The Mediterranean region is at a crossroads. It faces important challenges such as political instability and economic stagnation that are exacerbated by the effects of climate change, namely water scarcity and environmental degradation. These challenges are interlinked and their most visible effects is the influx of migrants leaving the Mediterranean shores in an uncertain trip towards the European continent.
These regional challenges need to be dealt with collectively to build a future for young people in the Mediterranean that is prosperous, fair and sustainable for all. On the positive side, they are interconnected and addressing one will have positive effects in all others.
The challenges relevant to this document are youth unemployment, the pressure on scarce natural resources and the inefficiency of existing infrastructures, finance mechanisms, public policies and resources for entrepreneurship.
These challenges can also be transformed into opportunities. A young and educated population in the Mediterranean can also be a driver for change. Young Green Entrepreneurs who create new solutions to address environmental challenges can be a source of inspiration for others, an opportunity to create new jobs and markets and a driver for sustainable growth the Mediterranean.
Entrepreneurship development according to the principles of sustainable consumption and production can help manage better scarce natural resources (water, land, energy, etc.) – ensuring economic growth that is both efficient and sustainable. From this perspective, increasing the numbers of Green Start-ups is an opportunity for the whole society, promoting innovation, inspiring others to follow the same path, and ultimately attracting interest and capital to the economic sectors that improve the environment and the economy as a whole.
Developing an ecosystem where Green Entrepreneurs can flourish will require also creating the infrastructures that can support them. In this report, we explore how this could be done at the regional level, focusing on critical issues such as the role of finance in supporting Green Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean and the need for specific mechanisms than can help new ideas grow and become successful Green Start-ups.
Publication coordinator and supervisors: Alessandra Seis, Environment and Blue Economy, UfM Secretariat; Burcu Tunçer, UN Environment Mediterranean Action Plan Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC) UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan – Barcelona Convention; Claudia Pani, UN Environment Mediterranean Action Plan Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC) UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan – Barcelona Convention.