oday, the International Youth Foundation (IYF), together with MasterCard Worldwide and the Community Collective Society for Integrated Development (CCFID), launched 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.

Young Entrepreneurs 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 Bill 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 partner with the International Youth Foundation and CCFID to help hundreds of youth in India realize their economic potential as entrepreneurs,” adds Mr. TV Seshadri, MasterCard’s General Manager South Asia and Country President for India. “Our partnership underscores MasterCard’s continued commitment to financial inclusion through entrepreneurship around the world.”

Held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, the program launch was attended by top corporate, government, and NGO leaders; and top representatives from the Ministry of Youth Affairs, IYF, MasterCard Worldwide and CCFID.