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Youth social entrepreneurship at a turning point in Mongolia


On May 24th, more than two hundred national and international delegates attended Mongolia’s first Social Entrepreneurship Summit in Ulaanbaatar. The event was organised by Youth Business Mongolia in partnership with Youth Business International, UnLtd – Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, the British Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network (GSEN) and was supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Held in Ulaanbaatar, the summit was the culmination of an intense four-day training workshop received by Youth Business Mongolia from YBI and UnLtd as part of YBI’s membership support services to its members. Supported by Accenture, the training workshop united the expertise of YBI and UnLtd to help Youth Business Mongolia to develop and deliver an effective support programme for aspiring young social entrepreneurs, specifically focusing on areas such as fundraising, impact measurement, incubation, and acceleration. Moreover, the trainees learnt how to build a team and a core mission for their work as well as taking away a complete 'Action Plan' for their next steps. The training was intended to provide a shift in Youth Business Mongolia’s mind-set and operational culture. On top of this, it also helped provide an insight into how to reach, fund and support potential young social entrepreneurs.  

The summit brought together young entrepreneurs, government representatives, business and international organisations, banks, non-financial institutions and other stakeholders in the expansion of social entrepreneurship in what was a first for Mongolia. While development agencies and the UN are at the core of social development, particularly in the entrepreneurial sector, the overall perception is that a strong collaboration both locally and regionally is needed to build on the lessons learned at the summit and to retain the energy and ambition showed throughout.

"Mongolians need a proper take-off for Social Entrepreneurship. We need to fuel this growing interest in social entrepreneurship and collaboration and partnership building with established organisations in the sector is the key for Youth Business Mongolia." - E. Bat-Orshikh, Manager, Youth Business Mongolia

Guest speakers at the summit included British Ambassador to Mongolia, Catherine Arnold, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Beate Trankmann, Peter Ptashko, a GSEN Consultant and Ahmed Al-aagam, a motivational speaker and award-winning social entrepreneur. These experts provided fascinating insights into the potential opportunities, and challenges, young entrepreneurs may face. In addition to the guest speakers the attendees also got the chance to take part in seminars and discussions with the guest speakers on various topics. The discussions ranged from definitions of social entrepreneurship, concepts, legal structures to examples of Public Private Partnerships and international case studies of social entrepreneurs taking their ventures to a global scale and replicating them.

"After just 1 week in Mongolia it is clear to me that Social Entrepreneurship is at an important turning point. Having built a nascent but growing movement, with many potential young social entrepreneurs, it is crucial that it is fostered, encouraged and supported. Using UnLtd, GSEN and YBI's networks will be essential to doing this. Together." - Peter Ptashko, GSEN consultant


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