders.
  • Promote quality youth employment and continuing education by youth.
  • Work with the greatest possible number of low-income youth, ages 16 to 29.
  • Improve the quality and coordination of youth training and employment services, according to NEO quality standards.
  • Ensure local co-financing to promote greater financial sustainability


Our Partners