Yi created History on 16 November 2011 in successfully bringing together the best youth organizations in the region to form the first ever advocacy and mentorship network in the Commonwealth Asia Region in partnership with the Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Centre, Chandigarh. Called the Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE), it is a network of young entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them.
This alliance has representatives from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Maldives and Brunei-Darussalam and India and the organizations from each of these countries include Prince's Youth Business International's and Small & Medium Enterprise Foundation (SME) from Bangladesh, The Young Entrepreneurs Association from Brunei, The Malaysian Graduates Entrepreneur Association and Junior Chamber International, Petaling Jaya, from Malaysia, Junior Chamber International from Maldives, The Young Entrepreneurs Forum, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry from Pakistan, The Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Young Entrepreneurs Network (YEN@SICCI) from Singapore, The Network of Young Srilankan Entrepreneurs (NYSE) & Youth Business International (YBSL) from Srilanka and Confederation of Indian Industry's Young Indians from India.
Yi been appointed as the Chair of the Steering Committee, the Chair of the Strategic Planning committee and a member of the Marketing & Communication committee of CAAYE. Yi will also be the proud host of the First CAAYE Young Entrepreneur Summit in India to be held in November 2012.
The mission of this alliance is to be a network that, through its engagement with governments, the media, the public, all relevant stakeholders and member organizations, champions the cause of young entrepreneurs at the local, national, regional and international level and an alliance of organizations from economies of the Commonwealth-Asia region that makes measurable progress towards development of entrepreneurship to ensure future prosperity.
The Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE), formed in November 2011 with the joint initiative of the Commonwealth Youth Programme-Asia Centre and CII's Young Indians had its mid-term Interim Review meeting and Leadership Assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 13 & 14, 2012. India, represented by CII's Young Indians, heads the Steering Committee of CAAYE in its foundation year and Dr Rahul Mirchandani, Founder Chairman of CAAYE & Past National Chairman, Yi, chaired the proceedings which were also attended by the Commonwealth Secretariat and member organisations from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Brunei-Darussalam. Yi was represented by Ms Navita Mahajan, Yi Chair-Next Practices & Mr Tushar Mishra, Yi National Executive Member at the Leadership Assembly.
Ms Katherine Ellis, Director & Head of the Youth Affairs Division, Commonwealth-Secretariat, London and Mr Aminul Islam Khan, CYP Asia Centre represented the Commonwealth at the Leadership Assembly which discussed a range of issues including Commonwealth Connect & Strategy, 6 months activity update from each country, partnership opportunities, Coaching & Mentorship programs, branding, succession planning, membership review and appraisals, amongst many others. Yi gave details of the extensive work being carried out across Chapters nationally in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Skill Building & Employability and Next Practices & Innovation as its stellar contribution to the CAAYE objectives of mentorship and advocacy for building a better youth entrepreneurship ecosystem.
CAAYE also announced its 'Pipeline Partnership' with the International Labour Organisation's Youth Employment Network (YEN) for e-Coaching and Mentorship of young entrepreneurs using the YEN Marketplace platform which connects mentors with world class coaches with business plans, funding options and pitching their business ideas. CAAYE and its member organisations, including Yi in India, will benefit from this partnership immensely since Yi can, after its own due diligence, introduce coaches for certification by ILO and also introduce students from its Yi Nets and Yi members needing mentorship to the YEN Marketplace program.
This opening session was followed by an interactive panel discussion with over 150 young entrepreneurs and Malaysian students on the theme "Trading Beyond Borders – Adventures of Global Entrepreneurs". The panel was moderated by Ms Navita Mahajan from Yi and included Mr Ejaj Ahmed, President – Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre (BYLC), Mr Damien Chua, CEO of JD Group of Companies, Malaysia & Dr Rahul Mirchandani, Executive Director, Aries Agro Ltd., India. This Entrepreneur Forum touched various issues ranging from how each entrepreneur entered their business, their experience expanding overseas, challenges of regulation, managing human capital across different cultures and their personal vision and goals. The audience asked several questions related to challenges for start-ups and on skills required and grooming of youth for entrepreneurship. The Forum was followed by a Business Networking event where six young entrepreneurs were given an excellent platform to pitch their own businesses to the audience.
The sessions concluded with a curtain raiser presented by Yi inviting young entrepreneur delegates from CAAYE member organisations of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Brunei and Maldives to Mumbai, India for the flagship CAAYE Young Entrepreneur Summit scheduled from December 13 to 15, 2012.