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Campaign History

 The YES Campaign was initiated in 1998 by a small team at EDC led by the current President of YES Inc., and it took 4 years and 40 consultations held globally to formulate the goals, build global commitment, create a global alliance and prepare thematic documents to launch the decade Campaign in 2002. This is an iterative campaign where the process is not cast in black and white – its strength is learning by doing, being flexible and nimble and quickly taking action where needed. Over the last 5 years over 400 projects have been initiated and over 1 million youth have been touched by our work.YES convenes stakeholders at it global and regional summits, builds national self-reliant Networks led by youth, prepares documents, organizes pilot projects, disseminates information, builds partnerships with diverse stakeholders to address the pernicious issue of global youth unemployment.

In 2002 in Alexandria Egypt, the decade-long YES Campaign was launched – with the goal to work on youth employment issues as one of the most compelling problems the world was facing.

In 2003 in Hyderabad, India the Campaign moved to its next level of identifying sectors for employment and 5 sectors were identified and discussed – renewable energy, water and sanitation, ICT, rural development, and HIV/AIDS.

In 2004 in Veracruz, Mexico, the YES Campaign was ready to showcase the work of its 70 Country Networks juxtaposed with existing expert agencies work and that of NGOs and governments and it was a Summit featuring action and ready to move beyond conversation and debate.

In 2005 in Asuncion, Paraguay the First Regional Youth Employment Encounter, was hosted by YES Latin America and the Government of Paraguay, and the YES Paraguay Network in partnership with UNDP, World Bank, UNFPA. The purpose of this Encounter was to understand the UN MDGs and how they could be fulfilled in the LAC region through a youth employment and entrepreneurship led approach.

In 2006 YES Kenya, Nairobi focused on Creating Markets…Unleashing Entrepreneurship, identifying markets at the Bottom of the Pyramid, markets in eco-entrepreneurship, building trade capacity, attracting foreign direct investment, building an entrepreneurial culture, capacity building through the YES Academy and the YES Leadership Institute. The YES Fund – a Global Fund for the Youth Entrepreneurship was designed and launched at the Clinton Global Initiative 2006 with the support of a small grant from Microsoft.

In 2007, after 9 years of incubation at EDC, Poonam Ahluwalia Founded YES Inc, as an independent non-profit.

In 2008 YES Azerbaijan, Baku addressed the issue of Enterprise Solutions to Poverty Eradication. We know that there are not enough jobs in the private or public sectors and we have to create markets and unleash entrepreneurship.

In 2009 together with our partner Tällberg Foundation we launched Rework the World initiative which will culminate in the 5th Global YES Summit 2010

In 2010 we hosted the 5th Global YES Summit in Sweden www.reworktheworld.org over 1800 delegates attended from 110 countries

In 2011 we invented YouthTrade and Enterprise Studio.  We also held our first US Summit in Kansas City Jump Start America, hosted by the Kauffman Foundation and organized in partnership with Conscious Capitalism Institute.  We hosted consultations in Nigeria, Mali and Senegal.

In 2012 we launched the Enterprise Studio at YES Mali Summit and launched YouthTrade with Whole Foods Market North Atlantic Region.