19 Jul EQWIP HUBs Canadian volunteers raise funds for global youth innovation

Canada World Youth and Youth Challenge International have come together to create the EQWIP HUBs project. As Canadian leaders in global development, both organizations have designed the project to be locally integrated and supported by a network of partners around the world. EQWIP HUBs is an innovative project that helps young women and men harness their talents, skills and abilities through customized training and support. The project enables youth to discover their own economic solutions to sustainable development and help create a better future for all. As part of EQWIP HUBs’ mission to put youth in control of their own future, a Youth Innovation Fund has been created to support new businesses and increase the resilience of fledgling ventures. To help them achieve their entrepreneurship goals, EQWIP HUBs, in collaboration with local partners, is providing local youth with business coaching, training, seed capital and mentorship opportunities through the Youth Innovation Fund.  

What is the Youth Innovation Fund?  

The Youth Innovation Fund is a start-up capital funding initiative. It’s supported in part by the contributions of our Canadian volunteers. Graduates of our Entrepreneurship training, between the ages of 18-35, are given the opportunity to apply for grant funding. Eligible youth submit a business plan that demonstrates innovation, scalability and the potential for positive social and environmental impact. Then, applications are assessed based on the viability of their enterprise idea within their community. Those selected are then awarded start up funding, training and mentorship from business leaders in their communities. Canadian volunteers contribute to all steps of the fund application beginning with the selection and the implementation process. This process helps Canadian volunteers build marketable skills and see first-hand the result of their fundraising efforts.  

EQWIP HUBs knows that harnessing the power of untapped youth potential is integral to sustainable economic development. Leveraging the passion, dedication and skills of Canadian youth, EQWIP HUBs is on track to meet our ambitious goal of changing the lives of 100,000 youth by 2020  

Fundraising for Youth Innovation  

Actioning on EQWIP HUBs’ core value of local partner collaboration, each of our HUBs are housed and operated in partnership with local, youth-centered organizations. The project and the local partner organizations provide the tools and staff to support the project’s initiatives, but it is the Canadian volunteers who help cement the relationships. Canadian volunteers work to advance the project by contributing their time, valuable skills and experience.  

The Youth Innovation Fund is one of EQWIP HUBs’ innovative approaches to international development, providing grants for business ventures that reflect our sustainable development mandates of gender equality, youth empowerment and environmental sustainability. Canadian volunteers help facilitate peer-to-peer exchange, another key ingredient for development, by not only fundraising the seed capital of this entrepreneurship fund but also by seeing it through to implementation in-country. In our unique approach to youth entrepreneurship, successful applicants undertake to fundraise before leaving to volunteer abroad.  Fundraising efforts support the Youth Innovation Fund which provides small grants to local youth business start-ups. Fundraising goals are between $2,950 and $3,900 and are based on placement length.   

The launch of the Youth Innovation Fund has been highly anticipated at each of the Hubs around the world, and Canadian volunteers have been critical to the design, development, and implementation along the way. Here’s how Celia, Volunteer Business Advisor at EQWIP HUBs Surabaya, Indonesia, rallied support for the Youth Innovation Fund:  

Here’s my project: a year in Indonesia to help young people in their business projects from ideation to funding. One year to share my knowledge and passion for entrepreneurship with young people so that they can live decently from their work. 

I FINALLY found a way to combine life experience and work experience! One year of volunteering. One year to fill my life experience account. The first challenge for the end of July: a fundraising campaign of $ 3,600. This fundraising campaign contributes to the EQWIP HUBs Youth Innovation Fund and allows new entrepreneurs to get start-up capital and to develop projects for the young people I’m going to work with. – Celia McLean 

How can you contribute? 

Consider volunteering abroad with EQWIP HUBs! Volunteering not only allows you to share your passion and dedicate your skills and talent to solving increasingly complex issues, but it also helps build and demonstrate creativity and resilience to cope with all the challenges associated with living and working in a new environment. International experience provides a foundational skill set that will prove invaluable in almost all professional roles, regardless of career orientation. Who wouldn’t want to hire a knowledgeable AND experienced person with the drive to make a meaningful impact? Someone who can develop creative solutions to complex problems and has a high degree of empathy and capacity to work across cultures? 

Stories of collaboration and innovation define the spirit of EQWIP HUBs. Together, Canadian volunteers and the determined young women and men who participate in EQWIP HUBs programs are expanding their international job skills and preparing themselves for fulfilling future careers. 

Read more about the launch of the Youth Innovation Fund on our blog – ‘EQWIP HUBs International Volunteers Collaborate to Change Lives with Young Entrepreneurs’ 

Read our volunteers’ fundraising efforts

Volunteering overseas is a truly unique and transformative experience. That’s why EQWIP HUBs offers Canadians life changing international volunteer opportunities in Bolivia, Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, Senegal and Tanzania. Working in partnership with a global network, you will collaborate with local youth seeking new, job-ready skills and acquire some of your own in the process. With departures throughout the year in January, March, May, July, September and November, we can find the right position for you based on your skills and availability.

EQWIP HUBs powered by Canada World Youth and Youth Challenge International and is funded, in part, by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.