A man walking near the Obelísco, a tall, thin obelisk-like tower, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Changing employment outcomes for young people in Buenos Aires

Together with local partners, we undertook the feasibility, design and launch of Argentina’s first social impact bond for employment. 

Funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, and in collaboration with the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, Social Finance partnered with Acrux Partners, Fundación Alimentaris and the law firm Beccar Varela to design and launch the first social impact bond (SIB) in Argentina. 

This project aimed to achieve sustained employment for vulnerable youth in the south of Buenos Aires, one of the urban areas with the highest youth unemployment rates in Latin America.

Why did we do this?

Like many other large cities in Latin America, Buenos Aires faces significant employment challenges for its population. This lack of jobs and economic opportunities is more severe for young people than for the rest of the population. 

While the average unemployment rate is around 10% in the country, some 22.8% of young men and women have no jobs, and many more work informally or under poor conditions.

Unemployment rate among young adults (2017)
Vulnerable young people served by the impact bond-funded program 
USD $1.1m
Total outcomes payments from the Government of the City of Buenos Aires 

Impact and insights

We designed and launched a social impact bond that aimed to improve the economic outlook for young adults through skills training and support into employment. Core SIB outcomes comprise key milestones for its participants, such as secondary school completion, entry into a first job, and sustained employment for four and 12 months. 

To achieve these targets, SIB service providers provide a mix of soft and technical skills training and mentoring to help youth find and sustain a job, and worked with employers to understand their needs and facilitate the integration of the young participants into their companies.

The Buenos Aires SIB was implemented during a period of significant macroeconomic upheaval in Argentina and suffered the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic until it closed. Despite the adverse conditions, outcomes payments were paid in full to the social investors, which provided the upfront capital that financed the SIB. The strong partnership between them and the service providers, their joint commitment to the participating youths and the operational flexibility afforded by the SIB instrument ensured that all social outcome targets were surpassed.

Trained participants who accessed employment 
Employed participants who retained their employment for over four months 
Participants who retained their four-month employment for another eight months at the SIB closure point 

Service providers

AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association)

Fundacion Forge

Fundacion Pescar

Fundacion Reciduca

Alongside the funders listed below, we would also like to acknowledge a group of socially motivated investors including: 

Banco Ciudad, Banco Galicia, IRSA, Organización Roman, a private investor and the Inter-American Development Bank (upfront investment).

The team



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