As part of Celebrate Enterprise week, The Prince of Wales recently attended a reception for the global network of his charity, Youth Business International (YBI), in the St James’s Palace State Apartments, London.
The Prince, who is President and Founder of the charity, met entrepreneurs from around the world who have been helped to set up businesses by YBI as well as delegates from the 2013 Global Youth Entrepreneurship Summit taking place in London this week.
His Royal Highness met Nimali Gunawardana, a pioneering young Sri Lankan entrepreneur who has set up her business Nimali Chip and Fibre Mill in the rural district of Hambantota’s Ambalantota with the help of The Prince’s Youth Business International charity.
Within a year she has created an environmentally-friendly enterprise producing and exporting coir for mattresses and coir piths and, more uniquely, making coconut husk chips.
Guests at the reception included prominent businessmen Pierre Nanterme, Chairman and CEO Accenture; Sir David Walker, Chairman of Barclays and Arup Banerji, Global Director for Social Protection and Labor, World Bank.
Founded in 2000 by HRH The Prince of Wales, Youth Business International (YBI) is a global network of independent non-profit initiatives helping young people start and grow their own business and create employment.
YBI supports under-served young entrepreneurs, aged 18-35, with a combination of training, access to capital, mentoring, and other business development services.
YBI members have helped over 100,000 young people to create their own business and generate employment. An estimated 70 per cent of these businesses are still trading after three years, with many going on to create significant levels of employment and further benefits for their communities.
The Prince’s Youth Business International (YBI) will host the 2013 Global Youth Entrepreneurship Summit from 9th-12th September. The summit will take place in London, and will be hosted by the Institute of Directors, Goldman Sachs and the VC Club, amongst others.