Community area

What we do

We support underserved young entrepreneurs (18 – 35 years) to start, grow and sustain their businesses - enabling them to create jobs, build communities and transform lives.

Regardless of where we work, our focus is on young people with a viable business idea but without access to the support structures they need to set up and run businesses.

Young people are critical to future economic development. However, with 66 million young people currently unemployed across the world, this potential is not being realised. Furthermore, of those that are working, many do not earn enough to lift themselves out of poverty.

Addressing the youth employment crisis is imperative, not only for the well-being of young people but also to ensure sustainable, inclusive growth and social cohesion globally. Empowering young people to succeed in running their own businesses is part of the solution. Young entrepreneurs create new jobs and shape local economies. Young people equipped with entrepreneurship skills are better able to navigate the challenges of today’s rapidly changing job market.

Since 2014, we have supported 95,102 young people to start or grow a business by delivering a range of entrepreneurship support services, from training and mentoring to access to finance and other business development services.



What we do

We connect and support expert organisations (our members), partners and young people to develop and scale new solutions to the critical challenges facing underserved young entrepreneurs. As a result, our members deliver better quality support to more young people through sector-leading solutions and products.

As a network, we work with our members to:

Learn

Building impactful organisations

Our members have diverse expertise across the full range of youth entrepreneurship support services. We deliver training and other capacity development support, facilitate member learning exchanges and connect members to partners with relevant expertise.

Innovate

Developing new products and services

By convening the collective expertise of the network, we can identify gaps in support for young entrepreneurs, not just in one market but around the world. Using this insight, we work with members across the world to develop new solutions.

Influence

Generating and leveraging evidence

As a global network we are well positioned to address the lack of robust evidence on youth entrepreneurship. We work with members to undertake research on priority themes and use the learnings to drive change in policy and practice.

Our methodology

Our members around the world provide young entrepreneurs with an integrated package of financial and non-financial support to help them start and grow sustainable businesses.

Entrepreneurship training

YBI members work with young entrepreneurs to ensure they have all the technical support they need in order to thrive

Mentoring

Our commitment to mentoring sees young entrepreneurs paired with an experienced volunteer business mentor to guide them through the challenging early stages of establishing a business.

Access to finance

YBI members provide young entrepreneurs with an interest-free/low interest loan to cover the expenses of starting or growing their business.

Other business development support

From specific training in business practice to basic assistance with things like bookkeeping and financial management

Our strategy

Our vision is that youth entrepreneurship is recognised for driving sustainable economic development around the world, creating jobs and strengthening communities.

Our global strategy is deliberately ambitious in response to the unacceptably high rate of global youth unemployment. Young people equipped with entrepreneurship skills are better able to navigate the challenges of today’s rapidly changing job market.

Our stretch goal: between 2017 and 2025 YBI will help 1 million young entrepreneurs start, strengthen and grow sustainable businesses.

To achieve this, we will focus on four strategic pillars:

  • Innovation and Growth - We will scale our impact through network expansion, excellence and innovation in delivery, unlocking resources and supporting our members to scale
  • Developing Member Capacity - We will continue to help members to develop and evolve their capacity to enable more young people to access the support they need to start, grow and sustain their business
  • Evidence and Learning - We will collectively learn and improve our knowledge, research and evidence regarding what works in youth entrepreneurship
  • Network Quality and Sustainability - We will ensure our sustainability and effectiveness through a membership of strong, locally rooted organisations served by a talented network team in London, UK and Bogota, Colombia
View our strategy

Those who make it possible

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