Program to Help Young People Start and Grow Small Businesses

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New Delhi, 23 April 2012 The International Youth Foundation (IYF), together with MasterCard Worldwide and the Community Collective Society for Integrated Development (CCFID), are pleased to announce the launch of Young Entrepreneurs, a program designed to address the urgent need to increase support for youth entrepreneurs in India.

Each year, as many as 12 million young people in India enter the labor market seeking jobs that can support themselves and their families. However, the Indian economy only creates about one million new jobs in the formal sector every year.

The Young Entrepreneurs initiative responds directly to these challenges.  The two-year initiative will provide 700 youth ages 15 to 29 with multi-faceted support to launch or grow their own small enterprises.  The program, which operates in Delhi and Mumbai, will include business and life skills training, access to financial capital through a revolving loan fund, ongoing technical assistance and links to mentors in the business community.

“Thanks to this new partnership with MasterCard Worldwide, we can help hundreds of emerging young entrepreneurs start their own businesses, and in many cases provide much needed jobs in the community,” says William S. Reese, President and CEO of the International Youth Foundation.  “When we invest in our young people, we get in return a more productive and flourishing society.”

“We are pleased to work with the International Youth Foundation and CCFID to help hundreds of youth in India realize their economic potential as entrepreneurs,” adds Mr. TV Seshadri, General Manager of South Asia and Country President, India, MasterCard Worldwide. “We believe that by supporting entrepreneurship, they are helping individuals overcome barriers to financial inclusion and ultimately achieve positive economic outcomes for themselves, their families and their communities.  Through its core competencies, technology, people and charitable giving, they make a difference in people’s lives around the world.”

The program launch will take place April 23, 2012, at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.  Top corporate, government, and NGO leaders will participate, including Mr. TV Seshadri,  General Manager of South Asia and Country President, India, MasterCard Worldwide; Patricia Devereux, Group Head, Corporate Philanthropy and Citizenship, MasterCard Worldwide; and top representatives from the Ministry of Youth Affairs, IYF, and CCFID.

A panel discussion comprised of youth beneficiaries and implementing partners including vocational training centers will explore India’s urgent need to expand support for youth entrepreneurship and report on initial successes of the Young Entrepreneurs program.

About the International Youth Foundation

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil-society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities. To learn more visit www.iyfnet.org.

About the Community Collective Society for Integrated Development (CCFID)

Community Collective Society for Integrated Development (CCFID) is a livelihood promotion organization, working to promotes diverse sustainable livelihood opportunities and facilitates their access to financial resources to build up local economy, reduce unemployment and develop community level institutions for decision making.

Founded in 2004, CCFID has been involved with young people through- employability skills, entrepreneurship support for the underprivileged, emergency response and preparedness- disaster management, community based natural resource management, life skills, financial inclusion and research. For more about CCFID please log on to www.ccfid.org .

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the conversation on The Heart of Commerce Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

About Young Entrepreneurs

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the Community Collective Society for Integrated Development (CCFID), in partnership with MasterCard Worldwide, are working together  to implement Young Entrepreneurs, a two-year initiative to increase support for youth entrepreneurship in India.  Operating in Delhi and Mumbai, the program will provide 700 youth ages 15 to 29 with multi-faceted services to help launch or expand their small businesses.  Among other activities, Young Entrepreneurs will offer participants business and life skills training, access to financial capital through a revolving loan fund, ongoing technical assistance and links to mentors in the business community.

Media Contacts

Neha Singhvi/ Vani Khurana

+91-9560033899/ +91-9810947602

nsinghvi@corvoshandwick.co.in / vanikhurana@corvoshandwick.co.in