Yunus & Youth: A program to connect entrepreneurs across 41 Countries

A social innovation program to connect 35 young entrepreneurs across 5 continents whilst providing holistic, high quality entrepreneurship support with a focus on financial independence and sustainability.

Inspired by the work of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, Yunus & Youth was born with one goal: to make the challenge of social entrepreneurship easier. They work to enable young social entrepreneurs to create a stronger positive social impact, while also helping them to become financially sustainable by providing mentoring, business training, and access to a global network.

When starting to plan for the third edition of their program, Yunus & Youth was looking for a platform that could unify their program participants hailing from 5 different continents. Not only did they want to improve improve how the fellows’ final business plans were developed and structured, but they were also looking to ensure that each user was getting a similar experience and holistic learning solution.

Y&Y was also looking for ways to track users’ progress and interact with their fellows virtually through feedback and direct comments. Because Y&Y is fully focused on supporting social entrepreneurs, they were searching for a solution that understood this as core to their work.

Harnessing technology to better support social entrepreneurs

In 2017, Y&Y chose to replace their previous system of Google drive folders and online webinars in favor of Bridge for Billions’ comprehensive digital platform, and started to scout entrepreneurs. 25 fellows from Yunus & Youth’s third cohort group were selected from over 300 applicants, while the 2018 edition of the program supported 35 young people from 20 different countries working on innovative solutions under the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

Y&Y’s fellows and mentors connected via Bridge to work through our proven methodology of 8 business tools and build a vetted business plan together. By the end of the program, all of the participants had produced full business plans that they could use to pitch and share with investors going forward.

We incorporated Bridge for Billions into our program so our entrepreneurs could formalize their business plans with a clear structure”, emphasizes Cecilia Chapiro, founder at Yunus&Youth.

The program managers at Y&Y were able to use our Admin Panel to check in on the fellows’ work, have an overview of the progress, and set or adjust deadlines as needed. Bridge for Billions’ mission to make quality entrepreneurship support accessible to all and our spotlight on social impact within business planning made us a natural choice for Y&Y.

By tapping into talent from P&G and Citibank, Yunus & Youth was able to source employees to mentor their young fellows. The entrepreneurs who participated in the program had access to a wide-scale online platform involving sets of activities based on lean startup principles, while each stage of the curriculum took fellows through the next step of development.

“Bridge for Billions’ tool was very helpful because it made me consolidate all the past learnings, consumer research, and information from focus groups into one single area.”

— Jaron Soh, Yunus & Youth Fellow 2017

Like Yunus & Youth you’re looking for a way to grow your entrepreneurship program?

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