Citi Foundation

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. They invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyse job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill their mission and drive thought leadership and innovation.

Our partnership with the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation is a former partner of YBI, and together we supported more than 38,000 young people across Europe.

The five-year-long Youth Business Europe (YBE) programme (2015 – 2020) was designed to tackle youth unemployment in Europe, with a focus on underserved young people in 10 countries. The programme was designed to support young entrepreneurs to start or strengthen a business through training, networking, mentorship and, in some cases, financial assistance.

Over the course of the programme, 11 YBI members supported more than 38,000 young people to start or strengthen 11,000 businesses, with 8,000 new jobs were created. YBI members were able to expand their offerings and forge valuable new connections, and Citi employees reported multiple benefits from their involvement in the initiative. Read the full report here or watch the video below:

Contact details

Website

Initiatives

2015 - 2020: Youth Business EuropeYouth Business Europe was YBI’s regional programme, supported by the Citi Foundation, to help young entrepreneurs to start or grow a business.

Success stories

Frida Leijon

Sweden

“First, surround yourself with experts and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Second, trust your gut feeling and do what you believe in.”

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Sheick Omar Faruque

Italy

Described as determined yet humble, Sheick Omar Faruque has worked hard to pursue his dream of opening his own business. After many years, he’s now the owner of a deli in Florence, Italy, where he lives with his family.

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Azhar Mohamad

Italy

Twenty-five-year-old Azhar Mohamad is originally from Bangladesh but has made Turin, where he’s now set up his own shop, his home.

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Aram Azizyan

France

"You have to be passionate but also very patient!”

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Anna Balakhontseva

Russia

“I realized that I had the inner energy to coordinate such a project and strong leadership skills to make people follow me. Before I didn’t even think about it.”

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Giulia Pettinau

Italy

"I was working at a summer camp when I discovered not only a new passion but the inspiration that could turn my dream of becoming an entrepreneur into a reality.”

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Christina Plaka

Germany

“If I had not participated at YBG, I would still have my business, but I would have my limited view. I would have missed out on thoughts of all that is possible for the future. I would not have the wider vision, and the courage to approach improvement and growth, to dare to achieve higher.”

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Zoé Pecetto-Aït Hamouda

France

“Curious, determined and courageous.”

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Maria Aust

Germany

"In my family, no one was an entrepreneur, it was always seen as good to be working for a big company, to have a safe and secure job and that’s what I had always done."

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Arvid Nyman

Sweden

“One year ago, I started taking out salary for myself – then it went from a hobby to a company. That’s when it all became real”.

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Natalia Seco Dominquez

Spain

“As an entrepreneur, I spend more hours at work than before, but these are spent 100% in my own way. I find that taking care of every detail and helping others is priceless.”

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Filip Printzell

Sweden

"When you’re young, you don’t have too much to lose. I think it’s better to go out and do your thing and try; and you will fail a lot of times but you will never succeed if you don’t try.”

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Latifa

The Netherlands

"It's so rewarding to make your own money and being able to organise your working day in such a way that there is still attention for your family.

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Abdulah al Haw

The Netherlands

“In Syria, I was an entrepreneur. That was no coincidence; being an entrepreneur suits me.”

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Mustafa Panshiri

Sweden

“If you have an idea that you burn for, take the chance and do something".

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Marielle Flores-Moens

Belgium

“I faced rejection countless of times after pitching to almost every chocolatier I could find in Belgium. That did not stop me from believing in my dream until someone said yes to take my project to life.”

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Zoë Loupatty

The Netherlands

“The most satisfying thing is when people come and have something to eat or drink at my place. To see them, to see the happiness and enjoyment is what keeps me going and gives me a lot of energy.”

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Tina Rösler

Germany

“If I had not joined the YBG programme, I would just continue doing what I was doing. I would not have grown. I would have never though that so much can happen in 6 months.”

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Yvonne Stein

Germany

"Invest in yourself and your future."

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Mohamed Alshartah

Belgium

“Learn about the culture of a new country, region, and city first. Learn from your mistakes. Know yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses.”

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Justin Gemeri

Germany

“The most rewarding thing about being an entrepreneur is having a real impact. Solving a problem for others and making their lives a little easier is what pushes me every single day”.

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Pierre Guguen

France

"I decided to try and give more emotion and maybe a new experience to the people that were coming to see us on stage. So, I went to see one of my friends, who was a perfumer and I asked her let’s make the perfume of a song."

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Paula Landes

Germany

"In the beginning my PR job was quite interesting and I learned a lot but once you’ve written 25 press releases, then you know how to do it and it’s not getting any more exciting, I needed a change."

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Eriksson & Robertsson

Sweden

“Give it a shot earlier, don’t wait that long. We lived poorly for 2 years, without a salary, to build a company with a strong economy. Now have 3 employees and we plan to expand to a bigger city to start the same business model over there.”

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Jessy Mandilou

France

Understand why you want to become an entrepreneur and don’t let anybody tell you you’re too young, not even yourself!

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Dmitry Stenko

Russia

“I spent my entire life as an employee, but then I decided to become an entrepreneur. This was the biggest challenge because I needed to change my mindset 100%.”

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Roisin Murphy O’Sullivan

Ireland

“After finishing college I had spent some time soul searching and trying to decide what it was that I enjoyed doing most, what gave me meaning and purpose and I realised that for me it was photography.”

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Nicomedes Saravia Aliendre

Spain

“I’ve always seen myself setting up my own business, I only had to wait to access funding. I already had the skills and willpower.”

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Aron Karatayer

Kazakhstan

“It was very nice to realize that it was real: I created something at home on my knees and it worked.”

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Olivia Kodé

France

“I always wanted to launch my own coats brand. I think coats shape the silhouette, they build an identity.”

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Publications

Effectuation and its application in youth entrepreneurship training

Effectuation and its application in youth entrepreneurship training

Publications

 

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Youth Business Europe Programme - Impact Report

Youth Business Europe Programme - Impact Report

Publications

The Youth Business Europe (YBE) programme (2015 – 2020) was an ambitious partnership between Youth Business International (YBI) and Citi Foundation.

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Zdenek Turek Europe Cluster Head and CEO Citibank Europe Plc

“Investing in today’s youth is critical to the health of society and the economy. Targeted programs like Youth Business Europe have helped young people to develop new businesses that have positively contributed to economic growth and social wellbeing. In these more than three years of partnership we supported more than 13,000 young people creating more than 3000 jobs; over 3,500 youth-led businesses have been started or strengthened; and over 1,000 young entrepreneurs have been provided with business mentoring. Our partnership with YBI, under our Pathways to Progress initiative, will continue to build on our achievements and set more young people on a sustainable economic path.”

Other Partners

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IKEA Foundation

IKEA Foundation

Accenture

Accenture

EEA and Norway Grants

EEA and Norway Grants

Enel

Enel

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