Pathways to Progress


The initiative includes a $100 million philanthropic commitment to prepare 500,000 young people, ages 16-24, in cities around the world for today’s competitive job market by 2020. To support these efforts, Citi is mobilizing 10,000 employee volunteers to serve as mentors and coaches and to provide professional advice to help move young people towards their career goals. Pathways to Progress supports programs that help young people build an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire leadership, financial and workplace skills, and begin to engage in the formal economy through a first job.


Citi Foundation Foundation or philanthropic organization

Technical assistance, expertise and implementation; Policy, advocacy and convening power; Financial and/or in-kind contribution

Sustainable Development Goals & targets

  • 8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training
  • 8.10 Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all

Achievement At Glance

Entering the final year of our Pathways to Progress commitment, more than $90MM has been invested in programs impacting over 400,000 young people across 80 countries and territories. To date, more than 210,000 young people have been mentored, over 15,000 businesses’ have been started by young entrepreneurs and nearly 80,000 youth have secured employment.

Additionally, the Foundation has also invested in research, capacity building, and thought leadership initiatives that advance the youth employment sector forward. For example, as part of the launch of the commitment, the Foundation commissioned a survey on the economic expectations of young people. The survey, conducted by Ipsos, reached 7,000 young people across 40 cities. With RTI, the Foundation commissioned a report on the state of paid internships across four countries (U.S., El Salvador, South Africa, Lebanon) and best practices to make those the standard. In the U.S., a Citi Foundation-supported report, produced by America’s Promise Alliance and the Center for Promise, focused on young people’s lived experiences and the salience of relationships with caring adults and peers to every young person’s healthy development.

Lastly, as part of the commitment, more than 7,000 Citi volunteers have contributed with their time and skills to help youth.


In all corners of the globe, today’s youth generation faces a common challenge: persistent youth unemployment. Left unaddressed, the consequences reverberate across our cities. When young people don’t see or have a sustainable economic path, our families and communities suffer. In fact, the futures of cities are intrinsically tied to the economic success of young people. According to the Citi Foundation’s recently commissioned Global Youth Survey, young people remain optimistic, entrepreneurial, and have expectations for what they need to succeed. However, without access to the opportunities they need, their potential and optimism is wasted. Through the Pathways to Progress initiative, the Citi Foundation is investing $100 million globally in programming that is focused on providing youth with entrepreneurship training, mentorship, leadership development and first job opportunities. The Citi Foundation partners with leading community organizations and municipal leaders on targeted investments that test, scale and replicate proven interventions, while collaborating with others to share what’s working and what needs to be improved. To complement these efforts, Citi is mobilizing 10,000 employee volunteers  to offer their time and expertise as mentors, coaches and role models to young people in support of their career progress and aspirations.

Deliverables and links to SDG targets

  • 500,000 young people trained in relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, ICT skills and soft skills

    8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

    The Citi Foundation will impact the lives of 500,000 youth and get them on the path to employment. The Citi Foundation and its partner grantees will produce regular reports on outcomes of Pathways to Progress programming and our progress towards fulfilling the commitment.

    BY: Feb 2020
  • 100,000,000 United States dollars committed to public-private and civil society partnerships in support of decent jobs for youth

    8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

    As part of the Pathways to Progress commitment, the Citi Foundation is committing to make a $100 philanthropic million commitment to prepare young people for today’s competitive job market.

    BY: Feb 2020
  • 18 youth employment stakeholders supported through technical assistance, capacity-building or peer learning

    8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

    The Citi Foundation will invest and provide technical assistance to at least one youth employment stakeholder per region for every year of the three-year commitment.

    BY: Feb 2020


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