Youth as a Solution

The project was launched to help young people, in particular under-privileged female youth, to break their disbelief by discovering their entrepreneurial potential in a risk free environment. This campaign engages several thousand young people to begin their entrepreneurial journey every year for a period of four weeks.

The campaign provides comprehensive services from inspiration to experimentation, from training to funding and from mentoring to showcasing services to youth groups.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES

YES strives for a world in which young people are not treated as empty vessels into which we pour our wisdom and instead we treat all (troubled and prepared) young people as the most promising resource available to us in developing a new societal structure and meeting the high service needs of our communities; a world in which all young people are provided with at least one practical entrepreneurial experience; a world in which all young people are viewed as equal partners in collective efforts to improve civic life, rather than consumers, constituents or foot soldiers for adult-supervised programs.

HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED

Objective 1: Taking an institutional change approach to impact the lives of millions of young people
Outcomes of Objective 1:
A. Over 100 leading Universities have been engaged in embedding student-led social innovation as a core value and in building supportive environments for change-making across the entire institution.
B. 1200 Technical, Vocational, Educational and Training Schools and Colleges across Pakistan have been engaged.
C. Integrated the concept of Social Entrepreneurship into their curriculum over 175 Technical, Vocational, Educational and Training Schools.
D. Attracted over 25 local and leading international organizations of the world to invest in the field of youth-led social innovation.

Objective 2: Provide provide training, financial assistance and connections to young people in moving from thinking to doing.

Outcomes of Objective 2
A.Over 500,000 youth across Pakistan have been engaged.
B.Engage 1500 teams of young people in creating businesses for a month.

CAMPAIGN INNOVATIONS

This campaign points to a new understanding of the entrepreneurial potential of the youth, especially under privileged youth.

The campaign showed that all young people including most neglected, destitute, marginalized and half educated youth are living their lives in a very restricted physical, intellectual, social and moral circle of their potential being.

They either do not explore their entrepreneurial potential or are not given space to explore their talents and natural abilities. The campaign shows that all young people could be changemakers if they are provided with support and encouragement. The success and failure depends on the paradigm in which young people live and operate.

CAMPAIGN IMPACT

Already explained under "how were objectives achieved".

CHALLENGES FACED

Existing education system which is based on knowledge, repetition and skill repetition.

Treatment of youth as empty vessels into which we try to pour our wisdom, instead of giving students a practice atmosphere to create and innovate.

Little or no capacity of key stakeholders to engage youth in problem solving.

Personal belief system of young people that they are not good enough to take control of their lives.

Social and cultural practices that inhibit young people to experiment with new ideas and seek self employment.

LESSONS LEARNT

1. We must not expect less of any young person. We should not consider marginalized young people as having no talents or abilities. Young people living in low income communities possess enormous latent entrepreneurial potential as possessed by the young people who are educated and living in high income communities.

2. There is no pre-condition to become an entrepreneur/ social entrepreneur. The only thing required to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of young people is the support and encouragement by adults or youth-serving institutions. I learnt that young people can succeed if they have a functional institution but dysfunctional family, young people can also succeed if they have functional family but dysfunctional institution but young people cannot succeed if they have dysfunctional families and dysfunctional institutions.

3: The project reveals that education is not enough, skill is not enough and financial assistance is not enough to become an entrepreneur.