Supporting a new generation of green and social entrepreneurs

By Anita Tiessen, CEO, Youth Business International

YBI believes supporting social and green entrepreneurship can unlock the potential of young people as agents and leaders of change, creating vital economic and employment opportunities in the process. YBI is supporting our network in this increasingly important area with to help our members meet these specific needs.

Throughout our global network, we are seeing more and more young entrepreneurs build businesses that deliver profit with purpose. They are the new generation entrepreneurs working to solve some of the greatest environmental and social challenges of our time and will play a vital role in creating a more equitable and sustainable world for us all. We believe supporting social and green entrepreneurship can unlock the potential of young people as agents and leaders of change, creating vital economic and employment opportunities in the process.

I’m always inspired to hear stories of young people overcoming the odds and building a successful business in exceptional circumstances. But I have found it particularly inspiring to note the increase in businesses that set out to make the world a better place and solve problems we’re all facing. 

We are seeing the new generation at the forefront of global environmental and social justice movement, determined to lead us into a more sustainable and inclusive future. As part of this generation, young entrepreneurs around the world supporting by our network are starting businesses with environmental and social missions – reconciling profit with purpose. Marta, Herbert and the Rokani Social Cooperative are addressing social and environmental problems in Mozambique, Uganda and Greece through their businesses. 

It is our ambition to provide these young green and social entrepreneurs with the support they need to grow and sustain their businesses and we are on a journey with our global network to develop the most effective approaches, methodologies and tools to achieve this goal. 

Young green and social entrepreneurs have specific needs that entrepreneurship support organisations need to cover in their support offerings. These range from reconciling passion and purpose with profit to deciding on a legal form for the business, defining a theory of change and measuring impact, to name a few.

YBI is supporting our network in this increasingly important area with several publications and initiatives to help our members meet these specific needs in their support for young green and social entrepreneurs. 

This includes our Social and Green Entrepreneurship Toolkit – a collection of useful resources and tools for entrepreneurship support organisations, exclusively available to our members.

To leverage our global network’s expertise and experience in supporting young green and social entrepreneurs, hosting a series of regional member workshops on green and social entrepreneurship. Each workshop will bring together regional groups of our members share how they are currently supporting young green and social entrepreneurs, identify challenges and existing solutions, and address remaining challenges. Building on these discussions, we will launch a Community of Practice on Green and Social Entrepreneurship to continuously learn from each other about this important topic.

We have also launched our positioning paper Shaping A More Inclusive, Equitable and Sustainable Future: Supporting young social and green entrepreneurs’. In this paper, we explore what social and green entrepreneurship means for YBI. We bring together insights from a variety of sources and outline what good support looks like for aspiring young social and green entrepreneurs.

Using our successful integrated approach — incorporating personal development, business development and facilitating the enabling environment — to anchor our thoughts on the additional needs of young social and green entrepreneurs, we aim to inform learning about how youth-led micro and small businesses can achieve social and green impact.

Watch this space for more inspiring stories of young green and social entrepreneurs and if you’d like to know more about working with YBI on our green and social initiatives of if you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a member – please get in touch! in**@yo***********.org.

Editor’s Note:

Read more from Youth Business International here.

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