Accenture  and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation  (CYBF) have announced that the Accenture Foundations have awarded the national charity a grant of US$420,000 to help the organization support young entrepreneurs in Canada. 
The two-year commitment is part of Accenture’s global corporate citizenship initiative, Skills to Succeed, which will equip 250,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business. The grant will help CYBF mentor more than 2,000 entrepreneurs aged 18 – 34 and enhance the mentoring skills of more than 3,700 existing and new mentors, who help entrepreneurs build and scale sustainable businesses across the country.
In addition to the grant Accenture will provide CYBF with pro-bono services to help ensure the long-term success of the program. Specifically, Accenture employee volunteers will create a new online mentoring orientation program, which will upgrade the skill sets of both mentors and mentees. Additionally, Accenture volunteers will be recruited to act as mentors to the entrepreneurs.
“Supporting Canadian Youth Business Foundation helps bring to life Accenture’s commitment to building skills,” said Adrian Lajtha, chief leadership officer at Accenture. “CYBF proves it’s possible to make a significant, lasting impact on the economic well-being of individuals and their communities by developing entrepreneurial skills and connecting people with the right job opportunities.”
“Accenture’s work empowering Canadian youth through our work with Canadian Youth Business Foundation builds on our goal to make a difference in the lives and careers of people across Canada,” said Bill Morris, managing director of Accenture in Canada. “Teaming with CYBF fits with Accenture’s global corporate citizenship focus, Skills to Succeed, which recognizes that skills are one of the most powerful drivers of success.”
The grant is an extension of Accenture’s relationship with CYBF which began in 2006, when Accenture funded development of their online mentoring tools and interactive business planner. Additionally, CYBF is an active member of the Prince’s Youth Business International network (YBI), which Accenture has supported since 2006 by providing more than US$3.6 million in grants and pro-bono assistance in recruiting, training and maintaining the organization’s mentoring network. The new funds will be used to rebuild and roll out the nonprofit’s online mentoring orientation tool and to assess, scope and develop mentoring programs and services.
“Both the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and Accenture share a commitment to invest in the success of tomorrow’s business leaders by providing them with the skills and support they need to start and sustain their own businesses and to drive economic vitality in communities” said Vivian Prokop, chief executive officer of Canadian Youth Business Foundation. “The support of Accenture will enable Canadian Youth Business Foundation to strengthen and broaden its successful mentoring program as the foundation and platform for entrepreneurial, small business skill development for young entrepreneurs in Canada and around the world.