FEMSA has announced its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to promote 520 social entrepreneurship projects led by young entrepreneurs with an investment of USD $4.5 million over the next four years, from 2014 to 2017, with the objetive to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem, spark a movement of young agents of change and stimulate job creation in Mexico.
The commitment is based in four main pillars: strengthen strategic alliances to ensure creation of innovative entrepreneurs with high social impact; develop strategic economic clusters; support the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem; and foster job creation in Mexico in a sustainable way.
Through the program Youth with Value, promoted by FEMSA in alliance with Avancemos Ashoka, approximately 2,600 young Mexicans participating in 520 entrepreneurship projects, will have the opportunity to build their social enterprises and become agents of change for themselves and their community.
“We strongly believe in contributing to the positive transformation of the communities in which we operate. There are a lot of young talented people in Mexico, with a vocation to be agents of change, with innovative ideas and revolutionary projects that require guidance and support to work towards the right direction. Our program Youth with Value, offers an intensive methodology that focuses on securing and strengthening their entrepreneurial skills as well as their business plan to achieve the success of their social entrepreneurship projects,” explains Francisco Suarez, director of sustainability at FEMSA.
Youth with Value provides an integral approach. Not only can young entrepreneurs access seed capital ranging from US$700 to $1,300 to develop their projects, but they also receive technical support and counseling from community experts and volunteers from FEMSA’s employees. The program also offers options to link the initiatives with allied organizations that can provide further training opportunities or economic support.
FEMSA has identified five key stages in the life cycle of entrepreneurship projects: Creation Stage: Spark the generation of high impact ideas. Training Stage: This is the skills development phase for the entrepreneurs. In partnership with entrepreneurship training experts, in this phase the entrepreneur will receive training focused on the development of business models. Validation Stage: In coordination with different partners, review and validate ideas and business models from a real market perspective to ensure the entrepreneurs build high impact ideas with viable implementation strategies. Professionalization Stage: In this phase the entrepreneurs will receive legal and financial support as well as commercial and sales training. Launch Stage (1-2 years): Enable the successful launch and early growth of the new companies through alliances with incubators, co-corking spaces, accelerators, among others, providing advice and support through the initial operation of the businesses.
With this in mind, the commitment established by FEMSA strives to strengthen the stages from Creation to Validation with a special emphasis in boosting the Professionalization and Launch Stages. All of this will help ensure that the projects that emerge from Youth with Value will address a real market need and have the necessary tools for a sustainable growth, even after completing the program.
In order to achieve this, the company will connect entrepreneurs with new organizations and / or strategic partners including FEMSA´s own mentors (retired employees and current FEMSA employees), as well as potential mentors from other companies, educational institutions and civil society organizations. At the same time, FEMSA is working on the development of a management platform for linking, strengthening and monitoring the progress of the entrepreneurship projects in the long term. The platform will bring the entrepreneurs closer with educational offers as well as financial support, opportunities to engage with other projects, build alliances, and encourage a timely supervision of their progress.
This is the first time FEMSA has participated as a member in Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an international organization that convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.