In Ecuador, the poverty rate remains very high (23%) and socio-economic inequalities are very marked. In 2011, the State launched an ambitious education reform aimed at increasing access to quality education for the most vulnerable populations and ensuring that technical training responds to the country’s industrial and productive reconversion.
The unfavorable economic context has had a major impact on the labor market, where decent job offers are scarce. Some regions, such as the province of Esmeralda, suffer particularly from a lack of professional infrastructures in which trained young people can find employment. Self-employment through microenterprises has become the best alternative for many young people and adults in vulnerable situations to cover their needs and those of their families.