YBI and Youth Business Poland are delighted to announce the launch of BEST (Business Employability Skills Training), a new career readiness and entrepreneurship project part of Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, the Bank’s global initiative to tackle inequality by promoting economic inclusion for disadvantaged people across our markets. BEST by Futuremakers will initially look to support 10,000 young working-age displaced Ukrainians in Poland, and is made possible due to Standard Chartered Bank's donation of 180 000 USD.
The project will be delivered by Youth Business International (YBI) and Youth Business Poland (YBP) in cooperation with Ukrainian House and is funded by Standard Chartered Bank. It aims to initially support Ukrainians looking for work, those who want to re-start their business or want to start a business for the first time to access entrepreneurship. Participants will be offered mentoring, advisory services, webinars, networking meetings and a database of entrepreneurship and employment information. Additional support will be provided to foster social cohesion, help to overcome language and culture barriers to ensure a better quality of life. Supporting participants to access livelihoods will directly contribute to their safety and security and an increase in the quality of life of the families who have come to Poland.
The crisis continuing to unfold in Ukraine has already generated an influx of displaced people into neighbouring countries in Eastern Europe and beyond. Over four million people have crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border,, the majority of whom are women and children. Special emphasis will be placed on providing services that acknowledge and are designed specifically to address the time constraints of women while they balance supporting their family and providing for their family. In order to foster social cohesion between newly arrived Ukrainians and host communities in Poland, the project will ensure that underserved local community can also access trainings and advisory services.
Standard Chartered employees in Poland will support delivery of the project as part of the Bank’s employee volunteering programme which, in 2022, provides each employee with five days of paid leave to support charitable causes in their communities. Anna Urbanska, CEO of Standard Chartered Global Business Services Poland said: “We are thrilled that Youth Business Poland will be delivering this Futuremakers project to support young people in Poland. Our employees are a wonderful example of commitment in times of need. Many Standard Chartered colleagues have been engaged in bottom-up initiatives to help displaced Ukrainians, hosting them in their homes and helping them get acclimatised. Today we are announcing our project with Youth Business International which will provide further assistance to Ukrainians in their professional development. We are proud that we can deliver our promise to be here for good in that way.”
This programme is the third Futuremakers initiative led by YBI. Futuremakers first launched with YBI in 2020 in response to COVID-19 to support economic inclusion of MSME-owners across Africa, Asia and Europe. By the end of the first programme, 15,595 entrepreneurs (88% female, 12% male) had accessed in-depth support, such as webinars, mentoring and business clinics, coaching and advisory support.
Earlier this year YBI announced the renewal of the Futuremakers’ MSME Development Programme. Over the next two years, the programme aims to support economic inclusion for micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) owners across eight countries.
“Starting or relocating a business can be an intimidating task for a young person in any circumstance, let alone for someone trying to cope with the strain of being displaced by conflict. I’m incredibly proud of the power of our network to provide support at this difficult time. We are incredibly pleased to be continuing our relationship with Futuremakers by Standard Chartered and we’re looking forward to working together with Standard Chartered Bank and Youth Business Poland. to help young entrepreneurs affected by conflict in Ukraine overcome the odds and start and grow their businesses”
‘We are pleased to launch such an important project to support Ukraine. This initiative is possible thanks to the cooperation with Standard Chartered Bank, Youth Business International and The Ukrainian House. We believe that through cross-sector cooperation we are able to give high quality, comprehensive support and help young people to find jobs and develop their businesses.’
Read more on the Standard Chartered website here