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YES Fund's firstseed to Youth Entrepreneurs

Global Fund for Youth Entrepreneurship known as YES Fund sponsored by Microsoft, announced its list of beneficiaries. Drupad Parsai & Priyanka Gupta report.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2008 21:12 IST

Global Fund for Youth Entrepreneurship known as YES Fund sponsored by Microsoft, a signature initiative of US-based YES Inc. responsible for empowering youth to create sustainable livelihood, announced its list of beneficiaries in New Delhi. The announcement encapsulated into an award ceremony endowed seed money to five entrepreneurs in India. The award is viewed as a test grant to create prototypes for wide spread youth entrepreneurship promotion in India and enrolls many more multi-stakeholders in this global initiative. The fund claims to have innovative and effective grassroots mechanism to reach the grass root communities across the world to recruit emerging entrepreneurs.

P Rajendra, chief operating officer of NIIT and a member of YES board, said, "NIIT realized the need of associating itself with YES primarily because both committed at creating skill employment in ICT sector."

The awardees, who emerged through a countrywide intense competition, were subsequently provided access to market driven business incubation services that entailed the screening and business coaching of aspiring young entrepreneurs by businessmen and professionals drawn from private sector. YES also provided the awardees access to technology and market, and imparted online and offline business skills training - all culminated into a networking platform for start-up entrepreneurs.

Atul Dhawan, Partner, Deloitte India, said, "A larger employment opportunities can be created in the ICT sector through public and private partnership", adding, "The emerging funds like YES enable youth to take an informed decision on entrepreneurship prospects."

YES Entrepreneurship was launched as a project of Youth Employment System (YES) Inc at Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2006. Following global launch, it was introduced in New Delhi on 7th February 2007 and began in partnership with Indo Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) funded by Microsoft Unlimited Potential, the IT-giant's community and investment program. Yes Campaign is youth centric and its prime objective is to create two million jobs for the youth through entrepreneurship.

KP Fabian, president of Indo Global Social Service Society, said, "There is a huge disconnect between India's massive job opportunities unleashed by ICT sector and the mass poverty." He added, "All the stakeholders of civic society should take an apt note of the same."

YES Fund's mandate is to recruit and train young people in business plan preparations, organize global competitions for best business ideas; provide prize money and provide access to start-up funding, linkages to the market, and a whole range of business development services.

Currently YES is an action-oriented initiative in 55 countries that responds to the enormous global challenge of youth unemployment through a youth leadership based on enterprise-based model.

Vikas Goswami, lead CSR, Microsoft Corporation (India), "An entrepreneur needs to have the fire under his belly to take the initiative."

Osama Manzar, founder of Digital Empowerment Foundation, said, "YES Fund is not big money but it transforms youth's ideas into creating formidable opportunities for themselves and society at large".