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.

Oct 13, 2014

Natasha starts a small printing business


The Young Entrepreneurs program provides comprehensive training and support to aspiring youth entrepreneurs in Delhi and Mumbai. Since the last report the program has focused its efforts on linking the over 1,000 participating youth to skills training, group mentoring, and field visits to local businesses. 

The program has linked 450 youth with adult business mentors from diverse sectors and sets of expertise, including banking, fashion design, food production, business management and small business development. The mentors are paired with youth for a minimum of two months and many continue to meet longer.  Additionally, 235 youth have participated in field visits to local businesses, including tailoring shops, boutique clothing stores, and cloth manufacturing and export businesses.  The visits have allowed youth to gain hands-on knowledge of running a business and to ask the business owners questions. 

Below is a short story of Natasha, who has started a small printing business in Delhi.

Living with her two younger siblings and parents, Natasha is an independent, creative, and driven young woman. Her parents, especially her mother, have been strong motivators and have taught her the importance of education and financial independence. 

Natasha currently works for a small textile printing business and has been given many responsibilities, including producing the ink, creating the designs, and overseeing a small staff. Natasha’s creativity allows her to take fabric that has been misprinted by her staff to create a new and innovative design so that the fabric can still be sold. 

As much as she enjoys her job, Natasha’s passion is to have her own textile printing business. So, she started a t-shirt printing business with a friend. With her knowledge of the field gained through work experience and the completion of several printing courses, Natasha thought her business would be a success. She was able to build a customer base, however, she quickly realized she lacked the business acumen and capital needed to make her dream a true reality.  She also faced other challenges such as managing her time and customer expectations. 

When Natasha heard about the Young Entrepreneurs program she quickly registered.  Through the program’s comprehensive business and life skills training, Natasha has gained valuable and relevant business skills, including conducting market research, budgeting, and creating a business plan, as well as life skills such as goal setting, making a positive first impression, and dealing with customers. 

Now that she has completed the training, Natasha has a new outlook for her future. She is confident that her business will be successful.  She will soon apply for a micro-loan from the Young Entrepreneurs program which will enable her to purchase supplies and materials that, along with her newly gained knowledge and skills, will help her take her business to the next level. 

Jul 15, 2014

Print Shop Owner Gives Back to Young Entrepreneurs


The Young Entrepreneurs program equips youth 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. Since the April progress report we have done another round of trainings in both Delhi and Mumbai, and the total number of youth reached has increased to 1020.

Manish is one of these young entrepreneurs.

Twenty-four-year old print shop owner Manish was facing many challenges in sustaining his banner making business in Hauzkhas, Delhi. New clients were hard to find and current print orders were dwindling. On top of this, Manish was having difficulty managing his staff, which was forcing him to do much more work to keep the business running. He needed to get his business back on track, but didn’t know where to turn.

Then, last year, he heard about the Young Entrepreneurs program and quickly applied. The training program, he discovered, was a perfect fit for him. Manish was able to gain the skills and knowledge he needed to successfully operate a business, and he soaked up every piece of advice he could. He was particularly interested in the lessons on resource management, marketing, and working with and managing others.

Manish also received further support from the program, including one-on-one mentoring and a loan of Rs. 15,000 from the program’s micro-loan fund. His mentor reinforced what Manish learned in the classroom and helped him to prepare a business plan. The loan allowed Manish to purchase new equipment to make his business more competitive.

Young Entrepreneurs has changed Manish’s outlook on the future. With new equipment and marketing ideas, this emerging entrepreneur has been able to increase orders and secure new clients, especially school and event management firms. He is now confident and excited about his business. After conducting market research, he is looking to change business locations to be more competitive. He is now better able to manage his staff and can re-focus his attention on building and growing his business.

Manish has become an inspiration for other youth in his neighbourhood, and he wants to give back to Young Entrepreneurs to help them. He has become a peer mentor for the program and enjoys working with other young people to help them start and grow their own businesses.

From almost shutting down to now growing and expanding, Manish’s business has completely turned around and gotten back on track. So has his vision for the future.

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