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18.02.21

YBI launches new programme to support young entrepreneurs hit by the economic impact of COVID-19

Funded by the Standard Chartered Foundation, the project is part of Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, a global initiative to tackle inequality.

Youth Business International will provide crucial support to over 33,000 underserved young entrepreneurs in six countries across Africa, Asia and Europe.

The global economy is suffering from catastrophic economic shocks as a result of COVID-19. With typically tight margins, micro, small and medium businesses are vulnerable to economic downturn. The current pandemic and the resulting lockdowns are having a particularly serious impact on business owners and entrepreneurs from underserved communities, including young people (aged 18-35 years), women, refugees and other migrants, and those with disabilities and visual impairments. Many are struggling to get through the crisis and need support now.

We are delighted to announce that, supported by Standard Chartered Foundation, we will be able to deliver crucial support to underserved young entrepreneurs in Botswana, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Turkey, and Uganda.

Implemented in-country by our local member organisations and delivery partners, the programme will provide a range of crucial support, including mentoring, one-to-one consulting and peer coaching, advisory helplines and online resource platforms, pitch competitions and awards as well as webinars, workshops, business clinics and thematic seminars. These support services will help young entrepreneurs with business model adaptation, entrepreneurial leadership, crisis management, financial risk management, digital transformation, marketing and more.

Priority will be given to traditionally disadvantaged business owners who have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 economic crisis, including rural, micro and female entrepreneurs, business owners with disabilities and visual impairments and those excluded from formal financial support.

The aim of the programme is to ensure that a diverse range of young entrepreneurs will contribute towards a richer, more varied and more resilient economy for everyone.

Anita Tiessen, CEO of Youth Business International, said:

“As the ongoing effects of the pandemic continue to cripple economies and disrupt normal business operations, young entrepreneurs, especially those running smaller businesses and from underserved communities, have been hardest hit. 

I’ve been inspired by the response of our network, supporting more than 200,000 businesses through COVID last year.

The struggle is far from over for many and I’m delighted that YBI with Standard Chartered Foundation’s new funding will help us expand and continue this crucial work and help more than 33,000 businesses get the support they need to survive and thrive to contribute towards a richer, more varied and resilient economy for everyone.”

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