Press releases

Ye! Initiative transitions from Child and Youth Finance International to International Trade Centre

28 November 2019
ITC News
By integrating Ye! into its Youth and Trade programme, ITC prioritizes support for young entrepreneurs and access to decent jobs.

(Geneva) – The International Trade Centre (ITC) and Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) have today signed an agreement to integrate the Ye! Initiative into ITC’s Youth and Trade programme. The transition of Ye! to ITC will ensure that ongoing institutionalized support is scaled up to the global network’s close to 20,000 youth entrepreneurs.

An agreement formalizing the transition was today (28 November) signed by CYFI Founder Ms.Jeroo Billimoria, CYFI Co-Directors Abram van Eijk and Lubna Shaban, and ITC Executive Director Arancha González at ITC’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Globally, almost 60 million youth are unemployed and nearly 136 million working youth continue to live in poverty. Young people are often denied access to decent employment opportunities or face barriers to entrepreneurship, including skills mismatch or lack of access to finance.

The Ye! Initiative was created by Child and Youth Finance International with the aim of systemically reducing youth unemployment by convening a global movement in support of youth entrepreneurship. Ye! aims to create a friendlier ecosystem for youth-led enterprise by providing a network of support, access to resources, tools, expertise and events, as well as through advocacy on youth entrepreneurship.

The Ye! Community online platform supports almost 20,000 youth entrepreneurs and hosts a network of over 140 expert business coaches from more than 140 countries. Ye! also supports youth entrepreneurs offline by working directly with young entrepreneurs to set up Ye! Chapters – youth driven support networks that are active in 16 countries.

CYFI is now seeking to transition its core programmes to institutional partners who can increase the scope and scale of its programmes. By transitioning Ye! to ITC, both organizations aim to ensure that youth employability and entrepreneurship remain at the top of the international agenda.

By housing Ye! within ITC´s Youth and Trade programme, young entrepreneurs will gain access to ITC´s e-learning tools and skills and training programmes. ITC will also provide members with technical expertise, resources, and access to its network of expert partners, including large companies and entrepreneurship hubs.

Announcing the transition, ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: ‘Ye! aligns with the strategic vision for our Youth and Trade programme and will ensure we equip young entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st century.’

Echoing this sentiment, CYFI Founder Jeroo Billimoria, said, ‘By taking over the Ye! Initiative, ITC is demonstrating that tackling youth unemployment is a priority. This transition ensures that young entrepreneurs will have greater access to information and support, and thus build more resilient businesses which stimulate youth job creation.’

Learn more about the Ye! Community:

Note to the Editor

About ITC - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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International Trade Centre
Jarle Hetland, Media Officer
P: + 41 22 730 0145
M: + 41 79 582 9180
E: hetland [at] (hetland[at]intracen[dot]org)