Global network of non-for-profit initiatives helps more under-served young people start or grow their own businesses.
The Youth Business International (YBI) network provides business skills training, start-up finance, and business mentoring to under-served young people around the world. Founded in 2000, the network comprises approximately 45 organisations in over 40 countries, thousands of volunteers, supporters, and partners. “Our global network of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) provide local support to young entrepreneurs,” explained Jonny Elliot, Head of Technology at Youth Business International. “We want to provide these organisations with the visibility and agility they need to deliver the best outcomes.”
With members in over 40 countries, Youth Business International needs to ensure information can be captured and shared via a laptop in Canada or a smartphone in a remote Ugandan village. “With Salesforce, we can achieve complete digital equality,” said Elliot. “NGOs around the world can tap into the power of cloud, mobile, and social technologies to help realise their goals and maximise their impact.”
Better visibility drives better results
Youth Business International’s Salesforce journey began in 2011 with Sales Cloud. The solution is used to streamline the delivery of all the entrepreneurship services its members provide – from the automation of application submissions, to tracking training participation, financial awards, and mentoring relationships.
Crucially for Youth Business International, Salesforce also helps the network measure its impact more effectively. One of YBI’s network members, Enterprise Uganda, is currently supporting the IMF and Bank of Uganda with data to inform their policy analysis and future policy development on financial stability. ''I cannot find words to thank you enough for sharing with us these beautiful data. They are so well-organised and clean - we've rarely had the opportunity to see such detailed, comprehensive, and nicely put together data,” said Camelia Minolu, Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund.
With the Salesforce MobileApp, all of YBI’s entrepreneur data can be accessed while staff are outside the office, visiting entrepreneurs anywhere in the world. “Salesforce is about more than just CRM,” said Elliot. “It provides a single view of our network’s activities and a platform that we can build on as the network grows.”
Securing more funding is essential for enabling this growth. Between April 2014 and June 2015, Youth Business International raised $14.2 million through its network partnerships. “Donors want to see where their money has gone and what it has helped to achieve,” explained Elliot. “There’s huge pressure on NGOs to make cost-effective decisions and demonstrate that we are using funds wisely.”
To help deliver this financial transparency, Youth Business International uses Salesforce for its global grant management. “Monitoring and evaluating grant finances can be complex and costly. With YBI’s grant management app, we can now give our donors insight into how each hour of time and every cent of their donation has been spent,” said Elliot.
A community of knowledge
With stakeholders spread around the world, encouraging collaboration is a big priority for Youth Business International. “We want to build more than just a global network; we want to build a community for sharing knowledge and best practice, so we can engage more effectively in every country and with every entrepreneur,” said Elliot.
Thanks to Salesforce Communities, Youth Business International is already delivering on this ambition. Using Community Cloud, it has created a number of global groups, for example for mentoring, where mentor coordinators from all members share best practice and collaborate.
The organisation also uses Community Cloud to enable its global network to apply for services. “In 2015, we have received applications from member organisations in Chile, Peru, UK, Jamaica, and Bangladesh for the implementation of Salesforce. We will also be helping at least 20 more of our countries improve their mentoring, training, and communication activities in the next 12 months,” said Elliot.
YBI recently updated the design of its community in accordance with its brand, and its network was delighted with the new, mobile-optimised results. Rajib Matin, Executive Director of B’Yeah in Bangladesh commented, “Wow! I really like the new look. It seems way more organised and user friendly, and made it much more pleasant to navigate.”
“In the future, we want to extend our community approach to all our stakeholders and entrepreneurs, so that people can trade skills and build stronger relationships,” said Elliot.
The organisation’s London-based administrative team also uses Chatter to track activities in different countries. “With Chatter we can take the pulse of the organisation in real time,” explained Elliot. “By enabling conversations at a global level, we can prevent ‘left hand right hand’ syndrome.”
One heart and one brain
Youth Business International is also looking at using analytics to unlock further real-time insights into its activities. “We are very excited about Wave, the Analytics Cloud,” revealed Elliot. “By tapping into big data we will have a better idea of what works and why.”
Youth Business International is constantly looking to improve how it operates and engages. The smarter and faster its processes and information; the greater its impact around the globe. “Salesforce is an indispensable tool and invaluable partner in helping us scale our support services to an increasing number of under-served young people around the world.” concluded Devenport.