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

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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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Entrepreneurs Launch International Resource, Coaching and Funding Platform

Ye! Child & Youth Finance International held the Dutch launch of Ye! - an online platform for young a1sx2_Ye300_YE_logo_digital_cropped.pngentrepreneurs – in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Wednesday, December 10th . The global platform was launched to an audience of young entrepreneurs, investors, established entrepreneurs and representatives from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and, the event’s hosts, De Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM).

2015 – The Year of the Start-Up

The launch is timely as 2015 is set to be a tipping point for entrepreneurs in the Netherlands with ex-EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes being announced as the Dutch Special Envoy for Start-Ups, and the new law coming into act as of January 1, 2015, which will make it easier for international entrepreneurs to launch their business in the Netherlands.

Entrepreneurs Pitch to Investors

During the event 10 young entrepreneurs from around the world pitched their ventures to investors and key-stakeholders from the Netherlands:

  • VACSE: Shadi Al-Hakimi has developed a search engine which searches the content of videos and audio
  • I Hate Statistics:Pim Belling will turn your hate for statistics into love
  • Bonsum:Frederik Betz makes shopping sustainably easy and rewarding (for the earth and for you)!
  • Swapp:Want to swop your jacket for her shoes? Lonneke Boonzaaijer’s interactive app will do just that
  • The Dev School: Martha Chelimo is teaching African youth to code and become tech entrepreneurs themselves
  • Crystal Shower:Wouter Chömpff wants people to get unlimited shower time with just 1 bucket of water
  • Huishuai: Huishuai Li brings Asia from your browser to your door
  • Thinking Green: Marwan Ma’som powers street-kiosks in Malaysia with sunshine
  • Shoemates: Obaid Rahimi ensures your good fashion choices will benefit a family in need
  • FGE Exports: Senai Wolderufael is ensuring that the world gets their kick from ethically sourced Ethiopian coffee

a1sx2_300_Wouter-Chmpff-pitching-Crystal-Showers.png a1sx2_300_Young-Entrepreneurs-pitching.png

Sustainable Businesses

"The AFM supports Ye! due to our commitment to financial education and financial inclusion, and building fair and transparent markets. Young people can bring this change as young entrepreneurs predominantly start businesses which are unlike the old way of doing things – they are new and fair and they...bring a positive change in the world."

Theodor Kockelkoren, AFM Executive Board member.

Annemiek Hoogenboom representing the players of Nationale Postcode Loterij and Energo Foundation, a main sponsor of the Ye! online platform, underlined this socially conscious characteristic which the majority of the young entrepreneurs pitching at the event shared. She highlighted that in her experience young people tend to have more sustainable and socially aware solutions – their ideas are green from the get-go.

Start-Up Coach

Duke Urbanik, private investor and YES!Delft strategy coach, heeded this with a warning that the commonality of young entrepreneurs to be hyper socially-conscious may lead them to live in an idealist bubble. For an investor to take notice of a young entrepreneur they have to see an attainable goal. This is where the Ye! coaching platform will be useful to young entrepreneurs as the coaches will hold a mirror up to the entrepreneur and hold them accountable to their goals helping to ensure that they don’t become unrealistic and unattainable.

International Markets

Mr. Kockelkoren emphasized the important role which Ye! will play in welcoming young entrepreneurs from international markets to the Netherlands, and vice versa. Ms. Hoogenboom echoed the importance of this international platform: “Young people think internationally automatically. If they want to make a difference and earn money then they don’t just think “hey, let’s do this in the Netherlands," they think "hey, let’s do this in the Netherlands, the US, and China!” This is important for the growth of their business and national economies, and Ye!’s international resources makes it easier for them to do this.

Jeroen Roodenburg, the Ambassador for the Private Sector and International Cooperation from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announced that they are working closely with the private sector to ensure that the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (to be established in September 2015) will result in the eradication of extreme poverty. In light of this, encouraging investment in young entrepreneurs, especially enterprises in the supply chain which links developing markets to developed ones, is a top priority.

Entrepreneurship Top Tip

Perseverance was the word of the evening, with established and young entrepreneurs alike repeating that their top tip for any budding entrepreneur is to persevere! Gert-Jan van der Hoeven CEO and co-founder of H2 Equity Partners, a leading Western-European hands-on investment firm, shared jokingly that being an entrepreneur is what gave him grey hair but encouraged the young entrepreneurs to ride out the tough times and stick to their guns – it’s all worth it in the end.

Jeroo Billimoria, serial social entrepreneur and Managing Director of Child & Youth Finance International, said that the only reason that Ye! is in existence is because her team believed whole-heartedly in the idea and persevered against all odds.

International Resource Hub

“Ye! will make it so much easier for young entrepreneurs to find the advice and resources that they need” said Angelien Kemna, Chief Finance & Risk Officer of the APG Group, and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Yellow and Blue, a Dutch venture capital firm in the field of renewable energy. She went on to say that “we all need to work together to build up enterprises and economies.”

Stay tuned for the upcoming dates of the national launches and pitching events of Ye! set to take place around the globe in early 2015. If you are interested in joining Ye! as a young entrepreneur, a coach, or if you are interested in investment opportunities please contact Jie Xiu (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) from Child & Youth Finance International or join the community today!

About Ye!

Ye! will be the biggest online community for young entrepreneurs. It supports entrepreneurs between the age of 16 and 30. By joining the community, they can get in touch with peers and obtain support through sharing knowledge, a free coaching service from international and local experts, and funding opportunities. Young people can use these resources to become more knowledgeable entrepreneurs and grow their business.

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Young Entrepreneurs Get a Helping Hand (onto International Platforms)

Data from the World Bank confirms what we have been hearing a lot over the past years: unemployment is increasing (with very few exceptions) everywhere in the world. Young people struggle to enter the job market despite high levels of education, the number of NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) is rising dramatically, workers lose their lifetime job and do not have chances to begin another profession. Recovery is happening for some, but very slowly.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

There are many reasons to be pessimistic but some inspiring leaders have chosen to see it as an opportunity for change. In response to the need, Global Entrepreneurship Week was announced in 2007. Global Entrepreneurship Week aims to inspire people to gather the courage to undertake the entrepreneurial challenge. It is a chance to draw attention to the capabilities of those who have a business idea that they are passionate about making a reality.This year the event was held from Nov 17-23, 2014 and it involves more than 140 countries and activities all over the world!

Providing Assistance for Young Entrepreneurs

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) celebrated a1sx2_Ye300_YE_logo_digital_cropped.png Global Entrepreneurship Week too and, in order to provide assistance for young entrepreneurs around the world, CYFI has created a new dedicated platform called Ye! (Young Entrepreneurs). Ye! aids young innovators who need support to expand their business and keep their projects alive.

Resources, Coaching and an International Community for Young Entrepreneurs

Ye! will be the biggest online community for young entrepreneurs. It supports entrepreneurs between the age of 16 and 30. By joining the community, they can get in touch with peers and obtain support through sharing knowledge, a free coaching service from international and local experts, and funding opportunities. Young people can use these resources to become more knowledgeable entrepreneurs and grow their business.

CYFI is hosting the first local launch of Ye! on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 in Amsterdam. Investors and young entrepreneurs from around the world will be in attendance at the launch at De Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM). These past months CYFI has been interviewing young entrepreneurs from around the world and will choose 10 young entrepreneurs to pitch their business to potential investors. This will be a great opportunity for them to talk to investors who could help them take their business to the next level.

Young Tech Innovation Entrepreneur Takes Start-Up to the Next Level

The selection of the brave young entrepreneurs has already a1sx2_Original1_VACSE-Technology_Ye-launch.pngstarted and, among those who will be able to take the stage at the Ye! launch is Shadi Al-Hakimi, 24 years old, from Yemen. Shadi launched his company, Video and Audio Content Search Engine (VACSE), along with his co-founders Jamal Al-Darwbi and Abubaker Salem, about a year ago. Despite the global spread of generic search engines there was still a scarcity of tools to search for video and audio content. Shadi aimed to address that issue. VACSE allows users to search for visual and audio material not only by description and name, but also by content. Shadi has already accomplished a great deal with his product. He has registered it as a provisional patent at the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Yemen. In 2013, Shadi’s hard work was recognized when he won first place in the Yemeni Youth Tech Innovation Awards. Shadi believes that VACSE, together with other start-ups in Yemen, could help draw attention to technological innovations all over the world. Shadi has achieved many of his goals on his own. He is a CEO at only 24 with awards and a growing business. However, Shadi wants to take his business to the international arena and he needs help to achieve this goal.

This is what the Ye! community is made for: to inspire young entrepreneurs to be more confident in what they do and help them believe that they can change their lives and the world. Are you one of them? Do you believe that your new business could grow exponentially with a little help? Would you like to get in touch with Shadi and ask him how he has got to where he is now?

Join Ye!

Eligible entrepreneurs are invited to submit their application by getting in touch with the CYFI team and join the platform. You can find relevant information and join the community: let us help you make your dream come true.

This article is authored by Irene Dominioni - CYFI Intern

Irene is an Italian student and freelance journalist who has gone international since she started the Erasmus Mundus Master's in Journalism, Media and Globalisation. She lived in Denmark and now she is set in Amsterdam, fulfilling her love for the city. Irene is currently interning at CYFI in the communications department, where she is helping to spread the word about the subjects of economic citizenship and financial education.

Images courtesy of Ye! and VACSE Technology

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