International Youth Foundation

IYF prepares young people to be healthy, productive and engaged citizens.
Mar 6, 2015

Zimbabwean Entrepreneurs Dispell Stereotypes

Fortune Photo
Fortune Photo

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil-society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities. IYF currently works in over 70 countries and the following story includes highlights from one of our programs. 

Zimbabwe:Works (Z:W)

Growing up as a young girl in Zimbabwe, Fortune got the impression women weren’t meant to be entrepreneurs. Now a successful poultry farmer, Fortune and the Zimbabwe:Works (Z:W) program that helped her identify and reach her goals, are dispelling popular stereotypes of what the nation’s youth can achieve. Fortune received life skills and entrepreneurship training, along with access to financing, to start her business.

Initially funded through its first phase by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Zimbabwe:Works (Z:W) offers unemployed youth, ages 16 to 35, a menu of options, including life skills training, entrepreneurship development, access to finance, and civic leadership opportunities. Recognizing that there is no magic bullet in solving the nation’s youth livelihood needs, the program pursues an integrated, holistic approach firmly rooted in developing the capacity of local partners to deliver services.

Now entering a second phase, the program has brought together USAID and the Department for International Development (DFID) in the U.K. in a dynamic partnership to expand these services to thousands more young Zimbabweans. Over the next three years, IYF and its partners will provide increased economic opportunities for youth—with a particular focus on young Zimbabwean women—by creating improved pathways for young people to get jobs, access financial services, and start their own enterprises.

In this video watch as Fortune and Talent share what they have achieved through the program. They are two of the 8,500 youth reached through the IYF program—so far.

Jan 9, 2015

Young Entrepreneurs Final Project Report

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people.

Through the Young Entrepreneurs program, IYF equips youth entrepreneurs in Delhi and Mumbai with skills, guidance and support, and access to finance to allow them to successfully start or expand their own small businesses.

To date, the Young Entrepreneurs program has provided 1,000 youth entrepreneurs with:

  • Business and life skills trainings to develop their human capital in areas such as creative thinking, risk taking, business administration, and marketing
  • Access to financial capital as needed via a revolving loan fund or access to financial institutions
  • Ongoing technical assistance and links to adult business mentors and other youth entrepreneurs

Donor support through GlobalGiving has been critical to linking the 1,000 participating youth to skills training, group mentoring and field visits to local businesses in the areas of banking, fashion design, food production, business management and small business development. 

The program will continue to guide and support these youth as they start and expand their businesses and hire a targeted 1,900 youth from their communities, thus expanding the program’s reach and impact.  To date over 900 youth have already received employment. 

On behalf of IYF, thank you for your gifts to support the Young Entrepreneurs program.  It is through the generosity of donors such as you that IYF is able to further our mission of preparing young people to be healthy, productive and engaged citizens.  We will continue to work hard to reach more youth with true impact and measurable results.  Thank you again for your generosity.

Dec 4, 2014

Transforming Lives

EquipYouth Picture
EquipYouth Picture

“I believe I can overcome any limitation,” says Titik, a young woman from Jakarta, Indonesia who is the first member of her family to get a professional job. Her journey to full-time employment and economic independence is the subject of a new video highlighting the impact of EquipYouth, a global job training and workforce development program being implemented by IYF with support from the Caterpillar Foundation. The video also introduces Mithun, a young man from India who credits the skills he learned through the program—including how to interview for a job, build a team, and manage time effectively—for getting him his current position with a local technology company.

Launched in 2012, EquipYouth has replicated Titik’s and Mithun’s stories of personal achievement and employment success thousands of times around the world, equipping young people with market-relevant life, technical, and entrepreneurship skills; internship opportunities; on-the-job training; and job placement support. To date, the program has positively impacted the lives of nearly 8,000 young women and men in 12 countries, with 67 percent securing jobs.

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