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Youth Business International

Youth Business International (YBI) is a global network of 46 independent non-profit initiatives (‘members’) spanning 42 countries, enabling aspiring young entrepreneurs (aged 18-35) to start and grow sustainable businesses with the potential to employ local people, build local supply chains, and strengthen local communities.


The YBI network is facilitated by a London-based Network Team, which co-ordinates and leads global activity and has responsibility for driving network growth and quality, including through the delivery of capacity development services to members. As such, our network combines global expertise with local experience.

YBI operates across high, medium and low income countries – we are mandated to work anywhere with a youth unemployment challenge, which means our work covers a wide range of contexts, from Argentina to Australia, Bangladesh to Belgium.

Our members provide integrated support to under-served young entrepreneurs, which typically include a range of services such as training, mentoring and other business development services, combined in many cases with provision and/or facilitation of finance (generally loans).  YBI members adapt this support to the needs and opportunities in their local context, working in partnership with governments, businesses and multilateral and civil society organisations.y development services to members. As such, our network combines global expertise with local experience.

In 2014, YBI supported the start-up, strengthening and growth of 20,696 youth-led businesses.  Mentoring is often a key part of the support package that our members provide to young entrepreneurs. It is also vital ingredient in the success of that support package, helping to ensure any finance is used effectively and complementing the other non-financial elements. Moreover, it is central to what makes the YBI model unique, distinguishing our approach from other microcredit and centred-initiatives.

Our network currently encompasses over 15,000 volunteer business mentors. These mentors are largely drawn from the local business community, most commonly from the SME community, occasionally also complemented with employees of large corporations, both national and internationally.

Members' Stories
As a member for a number of years, I believe membership shows my commitment to the coaching and mentoring profession. Everyone is so helpful and happy to share experiences and ideas. I particularly appreciate the Regional Networks!
Margaret Burnside