LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Citi Foundation and Youth Business International (YBI) today announced the launch of a regional programme to support young people in their efforts to become entrepreneurs. Citi, through its Pathways to Progress initiative will invest $1mn in the programme.
“Expanding Youth Economic Opportunities through Entrepreneurship” will be established in six countries throughout Europe and will provide entrepreneurship training to 5500 young people and help them to start or develop almost 1700 businesses over the next two years.
The regional approach of this partnership will enable the sharing of best practice, knowledge and methodologies by cross border interaction. The programme, which will be implemented by YBI members, will tackle unemployment and drive sustainable economic development in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands and Sweden with the support of the respective Citi offices.
Rachael Barber, Head of Community Development, EMEA at Citi commented: “Citi’s Pathways to Progress initiative is a commitment by Citi across the world to give young people the opportunity to develop their workplace skills and leadership experience and enable them to compete in the 21st century economy. We’re thrilled to partner with YBI and their member organisations to support young people in our cities across Western Europe.”
She added: “The Citi Foundation and the Economist Intelligence Unit recently launched new research showing that 79% of young people living in cities across Europe want to be self-employed, to start or grow a small business. The Citi Foundation’s partnership with YBI will make this a reality, acting as a catalyst for development and sustainability of high potential businesses that will create jobs and support economic growth.”
YBI is building on the successful experience of other regional programmes it has created, such as Youth Business Caribbean and Latin America Youth Entrepreneurship Programme.
Andrew Devenport, CEO of YBI: “A regional approach to a youth entrepreneurship programme ensures scale of impact through combining the resources, knowledge and capabilities of experienced YBI members working at national level to support young people start of grow their own business. Europe is in need of such a programme and I am confident that YBI’s regional model and Citi’s catalytic support will help tackle unemployment in Europe and drive the much needed sustainable economic development.”
Youth Business International (YBI) is a global network of independent non-profit initiatives helping young people start and grow their own business and create employment. YBI supports under-served young entrepreneurs with a combination of training, access to capital, mentoring, and other business development services. YBI members have helped over 100,000 young people to create their own business and generate employment. An estimated 70% of these businesses are still trading after three years, with many going on to create significant levels of employment and further benefits for their communities.
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com