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Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life

Talloires Network Initiative Has Outstanding Global Impact

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Youth Economic Participation Initiative, one of Talloires' signature programs, supports universities around the world in creating pathways for their students to develop business ventures.

2017 YEPI

The Talloires Network, an international association of higher education institutions committed to civic engagement, recently released "University Entrepreneurship Education for Individual and Community Transformation," the final report of its Youth Economic Participation Initiative (YEPI). Talloires, which is housed at Tisch College, partnered with the MasterCard Foundation to support youth and higher education institutions in emerging-economy countries to expand their knowledge, skills, and experience of entrepreneurship.

YEPI was a multi-year, multi-site demonstration grant program working with students at 14 universities in 12 countries. It began in 2012 with support from Mastercard Foundation, motivated by the belief that universities around the world have an important role to play in preparing young people for meaningful and productive engagement in their societies. Too many students are completing university without the skills, guidance, and access to networks that are vital to starting a business or charting a career in a fast-changing global economy. Through highly experiential training in entrepreneurial attitude, personal development, leadership, business planning and community engagement, these programs are preparing students to thrive as 21st century employees, entrepreneurs, and citizens.

The initiative's final report highlights the success of the program:

  • 214 group businesses have been created by YEPI participants
  • 1,932 YEPI participants have made a transition into a job or entrepreneurial venture
  • 678 YEPI graduates are now self-employed
  • 18 patents on products have been developed by YEPI participants

The report also outlines how institutional leadership support, community engagement activities, and commercial partnerships were leveraged to embed the regionally specific YEPI approaches. Project leaders of the Initiative not only developed their own strategies, teams and skills to help reach this point, but they also significantly expanded their stakeholder networks. A central pillar of these burgeoning networks is the collegial relationships that have developed between the individual project site leaders. A poignant example of this is the impact that different site leaders were able to make in their communities of practice as a result of their collective systems of support, learning, challenge, and cohesion. Under their stewardship, the global reach of YEPI is greater than the sum of its regional parts, and the success of the Initiative is due, in no small part, to their expertise, dynamism and teamwork.

Tisch College and the Talloires Network are exceptionally proud of this work and thankful for the countless partners, leaders, and students aroung the world who made it possible. We believe it is a valuable model for institutions to pursue as they seek to address the challenges facing young people and developing economies globally.

Read the Full Report