What It Means to ‘Make a Living’

Moneera Yassien from Sudan is a 22-year-old social entrepreneur, economics graduate, researcher, human’s rights activist, mentor, consultant, and a self-proclaimed feminist.

Moneera will one of the youth participants taking part in the ‘Getting By’ workshop next week as part of a research partnership on what it means for young people to ‘make a living’ with Restless Development and Murray Edwards College at the University of Cambridge.

They say economists are very materialistic and we care about quantity not quality.

I majored in economics and quantitative analysis, so economics for me was pretty much models and graphs until 2011 when Richard H. Thaler won a Nobel prize for his contributions to behavioral economics.

I began reading more about behavioral economics and how different economies are changing in our modern world. The biggest realisation for me was when I noticed that humans are not rational – not at all! we start wars over nothing and hate each other because we don’t have the same skin color, as the economic theory suggests.

I started to link these new insights with different economics’ concepts, looking at unemployment rates beyond the number of unemployed which left me with many unanswered questions.  

What are these jobs? Are they decent? Do they match today’s lifestyle? What will it take to get these jobs? Can we even create these jobs?

It is  estimated that 1 billion young people will soon be entering the labour market but there will only be jobs available for 400 million of them.

We need to focus on two things.

  1. What type of jobs these 400 million will get?
  2. What will the 600 million with no jobs do?

As a young person I want to have my voice heard and participate in the decision making for the future of youth employment and making a living. The ‘Getting by’ workshop is an opportunity for me to share my frustrations, worries and views as a young person who is struggling to make a living.


From this workshop I want to start the conversation with key players to ensure that we develop further researches, policy recommendations and conduct qualitative analysis for us to anticipate the challenges and work on addressing the future.

If you are reading this blog and reach this point, I think it’s time for us to be friends! I am Moneera Yassien. I am a 22 year old economics graduate from University of Khartoum, researcher, social entrepreneur and women’s rights activist from Sudan. I am the founder of AMNA a youth-led organization, working to change thinking, actions, and systems that contribute to violence against women.

I am also the founder of the IECRC (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Community Research Chapter) to support entrepreneurs in Sudan. IECRC works on conducting researches in the Sudanese entrepreneurship ecosystem. I work as consultant for UNDP in Darfur, Sudan, and that is how I make a living.

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What It Means to ‘Make a Living’

by wearerestless Reading time: 2 min