The Young Entrepreneurs Mentoring Partnership (YEMP) is a transnational partnership of established and nascent entrepreneurs and civic leaders. Our aim is to nurture and empower tomorrow’s leaders, wherever they may be.
YEMP’s primary activity is to pair young people in developing nations with experienced volunteer mentors who are on hand to guide them through the challenging early stages of establishing a new enterprise, whether it be a new business, environmental or development project, or civic engagement. Our mentors are experienced business and civic leaders who understand the importance of mentoring a new generation of leaders and are eager to transfer their entrepreneurial know-how to college-aged enterprising youth worldwide.
Our larger purpose is to foster in young leaders, particularly those in developing countries, the democratic values of an open society — the rule of law, accountability, sound business methods, and open political processes. In a globalized world a commitment to democracy, pluralism, and opportunity is a bridge that connects the world for a more prosperous and peaceful future.
Why is transnational mentorship needed?
Small businesses are the engine of economic growth and social development. Around the world, small businesses are responsible for the creation of most jobs. We enable young people to start new businesses, with the cascading benefits of job creation, innovative new products or services, and increased local and regional trade.
We focus on young aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-25. While blessed with vitality and creativity, they frequently lack key resources to start their own business. Young people make up much of the world’s total unemployed, and are much more likely to be unemployed than older adults.
Yet many young people in developing countries have the drive and entrepreneurial skills to start a business. They are often keenly aware of potential business opportunities in their local communities. Even so, very few go on to create a profitable company able to support them and others. They are prevented by many hurdles, including:
- The expense and difficulty in accessing educational resources;
- Insufficient know-how of standard business methods;
- Lack of startup capital; and,
- Poor local technical and business infrastructure.
This mentoring program seeks to overcome these hurdles, to increase the rate for converting potential young entrepreneurs into business owners and civic leaders.
How can mentors make a difference?
Mentors nurture college aged youth to become economically empowered professionals. They make a real difference by:
- Encouraging, guiding, and emotionally supporting young adults as they further their education and start new enterprises;
- Imparting basic business know-how;
- Providing models of business transparency, sound accounting and democratic values;
- Exposing students to online educational opportunities;
- Teaching mentees how to effectively use web-based resources, cloud tools, e-commerce, and social marketing.
The Value of a Transnational Partnership
YEMP is a transnational partnership. More than a one-on-one mentoring program, it aims to strengthen ties not just between young leaders in developing countries and the U.S. business community, but among nascent leaders throughout the developing world. We promote cross-border cooperation so young entrepreneurs can share ideas and solutions, and work together for sustainable regional development.
What else does YEMP do?
YEMP’s primary activity is to pair mentors with mentees in developing countries. But we also provide other services for mentors, international students and young entrepreneurs:
- We also foster a transnational partnership of youthful entrepreneurs and their mentors and encourage opportunities for transnational cooperation.
- From time to time YEMP provides online webinars to train mentees to use new technologies that leverage the internet and modern telecommunications to overcome the limitations of locality.
- We serve as a clearinghouse for mentor training resources and periodically host mentor training sessions.
- We provide a Young Mentors Scholarship to further the mentorship training of young professionals who have demonstrated a record of mentorship and civic engagement.
- In addition to transnational mentorship, YEMP serves as a clearing house for training programs in entrepreneurship, business management and operations, and internet based marketing.
YEMP does not provide capital for small businesses, but instead seeks to close the finance gap for young underserved entrepreneurs by providing non-financial support, including training and mentoring. YEMP’s integrated approach reduces the risk of lending to youth and other underserved demographics.