To launch the Global Youth Entrepreneurship Fund L.P. (YES Fund) dedicated to making targeted financial investments and capacity building grants for young entrepreneurs in YES Countries. This will begin in 2-5 pilot YES countries (possibilities -Kenya, Ghana, India, Panama, Jordan and Azerbaijan) to develop a demonstration model to motivate initiatives which can sustain the large number of young people who are in the labor market and not part of the productive workforce. With ,000 seed funding from Microsoft's 'Unlimited Potential Program', this Fund seeks to raise ,000,000 initially during its pilot phase. In addition to investor and donor commitments from developed countries, the YES Fund is designed to generate an equal or more in local currency funding to support the young entrepreneurs in their countries.
Managed by YES and experienced venture fund managers, the Yes Fund will partner with local university business school faculty and established business-person mentors to focus specifically on:
(1) Building local capacity and identifying entrepreneurs:
a. Leverage pilot YES networks to identify potential youth entrepreneurs
b. Provide targeted business management and technical skills training to enable youth to develop viable business plans
c. Conduct in-country business plan competitions to select youth entrepreneurs.
(2) Continue providing support and seed funding:
a. Oversee start-up funding and technical assistance grant disbursements
b. Monitor performance of funded initiatives using screening tools to assess impact (social, environmental, and financial)
c. Develop an interactive website to connect entrepreneurs and track their progress, and to provide real time feedback to YES Fund investors and donors
d. Match youth with strong mentors to provide strategic advice to new and growing ventures
There are a billion young people between the ages of 15 - 24 years, out of which 850,000,000 are living in developing countries, where the infrastructure for education, skills development, access to credit and other services for youth is poor. Over the next three decades, the global labor force between the ages of 15 - 24 will increase in sheer numbers by another 1,200,000,000. Most of this growth will be in the developing countries. The greatest challenge facing the world today is to generate productive work opportunities for the young people in developing countries and help them become productive members of their communities. The launch of the decade long YES Campaign in 2002 marked the implementation of the YES pedagogy; asserting that by targeting youth as leaders and entrepreneurs we can bring a focus on livelihoods generation as a mechanism for fulfilling many of the development goals as reflected by the UN MDGs.
The YES Campaign is an innovative youth-led response to the global challenge posed by youth unemployment and youth underemployment. YES Country Networks create a unique grassroots platform from which to accomplish this goal. Today, in over 80 countries, young leaders are bringing together diverse stakeholders through the YES model of development in order to create productive and sustainable self-employment opportunities for youth. With sustainable, self-employment, youth gain the social and financial means to achieve a higher quality of life and become productive members of their community. At the foundation of the YES development model are two forms of programming: capacity-building initiatives and development sector programs. One aspect of these programs is to provide youth with the knowledge and support to write entrepreneurial business plans that can be submitted to the innovative Global Fund for Youth Entrepreneurship ('YES Fund').
The YES Campaign was launched in September 2002, in Alexandria, Egypt by over 1,600 delegates from 120 countries, under the Co Chair of Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, and President William J. Clinton. Five emerging sectors for development are being focused upon in which opportunities clearly exist for youth employment. In these areas, a real need and a clear opportunity has been identified - which is to engage youth in building their communities, and countries with an employment-led approach. The areas of engagement are Renewable Energy, Water and Sanitation, Rural Development, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and HIV/AIDS.
By May 2007 expect to have raised ,500,000 in donor grants and ,500,000 in investor commitments and to be in a position to announce the first round of competitions for the YES Funds grants. Investor commitments would allow for ,000 of capital commitments to be made in five countries.
SEEKING: financial resources, implementing partners, mentors and finance.
The Yes Fund is seeking: 1) Mentors for youth entrepreneurs, 2) Screeners for judging the business plan competitions, 3) Office space and usage of computers for youth entrepreneurs, 4) Organizations willing to serve as incubators for businesses, and 5) Pro-bono business services for young entrepreneurs.
OFFERING: Best practice information, media/marketing opportunities
- Networks: YES has Networks in 55 countries led by youth and in partnership with the local governments and other stakeholders
- Methodology: We offer a systems approach to generating education, training and providing services to potential entrepreneurs
- Content: YES and its partners have collected over 100 successful investible project ideas that can be shared for replication,
- Model: We have developed a replicable adaptive model for setting up entrepreneurship education and training systems in any country - it is a low cost but highly effective model.
- Convening: We are organizing our 5th global YES Summit hosted by the Government of Sweden June 2 -5, 2010 over 2,000 delegates will be there from 100 countries
- Youth: over 1,000 youth entrepreneurs will be represented.
- Media: at our Summits, on our website and through our 55 YES Networks