YouthStart’s mission is to empower underprivileged youngsters in Belgium, youngsters who have dropped out of school or are unemployed. During an eight-day training program they equip these young men and women with entrepreneurial skills, ending with a presentation of their own business project.
This mission fully aligns with Accenture’s Corporate Citizenship initiative Skills to Succeed, which is helping to close the skills and employment gaps for vulnerable and marginalized people around the world.
Designing new employment solutions requires multiple talents and perspectives
Strategic win-win partnerships make a real difference in tackling societal challenges like those addressed by YouthStart. When YouthStart contacted Accenture five years ago for help, they were growing so rapidly that they mainly needed solutions to successfully manage all their activities. Accenture pro bono teams were able to contribute their skills on several digital solutions that made a huge difference to day-to-day operating of YouthStart.
We also advised YouthStart on strategies and solutions to scale up their impact. For example, to gain better insights into the target group, Accenture used data visualization to identify and visually map the Belgian cities with the most underprivileged youngsters. By integrating data on organizations working with the same target group, YouthStart can now build even more effective partnerships.
Win-win for youngsters and our people
Accenture’s involvement soon expanded to our people volunteering as coaches and mentors. Every three months, a group of YouthStart youngsters present their business projects at the Accenture office in Brussels where two consultants volunteer on the jury. Receiving constructive feedback from the business world is a huge boost for these youngsters! It is also rewarding for our people. It offers them a different sense of purpose plus an opportunity to give something back to the local community. Around 25% of all Belgian employees are involved in Skills to Succeed.
We are proud to see these youngsters gain more self-confidence and trust in their abilities to achieve their ambitions. More than 80% of YouthStart alumni return to school, find employment or start their own business.