The empowerment of women and youth represents the most important path to achieving sustainable development by achieving economic and social justice. Empowerment is about giving a place to these social groups by building capacity and expanding opportunities for real participation, influence, and responsibility of individuals. Although many people see the process of empowerment as a major challenge in terms of business value, due to the sacrifice of higher economic productivity and the provision of opportunities to less successful groups, empowerment is linked to the moral commitment of individuals, institutions, and international organizations to address issues of social justice, poverty, and sustainable livelihoods.
Economic and social empowerment combats social exclusion and marginalization and promotes the social and political participation of vulnerable groups and minorities by facilitating access to resources and opportunities, capacity building, leadership mentoring, grassroots initiatives, institutional development and entrepreneurship. On the other hand, empowerment focuses on the processes of developing independence and self-confidence and working individually and collectively to change social relations and institutions in society. Social factors that influence social empowerment include social affiliation, identity and leadership relationships.
The Arab Planning Institute emphasizes the importance of economic and social empowerment issues that can be achieved by adopting certain paths and methodologies in empowering women and youth in Arab societies, such as education, local knowledge systems, community resource management, institutional change, entrepreneurship and micro and small business development, and environmentally friendly technologies. In this context, the Arab Planning Institute offers several training programs specializing in economic and social empowerment, in addition to numerous programs on entrepreneurship and small business development through its SMEs Center.