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YBI and ENEL Group launch SOS Mentoring volunteer programme for youth-run businesses facing the challenges of COVID-19

Youth Business International (YBI) is partnering with the ENEL Group to provide support to struggling youth-led businesses in Chile, Colombia, Peru and Spain with one-to-one mentoring and group webinars to help them through the COVID-19 crisis.

The global pandemic has hit young entrepreneurs with small businesses particularly hard. Many struggle to adapt their business model, manage finances, navigate lockdown restrictions, and access government support. Faced with difficult decisions amid stress and uncertainty, young entrepreneurs need help harnessing their resilience and resourcefulness and keeping their business afloat.

YBI is delighted to announce that we will be training 100 volunteers from the ENEL Group to become business mentors who, together with 20 experienced mentors, will support a total of 220 struggling young entrepreneurs in Chile, Colombia, Peru and Spain through one-to-one mentoring and online webinars.

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 - skills that are vital during this current crisis.

After an initial mentoring training, the ENEL Group volunteers will join mentoring programmes run by our members Acción Emprendedora in Chile, Corporación Minuto de Dios in Colombia, Perspektiva in Peru, and Youth Business Spain in Spain. Each volunteer will then be matched with a young entrepreneur for tailored one-to-one support, considering complementary personalities, interests, and the needs of the entrepreneurs. Mentoring relationships will last for three months and mentors will receive regular guidance and support from the local YBI member teams. They will also be joined by an additional 20 experienced volunteer mentors in the programme, who will offer their expertise and advice.

In addition to one-to-one mentoring, the programme will include five group webinars run by ENEL volunteers, offering their expertise and practical advice to support an additional 100 struggling entrepreneurs. The initiative will hence support a total of 220 youth-led small businesses and save 660 jobs in Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Spain.

“Youth-led small businesses will be vital to the global economic recovery – they create livelihoods, are engines of economic development and can bring local communities together. ENEL Global Power Generation through the international volunteering programme Connecting Energies (CE) is delighted to support small business owners through our new partnership with YBI and to offer a meaningful volunteer opportunity to our colleagues eager to make a difference in these difficult times.”

Chiara Gasparrini, CE Project Leader, ENEL Group

“We are grateful to ENEL Group staff for offering their time, skills and expertise to support struggling young entrepreneurs through the current crisis. The pandemic continues to have a devastating effect on youth-led small businesses around the world as they are struggling to stay afloat amid lockdowns, restrictions and the ongoing economic crisis. Mentoring is now more crucial than ever – it can be the difference between business success and failure.”

Anita Tiessen, CEO, Youth Business International (YBI)

Read more about how we support young entrepreneurs around the world through the COVID-19 crisis.

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