The Global Youth Innovative Network (GYIN) develops business programs

This summer 2013, the Global Youth Innovative Network (GYIN), a youth-led organization, was involved in different projects with Incredible Youth International (IYI) Uganda and Columbia University Business School (CBS). GYIN is a platform born out the partnership between representatives of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Phelps Strokes.

The official logo of GYIN

The Global Youth Innovative Network (GYIN) and Incredible Youth International (IYI) Uganda have recently confirmed their partnership. Together, the two youth-led organizations intent to address the youth unemployment issues in Uganda.

Papa Samb, the Chairman of GYIN and newly appointed IYI Global Patron, has recently visited Uganda, giving him an opportunity to suggest some solutions that will tackle the youth unemployment issue in Uganda.

The two organizations would establish a skill and vocational training center for the youth in Uganda, implement an exchange program where young people would travel between Uganda and the USA, develop a mentorship program that will develop relationships and financial support. 

"The overall goal for the youth is to have the technical skill. We are conducting a survey which will focus on which skills they have and the ones they need in order to develop the youth's local talent," Samb said. 

The mission of IYI, which has a network of 2 million youths in over 37 countries,  is to nurture and to help youth realize their full potential withing their own circle of influence. 

"Success will come in four different ways. Through talent, education, professional employment and business ideas," Brian Ntwatwa, the IYI President said. "Having a training center for practical skills will help the youth to become successful and to develop them into responsible and successful citizens."

A group of GYIN on the field.

The Global Youth Innovative Network (GYIN) has also developed a partnership with the Columbia Business School of Columbia University, located in New York, USA. Last July 29th, GYIN and CBS launched the first GYIN-CBS InVentEd Online Innovation, Venture Creation, Education program. 

This pilot program, which started with 20 participants from Burundi, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda, aims to identify and to equip young African entrepreneurs with the skills and tools they need to create and to develop their business well. 

"In partnering with Columbia Business School, GYIN will act as an intermediary and translator, helping young African entrepreneurs to understand what it takes to be investment ready," Samb said. 

The intensive program was taught over the course of 12 weeks for a weekly session of 90-120 minutes. Participants were introduced to entrepreneurship concepts and innovations practices through interactive online lectures, short case and self-directed assignments. 

In 2011, IFAD and Phelps Strokes have organized a workshop centered around youth entrepreneurship and innovation. Through GYIN, the two institutions aimed to create opportunities for rural young men and men throughout the world so they could learn, share, and exchange experiences, ideas.

GYIN seeks to establish a global network of all young entrepreneurs, leaders and innovators. The network is made of 5000 members in over 100 different countries, with a special focus on West and Central Africa.

Editor's note:  Olufunke Adebonojo and Tiburce Chaffa, two GYIN members, have provided the information for this article.

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