YBI today launches a new report ‘Refocus, Retool, Reset: Insights from Youth Business International’s COVID-19 Rapid Response & Recovery Programme’, sharing our learnings and insights from YBI’s Rapid Response and Recovery Programme, supported by Google.org and delivered by a total of 34 YBI network members and delivery partners across the EMEA, APAC and MENA regions.
MSMEs, especially those led by women, youth, ethnic minorities, and migrants, were significantly impacted by COVID-19 with 70-80% facing major financial difficulties. To support entrepreneurs to survive and even thrive in the pandemic, YBI members and delivery partners provided in-depth services to 145,738 entrepreneurs- with 77% reporting improved skills to manage the challenges, and 40% already improving the resilience of their business. With the support of a $5M grant from Google.org and support of Google employees, its 20 years of experience providing integrated support for youth entrepreneurship and its global network of expert members to deliver programmes helping struggling entrepreneurs. As a result, 375,588 entrepreneurs were reached through helplines websites and videos and 67,895 female, young, migrant and refugee entrepreneurs accessed intensive training and mentoring to support them to adapt and strengthen their businesses.
During this time, YBI identified six key areas of future support that will ensure entrepreneurs have the emotional resilience, agility, and resources to allow them to build back stronger and harness new opportunities:
To continue this growth, entrepreneurs need high-quality intensive capacity building on key technical issues of financial management, strategy, business planning, legal support, and branding.
Tech partners are needed to identify the most relevant solutions for SMEs and greater investment is needed in growth areas, such as marketing, data acquisition and management.
Entrepreneurs will continue to need the cutting-edge, innovative solutions offered by the private sector, especially technology companies, to remain market relevant today and future proof their businesses for tomorrow.
These support services have all been built upon YBI’s three pillars for success- established through 20 years’ worth of entrepreneurial support to young entrepreneurs:
Please read the full report here.