On July 2-4, 2018, the Ye! Community, an initiative of Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), invited 10 of its country Ambassadors to participate in the Argentina G20 Presidency’s GPFI Forum. The Forum was held in collaboration with the G20 Saudi Arabia Secretariat. The young entrepreneurs were honoured on stage during the Child & Youth Finance International Global Inclusion Awards. They were recognized for their work in building Ye! Local Chapters and strengthening the local entrepreneurship ecosystem. The Ambassadors also took part in a Ye! Community Ambassadors Meeting on July 4th, to discuss the Ye! Community strategy for the next 5 years, how systems change works, and how to build a global movement. The 10 Ye! Ambassadors represented Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and MENA.
On July 3rd, the Ambassadors took part in the GPFI Forum where they had the opportunity to network with high-level stakeholders representing governments, nonprofits, corporates, and executives from the financial technology sector. The youth entrepreneurs attended the CYFI Global Inclusion Awards Ceremony on the evening of July 3rd. The Global Inclusion Awards seek to develop public awareness and understanding of the importance of financial inclusion and financial capability for children and youth. They aim to achieve this through awarding national authorities, NGOs, financial institutions, and youth who strive for excellence in Economic Citizenship Education programs, thus promoting the advancement of their services.
As youth entrepreneurship is one of three pillars for achieving full economic citizenship for children and youth, the Ye! Community Ambassadors were presented with certificates of recognition for their voluntary work in enhancing the environment in which youth entrepreneurs start and operate their enterprises. Ambassadors were invited to the stage one-by-one to receive their certificates in front of an audience of more than 200 GPFI forum guests.
On July 4th, the young entrepreneurs took part in a meeting to discuss the Ye! 5-year strategy, and also learn in greater detail how CYFI approaches systems change in the areas of economic citizenship and youth entrepreneurship. Each ambassador shared his or her experience of community building in their respective country. They also provided feedback as to how the Ye! Community can further grow the number of youth entrepreneurs in local communities and on the online platform. Each ambassador also addressed the areas in which youth entrepreneurs in his or her community struggle the most, and where Child & Youth Finance International's advocacy work can be of greatest benefit.
A Few Key Takeaways From The Ye! Ambassadors Meeting:
Offer more hour-long “Ask a Coach” sessions
Build a comprehensive social media strategy to grow the Ye! social media presence
Showcase more visual content such as testimonials and entrepreneur spotlights
Partner with recognized and respected entrepreneurship organizations to grow the Ye! brand
Through this event, Ye! Ambassadors were able to gain business exposure, network, and recognition for their efforts. This showcases how CYFI works to provide access to opportunities for Ye! Community members, and advocate on their behalf. Youth consultations, such as the Ye! Community Ambassadors Meeting, which aim to build sustainable solutions for meeting the challenges faced by young entrepreneurs worldwide, underpin the Ye! Community's global strategy.
Overall, the G20 Argentina Presidency’s GPFI Forum and CYFI’s Global Inclusion Awards provided a valuable opportunity to work toward enhancing the entrepreneurship ecosystem through a collaborative and comprehensive systems change approach. The Ye! Ambassadors relationship with CYFI was strengthened, and their relationship to governments, stakeholders, corporates, and other youth, was advanced.