Youth Entrepreneurship and Sustainability
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Youth Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (YES) is an international non-profit dedicated to fighting poverty through large-scale job creation and entrepreneurship for youth. YES is located out of Babson College in Wellesley, MA.
The Youth Employment Summit (YES) Campaign is a civil society response to the enormous global challenge of youth unemployment. The campaign was formally launched at the first Youth Employment Summit in September 2002, in Alexandria, Egypt. Co-chaired by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak, this first Summit was attended by over 1600 delegates from 120 countries.
The YES Campaign has overseen the formation of youth-led networks in over 55 countries. These networks liaise with stakeholder groups (government, business, academics, non-governmental organizations, and UN agencies) to develop programs and policies for promoting youth employment. Through the networks, the YES Campaign plans, implements, and evaluates projects around the globe, keeping youth at the center of its efforts. The YES Campaign:
- Views youth as true partners in development, rather than as beneficiaries
- Encourages youth to organize multi-stakeholder, country networks
- Builds the commitment of world leaders and institutions to confront the challenge of youth unemployment by developing strategic partnerships
- Transforms that leadership commitment into tangible investments in innovative, employment-generation strategies
- Maintains a web-based, Global Knowledge Resource – a free platform that disseminates labor market knowledge and best practices for individuals, networks, and partners through a range of traditional and new-media technologies (print, conferences, e-groups, CD ROM, and video)
- Provides youth with opportunities to build leadership, management and entrepreneurial skills in the context of sustainable development
By enlisting youth participation in creating viable employment alternatives in their home countries, the YES Campaign has validated the concept that young people, if given access to the right resources, can effectively craft their own opportunities for advancement and growth in labor markets while simultaneously addressing development needs.
The YES Campaign works on behalf of millions of young people in the world who are clamoring for a better future and an opportunity for productive work. Young people are cognizant of the inequities of the global system, and are susceptible to association with the negative forces in their communities if help does not come their way. This initiative offers youth a chance to participate in a global campaign to make a difference in their countries and communities.
Target population: YES Campaign has taken the Commonwealth Secretariat's age group for youth, 14–35 years.
In 1998 Youth Employment Summit (YES) was launched as a project of Education Development Center (EDC), an international, non-profit that manages over 400 projects all over the world, dedicated to enhancing learning and promoting health. The YES Campaign was launched in 2002, by 75 Ministers and over 1,600 delegates, youth leaders, UN agencies, and NGOs government officials from 120 countries at the 1st Global YES summit held at the Library of Alexandria, Egypt. The summit paved the way for a 10-year program designed primarily to place the issue of youth employment on the global agenda, develop and support in-country YES networks led by youth, design replicable youth-led entrepreneurship and employment generation programs, build youth capacity through training, and support in-country coalitions to develop national youth employment strategies.
In 2007, after 8 years of incubation at EDC, YES was launched as an independent nonprofit. Today, YES is recognized as an international leader in youth employment and entrepreneurship that has facilitated the creation of over 50 YES Country Networks, that has laid the foundation for promoting in-country youth employment and entrepreneurship programs. YES’ impact is demonstrated through the over 400 youth-led projects and programs in over fifty countries, primarily in developing nations in Africa, South America, and Asia. YES Networks have impacted about one million young people during their first decade, according to an independent study. YES has compiled more than 1,000 on-line resource documents on best practices and tools for youth employment, and commissioned over 150 original publications on youth employment.
YES Design Principles
Three major principles underlie this mission.
First, the YES Campaign believes that every person is capable of leading and seeks to provide opportunities for youth to realize their leadership abilities. Next, the Campaign believes in the power of knowledge-sharing and is aware that many effective practices exist. The challenge is to identify these practices and to create opportunities for dissemination, replication, adaptation, and learning. Third, the YES Campaign strives to act as a catalyst that inspires fresh and innovative approaches to human development by connecting critical stakeholders in the private and public sectors. The Campaign focuses on youth, the creative change agents of today, to drive this effort