Accenture has committed a $5 million grant to Youth Business International, to be used to equip 50,000 youth worldwide with entrepreneurial skills. The donation, which is part of Accenture’s Skills to Succeed initiative, will also boost the capacity of the non-profit network and develop a global technology infrastructure.
Youth Business International
Youth Business International (YBI) is a global network of independent non-profit initiatives, founded in 2000 by HRH the Prince of Wales to help youth to start and grow their own business and create employment in more than 40 countries. YBI members help under-served young entrepreneurs with a combination of training, access to capital, mentoring and other business development services. So far over 100,000 young people have been assisted worldwide to set up their own business, of which 70% are still trading after three years and creating significant levels of employment and further benefits for their communities.
In 2006, professional services firm Accenture partnered with YBI and has since committed more than $8.5 million to the network, empowering it to deliver the funding, mentoring, and training to help 38,000 young entrepreneurs build and sustain their businesses. The new $5 million grant builds on this success and extends the partnership with another three years.
The donation will be used to equip 50,000 young people with skills to succeed in the business world, as well as assist youth around the world to establish approximately 10,000 start-ups and create over 16,000 associated jobs. In addition, the funds will enable YBI to expand its membership from 40 to 65 countries and boost its global technology infrastructure and the tools used by its members to share knowledge and effective responses to youth unemployment.
Commenting on Accenture’s renewed commitment, Andrew Devenport, CEO of YBI, says: “YBI is hugely proud to continue our partnership with Accenture. Working together since 2006, we have been able to deliver much needed support to thousands of young entrepreneurs around the world, and this investment in our network represents a significant vote of confidence in our achievements.”
“Entrepreneurs around the world are increasingly operating online. YBI needs a network that reflects this shift, embraces digital and drives scalability and efficiency in its support for disadvantaged youth,” explains Jill Huntley, Managing Director of Global Corporate Citizenship at Accenture, about the use of the additional grant. “By helping YBI increase the size and impact of its network, more young aspiring entrepreneurs will gain the skills they need to start and grow businesses, potentially creating new jobs.”
Skills to Succeed
The partnership with YBI is part of Accenture’s corporate citizenship initiative ‘Skills to Succeed’, which the firm launched in 2009 to address the global need for skills that open doors to meaningful, lasting employment and economic opportunity and to advance employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in markets around the world. The initiative is part of the firm’s CSR programme and aims at equipping more than 3 million people with skills to get a job or build a business.
Accenture has, as part of its Skills to Succeed programme, committed time and money to several other non-profit organisations. Examples include a partnership with Plan Netherlands to equip 6.000 Africans with skills to succeed, with The Prince’s Trust to help expand the reach of its flagship employability programme ‘Get Into’, with Ashoka to establish the Talent Growth Initiative aimed at bridging the skills gap and with Girls Who Code to close the gender gap in technology.