Launching the Ye! Stream

The Ye! Stream is the newest addition to the Ye! Website!

Ever needed a business-related question answered immediately? Then the Ye! Stream is the place to go! No time to wait? No problem. Providing an interactive news feed and online forum, the Stream will be accessible to Ye! Community members—both coaches and entrepreneurs. The stream will allow members to dialogue directly amongst one another. 

Log onto the Ye! site, head to the stream page and post your questions directly to the community. Have a question on how to use a tool or about the legal structure in a certain country? Post it to the stream and have the community of young entrepreneurs respond with their personal experiences, insights, and advice. The stream will be available to members in both Arabic and English.

The Ye! Live Stream will also feature, "Ask a Coach" bi-weekly sessions. These live sessions will feature a coach or a business expert responding to community sourced questions in real-time. Coaches will be available for one hour at a scheduled date and time to answer all your most pressing entrepreneurship questions. Prior to the coach's appearance on the stream, a short bio explaining their experience and area of expertise will be posted to the Ye! Blog and subsequent social media channels. Questions, topics of interest, and the expert's follow-up advice will also be posted to the Ye! Blog following each session for anyone who missed out.

Join Ye! In launching the Ye! Stream and see what the global community of young entrepreneurs has to offer.

Are you an entrepreneur age 16-30? Apply to become a member of Ye! and join the global community of young entrepreneurs www.yecommunity.com/en/register



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KIESA, ICK and Ye! Join Hands in Boosting Young Entrepreneurs

On September 9, 2016 eight emerging young Kosovo entrepreneur stars pitched their business ideas to policy makers, angel investors, financial sector representatives and successful entrepreneurs during a high-level pitching event hosted by the Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency (KIESA). At the event, Mrina Godanca from “Architecture for Humans”, won the “Ye! Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Prize. The 2nd place goes to Mendim Avdyli (Sumthesun) and 3rd place to Lum Kryeziu (Spartments). The two entrepreneurs received interest-free loans provided by TEB Bank to further develop their business ideas.

Bringing awareness to the young rising stars of entrepreneurship

The pitching event is a feature event which marks the closing of the week-long Ye! BoostCamp in Kosovo, an entrepreneurship training event for 17 young entrepreneurs from Kosovo. Held at the Innovations Centre Kosovo the event was attended by key stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem– policy makers, international development organizations, angel investors and successful entrepreneurs. The event provided a platform for the young entrepreneur participants to showcase their business ideas, receive feedback and seek seed capital.

Mr. Besian Mustafa, General Director of KIESA, opened the final pitching event with a welcome speech on behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Kosovo. Ms. Venera Hoxha, Senior Investment Officer from Finance in Motion, also shared a message to the participants and guests on behalf of the European Fund for Southeast Europe, the funder of the Ye! Boost Programs. Ms. Hoxha expressed that the European Fund for Southeast Europe Development Facility will continue to expand its support of youth employment and entrepreneurship in the EFSE countries and the development of quality financial support via the financial sectors.

Eight young entrepreneurs selected from the youth participants of the BoostCamp pitched their ideas at the event. These vibrant youths are all working on ideas addressing critical issues faced by their community. Among them are Besart Kunushevci (Platforma Akademia), Armend Alshiqi (Dekorime nga Dora Ime), Lum Kryeziu (Spartments), Trëndelinë Gërguri (Login Texas), Mendim Avdyli (Sumthesun), Vesa Broqi (Gjurmet), Mrina Godanca (Architecture for Humans), Drilon Balaj. Their ideas were evaluated and challenged by a panel of jury members that are represented by policy makers, angel investors, financiers and successful entrepreneurs: Mr. Besian Mustafa (General Director, KIESA), Leutrim Blakaj (Executive Chairman & Founder, Highlight Ventures), Besian Demiri (Manager of Small Business Department, TEB Bank) and Dardan Gërguri (Banka për Biznes).

The jury selected Mrina Godanca from “Architecture for Humans”, a startup that makes custom-designed furniture for people with disabilities, to receive the “Ye! Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Prize awarded by KIESA and the Ye! Community. Mrina also received a cash prize of 1,500 Euro sponsored by TEB Bank. Mendim Avdyli, the entrepreneur behind Sumthesun – a startup with the ambition to help US households adopt solar energy received the 2nd place and the “Best Pitch” award. He received an interest-free loans of 5,000 Euro from TEB Bank and a cash reward from Banka për Biznes. The entrepreneur of a student housing online platform, Lum Kryeziu won the 3rd place and an interest-free loan of 3,000 Euro from TEB Bank.

All participants will receive six-month mentoring provided by experienced professionals both from Kosovo and Ye!’s international network.

About Ye! Boost Program

The Ye! Boost Program is an entrepreneurship capacity building program targeting early-stage young entrepreneurs. The program provides training, networking and coaching opportunities for entrepreneurs (16~30 years old). In 2016, the Ye! Boost Programs are implemented in Turkey, Kosovo and Ukraine, with the sponsorship and support of the European Fund for Southeast Europe. In Kosovo, the Boost Program is partnered with Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK), Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency (KIESA), TEB Bank and Banka për Biznes (BPB).

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Global Ye! Launch at the G20

Global Ye! Launch at the G20

Ye! Community members are very familiar with some of the challenges facing young entrepreneurs. Excessive bureaucracy and lack of financing options for youth are just some of the obstacles facing aspiring entrepreneurs in many countries across the world. So far, Ye! has been offering you direct support through our community, coaching, country pages, trainings and pitching events, but we want to go further!

This is why the Ye! team at Child & Youth Finance International is honored to announce our first formal, global launch! Taking place on 10 September in Antalya, Turkey, the Global Ye! Launch will be hosted by the G20 as part of their SME meetings. By bringing governments, investors, and multilaterals to the table, the Ye! team and CYFI is now also advocating for better national policies for young entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship education in school, simpler business regulations, and increased access to finance and investment for youth are just some of the themes being discussed.

What can governments, banks, the G20 and the UN do to help entrepreneurs like you? Let us know! Simply write to Philip from the Ye! team via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll bring your questions and suggestions with us to Turkey!

Photo credit: "Antalya dusk" by Mbilgen

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Expanding Youth Entrepreneurship Education

Youth included in strengthening entrepreneurship education in Europe, while JADE and Microsoft renew their Education Transformation Agreement.

On November 4th, Thomas Van Vynckt and Philip Harris from CYFI’s Innovations team took part in the Generations Club organized by JADE (the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises) in Brussels, supported by Microsoft. The meeting’s theme centered on asking the youth participants how entrepreneurship education can be expanded, strengthened and encouraged, with the main objective being to find sustainable ways to raise a generation of leaders. As an outcome of the meeting JADE and Microsoft renewed their Education Transformation Agreement to work together against ever-increasing challenges, and opportunities in entrepreneurship education. A take-away from the meeting was that if entrepreneurship education is to tangibly boost young enterprises then it needs to be taught both in and out of the classroom, and support should be encouraged not only by educators but by policy-makers and parents too.

JADE and Microsoft renew Education Transformation Agreement Youth representatives discuss entrepreneurship education in Europe Innovation Department youth representatives on their way to discuss entrepreneurship education

Young Leaders

Thomas and Philip were 2 of the young representatives who were chosen to speak on behalf of young entrepreneurs in Europe. With meeting attendees ranging from Microsoft, Ernst & Young and members of the European Parliament, the meeting set an example of how the private sector and policy-makers can empower youthby giving them the opportunity to hold leadership roles.

If you believe in the youth’s ability to lead a new generation of sustainably-minded, passionate and driven young entrepreneurs then donate to Child & Youth Finance International today and support the #youngleaders of tomorrow!


Images courtesy of Thomas Van Vyck and JADE
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Free Mentoring for Youth Start-ups!

Free mentoring for young start-ups!

Are you a young entrepreneur with a business which you would like to develop or scale up? Are you looking for a free coaching service? Just sign yourself up at www.youth-co.com and you can get linked with an experienced coach!

This service is part of the new Youth-Co program from Child and Youth Finance International, supporting young entrepreneurs worldwide. Youth-Co aims to be a global online platform where young entrepreneurs aged 16 to 30 can find information, an online community to meet and connect with other young entrepreneurs, free coaching and a link to potential investors. These features will appear soon, with the objective of reaching over 10 million youth worldwide by 2020!

If you would like more information or if you would like to take part in the project as a partner , please contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Turning a part-time job into a business - Interview with the co-founder of Le Cico

In a seminar called “InnovAction Lab”(www.innovactionlab.org, three Italian girls - Monica, Giulia and Valentina met each. They worked together on the start-up project of the course. Inspired by their own experience and ambition to make something big, they decided to turn their idea into a real business. With the help of “Luiss Enlabs” start-ups incubator (www.luissenlabs.com), they launched Le Cicogne, a company and web portal that matches demands and supplies of babysitting service in Italy.

Below is our interview with Monica, the co-founder of Le Cicogne. (www.lecicogne.net)

What drove you (and your co-founders) to start Le Cicogne?

Passion and CARPE DIEM.

Le Cicogne is a web portal that matches demand and supply of services such as babysitting, baby&teen shuttle services, baby&teen tutoring and baby party.

I was the first user of my own service. At that time, I was a student looking for flexible babysitting jobs. It was very difficult to find jobs that can fit my schedule. The only way seems to be receiving as many job offers as I can so I have the chance to choose the most suitable one. Obviously this wasn't possible – there won’t be so many parents contacting me if they didn’t hear from another parent that I am available to work. I discovered that the easiest way to look for a babysitter is by word of mouth.

Thanks to a family I was working for I created a new service: the “baby-taxi”, a shuttle service that picks up children from, for example, their sport lesson, and brings them home. It is more than just a “taxi service”, it is a “sitting service” with the car. My responsibilities include making sure the child sits properly, helping them dress after their lesson and having fun with them in the meantime. The job is flexible and only took me three hours per week. So I decided to look for other parents to offer the same service. The parents I already knew introduced me to other families. I started to receive so many calls that I could no longer afford all the work. So I started to share it with my friends. Later we launched a web portal to introduce our business Le Cicogne and facilitate the demands and supplies of the services.

There is more than one reason why my co-founders and I started Le Cicogne. To put them all together, I would say it is the need of a flexible job, of money, of letting people know about my service, and the desire to prove ourselves.

What was the biggest challenge you experienced in the journey of Le Cicogne and how did you overcome it?

I think there is no thing as big as the present and the future that we are living in right now with Le Cicogne. What I mean is that if I look back, I see things way more easier than they are right now, which I think is good. Because it means that we are going in the right way. We are becoming a real company with real difficulties and obstacles.

Some big challenges I have: one, Italian bureaucracy, setting up a company in Italy always means a lot of time, money and legal difficulties. Second, how to transform a start-up into a solid company.

Is there anything that you would have done otherwise?

No. If I could go back in time right now, I would do everything in a different way, but with the knowledge I have now, otherwise I would probably have made the same choices and mistakes.

What is your vision for Le Cicogne in the next three years?

We hope to receive an offer from FB as the one they did to Whatsapp!No, just joking, I see it becoming stronger, a solid company that gets bigger day by day. For sure I see Le Cicogne on the whole Italian territory. 

What advice do you have for young tech entrepreneurs?

I will tell them: START.

Don't look back on what has already past. Look forward. I did it and it is amazing! You won't repeat the same mistake twice; you will realize what you love and how you want it.

 

2013_05_08-11_23_12 9

Brains behind Le Cicogne

Monica is 25 years old and she is from Rome.
Giulia is 24. She studied Management.
Valentina is 27 and she has a degree in IT.

 

 

 

 

 

Author: CYFI Innovations Team

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Unlocking Creativity through Playing - Interview with Matteo di Pascale

This week we would like to present you our interview with Matteo di Pascale, a young Italian writer, designer and artist. He is the creator of Intùiti Creative Cards. Introduced as “a deck of cards for Creativity” and “serious game”, Intùiti aims to provide people with an effective tool for brainstorming and to spur creative thinking.

What drove you to create Intùiti?

Matteo di Pascale

Passion. I designed Intùiti because I thought there was a gap in the way creativity is dealt. At the university they teach it as mechanical methods – brainstorming, mid maps, etc. – which are widely used in agencies. And I've always believed that creativity is something more than a simple equation. That's why I put my efforts in an unconventional tool such as Intùiti. Then, after having realized that it was a very difficult product to place, I tried to raise the funds for a first production through the platform   Kickstarter.com. The result was very satisfying: I got the resources to produce the paper version of Intùiti and to develop the Intùiti app for both iOS and Android.

What was the biggest challenge you experienced in the journey of Intùiti? How did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge is always not to give up. This journey started almost 3 years ago and it's easy to think: «Ok, this is not working. Let's just move on». I've been on the edge of resignation several times, and it's all a matter of finding the energy to keep going. You just have to believe in what you are doing and continue working: a good idea is not enough; you have to sweat really hard.

Is there anything that you would have done otherwise with Intùiti?

You learn from your mistakes, so they are pretty useful. I only have some regrets for what regards the level of stress: sometimes I think I could have handled myself better.

What is your vision for Intùiti in the next three years?

Intùit should be produced by a publisher, possibly for both the Italian and the international market, and communicated in two different ways: for tarot lovers, as a new vision of the classical cards, and for creatives, as a peculiar tool for inspiration.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

Be sincere with yourself. If you don't like your product, change it or drop it. Imagine to be working on that for the next 5 years: if you love it, it would be an amazing adventure (also if it's not successful); otherwise you are just wasting your energy.

Intùiti

 

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Ummeli – Youth Workforce Development Mobile Platform

Two years since it launched, Ummeli is about to reach 250 000 users, turning it into the leading workforce development mobile platform in Africa.

The Nguni word for mediator, Ummeli began as a mobile community for young Africans who are classified as NEET – Not in Employment, Education or Training. Youth lack the funds, resources and networks necessary to successfully apply for suitable opportunities that would allow them to learn, gain skills and experience to become more competitive in the job market.

Read more at the YouthTech blog.

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Young Entrepreneur Alert! 10 year old Luca save animals and sings to give hope about a better world

Young Entrepreneur Alert! 10 year old Luca save animals and sings to give hope about a better world

Young Luca Berardi may only be 10 years old, but it has not stopped him from taking action to make his change in the world. Living in Nairobi, Kenya Luca has already started an animal and wildlife preserve organization, recorded a music album about saving the world, and even written a book.

We checked in with him and his mom in Nairobi to learn more about this little hero and his biggest passion in life – saving animals and making the world a better place.

Luca has loved animals since as long as he can remember, and his passion truly shines from his eyes when asked about his favorite animals. He quickly put three fingers up in the air proudly stating: “I actually have three favorite animals!”. He continue by eagerly telling about the Peregrine Falcon (the fastest animal in the world), the Tiger (the largest cat in the world), and the Cheetah (the third fastest animal in the world). After thinking for a while he added: “I actually like any animal in the world… Except maybe slug and snail.”

Luca started his organization Young Animal Rescue Heroes – YARH – one year ago.

“I was reading a book at the library about endangered animals and I thought ‘I could do something’”

When he got home that day he started thinking about ways he could get involved to help the endangered species he had read about. And he came up with the idea to start his own wildlife rescue organization: YARH.

Shortly after the idea for his organization was born he went to an environmental camp and held a speech about his newly founded idea and organization. Afterwards a man from the Giraffe Centre in Kenya, came up to show his support, and encouraged Luca to keep up his great and important work. After the camp and the encouraging words Lucas idea grew stronger and he started doing his first YARH project: recycling paper. “We go to different offices and gather the waste paper, my dad helps me pick it up. After this we sort out the paper and Chandaria Industries come and pick up the paper and recycle it. This way we can save trees.”

Watch Luca tell more about his organization in this video for ’Kids are Heroes’, and take a look at the YARH website.

Luca is not only busy with his organization. Along side YARH he is also making a music record with songs he wrote himself called ‘The World We Wished For’. He has been singing since the age of three, and when he got asked about making a music record it was clear to him what it should be about: how to make the world a better place. “I dream about a world that is a beautiful place without war, deforestation, the animals and the people are living equally.” His first song ‘A Better Place’ sends the message to start caring about each other, and even though times might seem though there is still an opportunity for all of us to make the world a better place. “I saw so much suffering in the world, and I really wanted to make a song to show that there is hope in the world too.” When talking to Luca about recording in a real music studio and making a professional music video, he would rather talk about the song and the meaning he hopes it will have to others:

“It felt great to record the song, I was finally going to be able to tell people that there is still hope and try to make the world a better place.”

Check out the music video of ‘A Better Place’ here.

We thank Luca and his mother for taking the time to talk with us and we are looking forward to see what steps this young little entrepreneur will take next.

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Let Youth be a part of their solution - Entrepreneurship for Youth Unemployment

Let Youth be a part of their solution - Entrepreneurship for Youth Unemployment

 

It has been referred to as a global crisis. The International Labor Organization is calling it 'A Generation at Risk', and there has been talk about a second 'Lost Generation'. (An expression made popular by Ernest Hemingwayabout the first young people growing up following the World War I).

  • In 2012 75 million of the world's youth were unemployed, which is the highest youth unemployment rate on record.
  • In 2013 it is estimated that the number will stay at this alarmingly high level, with 73 million youth unemployed.
  • With these numbers it means that youth currently make up 40% of the worlds unemployed.
  • And as a young person your risk of being unemployed is three times higher than that of an adult.

And it is not only affecting the young people themselves - but also the society and community they live in. As the population grows younger and more young people are unemployed the burden on the tax payers of the country and community they are living in also increases. But, the core of the matter is that young people are now standing at risk from being left out of the job market. And with this being left with feelings of inadequacy, stress and alienation.

However, governments and experts alone cannot solve the problem of youth unemployment. We also need to include the persons who are facing the problem themselves - youth. Not only can they be a part of the solution, they will also likely come up with new and innovative ideas to solve the problem. There is a need for wide spread policy changes and global initiatives to tackle this problem.

The Child and Youth Finance Movement is trying to be a part of this and contribute to a long-term and positive solution. Through the extensive global network that make of the Child and Youth Finance Movement we want to promote solutions to the high youth unemployment rate and create new ways for youth to get employed - via entrepreneurship. We want to start sparking youth entrepreneurial spirits and empower them to be confident young adults that believe in their own abilities and are able to utilize these to create their own job opportunities.

The World Bank Group Youth Entrepreneurship Summit

In connection to this initiative CYFI is proud to be taking part of the World Bank Group (WBG) first Youth Summit on October 23rd, 2013 in Washington DC. The theme for the event is "Youth Entrepreneurship: Cultivating an innovative spirit to alleviate global youth unemployment". The summit featured notable panelists of the development community, and provided a forum for young people from around the globe to share innovative ideas and solutions to current development challenges to create opportunities for youth employment and job creation. In order to help youth become a part of their own solution we need to empower and inspire them to believe in themselves, even though times are difficult, and see the opportunities of the situation they are in. One way is through entrepreneurship.

Coming up with new innovative solutions to the problems they are facing, and generate their own business opportunities and work opportunities, can potentially be a great way for youth to be a part of creating employment. During the World Bank Group Summit the need for education and empowerment of youth to get the basic skills to manage their own business as well as believe in themselves and their skills could not be over emphasized.

We also strongly believe in the connection between education and inclusion and the need for empowerment and confidence to fuel both into successful outcomes for youth. The youth involvement of this Summit is also one of the core pillars of the Movement. We always want to keep the young people we are here to help involved. We want to hear what they have to say and what their opinion and thoughts are on solutions to the problems they are facing.

Listening to the Voice of Youth

Another part of the youth involvement in the Movement is the CYFI Global Youth Survey, where we ask youth all over the world for their opinions on three topics: My Education, My Money and My Future. The survey is based on the financial issues raised by the children and youth who attended our Youth Summit in May in Istanbul. The survey results are still in the process of being completed, and so far the results of the Africa region have been done. Despite alarmingly high rates of unemployment, 66.7% of the African youth taking part in the survey expressed interest in having their own business.

This high percentage alone represents the potential and desire children and youth have to improve their futures by creating their own work opportunities. The Child and Youth Finance Movement is ready to support this desire and make youth a part of their own solution through increasing the financial education, financial access, employability and entrepreneurship skills of children and youth.

After all, they are tomorrow's leaders, entrepreneurs and economic actors.

 

Right now CYFI is participating in the Skoll Social Entrepreneur Fundraising Challenge, and we need your support to advance in the challenge. Every contribution matters!

 

ur Facebook and Twitter to stay updated about the progress of the Movement.

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Shayma's Saving Story from Egypt

Hear the story of Shayma, a young girl who attended last year's CYFI Summit. Today, Shayma started a project with her friends using their savings. From this project, they were able to earn a little money which they have used to buy school supplies.

A truly inspiring story. Many thanks to Plan Egypt.

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