Starbucks Backs Young Social Entrepreneurs With Thousands in Grants

Starbucks Backs Young Social Entrepreneurs With Thousands in Grants

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youth-social-entrepreneurs.jpg25 young people from 17 countries will receive between $5,000 and $15,000 to enhance their work as social entrepreneurs, awarded through a 2008 competition launched by Starbucks and the International Youth Foundation (IYF).

An organization in the Philippines that provides small loans to unemployed youth to start their own businesses and a program in Pakistan that combats violence against women by changing the behaviors of men are two of 25 programs to win grants helping the young social entrepreneurs leading the way. All programs have been selected by Starbucks and (IYF) to receive grants through the Starbucks Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

The grantees announced yesterday were chosen through a competition in early 2008 by IYF and the Starbucks Foundation.

“Today’s young social entrepreneurs work tirelessly in support of their social change visions, yet struggle to access the financial resources to take their important work to scale,” said IYF President and CEO William S. Reese. “Starbucks has provided much-needed support to expand the impact of their efforts.”

“We are proud to support the amazing efforts of these young leaders who have the passion to create positive solutions to real needs,” said Ben Packard, Starbucks vice president, global responsibility. “Through their hard work and dedication, we hope to see measurable change in local communities and help them inspire others to act.”

All the young leaders have completed IYF’s YouthActionNet Global Fellowship. The Fellowship is a program that aims to develop a new generation of socially conscious global citizens who create positive change in their communities, their countries and the world.

Among the 25 projects to receive a total of over $300,000 are:

  • Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Australia: Launched by Anna Rose, AYCC seeks to build a generation-wide movement to help solve climate change. The grant will be used to educate 25,000 high school students about climate change and solutions at the local, national and global level.
  • Emmanuel Youth Empowerment Program, Kenya: Started by Daniel Nduati, the Emmanuel Program will expand its computer literacy and life skills training in an effort to reach 850 disadvantaged youth living in the Dagoretti slums of Nairobi.
  • MuJeres por la Justicia, Educacion y el Reconocimeiento (MuJER), Guatemala: Founded by Ana Moraga, MuJER will create a community center where 250 women sex workers in Guatemala City can participate in educational and vocational programs.
  • Unite for Sight, United States: Representatives of 24 villages in Ghana will receive training through Unite for Sight, a global nonprofit launched by Jennifer Staple, to serve as community eye health workers who will aim to reach more than 86,000 patients annually.

A committee comprised of IYF staff and Starbucks employees selected the final grant recipients.

Look for personal profiles to be featured on the Good News Network in December highlighting more of these Youth Action Fellows. First up will be Sarah Koch, co-founder of DIG (Development in Gardening). Launched in 2006, DIG empowers HIV affected individuals to meet their nutritional needs by teaching them to create self-sustaining community gardens.

To learn more now, visit: www.youthactionnet.org.

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