In 2021, Enel Group partnered with Youth Business International (YBI) to conduct a volunteer programme for employees of Enel Power Generation to support vulnerable youth-led small businesses through the COVID-19 crisis via one-to-one mentoring.
The programme was piloted in 2021 in Chile, Colombia, Peru and Spain and has been renewed and extended to Greece and Italy in 2022. Over the course of the programme, 131 Enel volunteer mentors were matched with young entrepreneurs from seven countries and dedicated over 2,900 hours of volunteering to them.
Our research has shown that young entrepreneurs who receive mentoring feel more confident in running their business and feel they have stronger decision-making abilities. These skills were particulalrly vital during the COVID-19 crisis, which hit young entrepreneurs with small businesses particularly hard. Faced with difficult decisions amid stress and uncertainty, they needed support harnessing their resilience and resourcefulness, to keep their businesses afloat.
Following initial mentor training led by YBI's mentoring team and our members, Enel volunteers joined mentoring programmes run by our members and delivery partners Acción Emprendedora in Chile, Corporación Minuto de Dios in Colombia, Perspektiva in Peru, Youth Business Spain, Action Finance Initiative (AFI) in Greece, and MicroLab in Italy.
The programme had two key components: