YEP is an initiative designed to spur entrepreneurship among the most energetic segment of the Egyptian population: the youth. HANDS has partnered the US Department of State and with local organizations to connect young people with the training and education necessary to turn their ideas into commercial enterprises. Some of the participants came to the program with revolutionary ideas, but were unsure about how to start marketing their products and labor. Our partner organizations have provided technical assistance, including assisting with paperwork and licensing, introducing the youth to investors, drafting business plans, and streamlining the production and distribution of products, to help these new companies get off the ground. YEP has worked to ensure that the ideas and passions of these young people were not squandered.

The program seeks to promote entrepreneurial thinking, financial planning and business management skills that will allow young Egyptian entrepreneurs to launch or improve their business careers. YEP is geared especially towards underserved communities, namely women and people with disabilities.

During this program, two exchanges have taken place in the US and two in the Egypt. Two groups of participants from Egypt have traveled to the US for 18-day long terms. Two groups of American participants then traveled to Egypt for eleven-day programs, which build on the activities already conducted in the US. They have held workshops and seminars together with Egyptian alumni and visit businesses and organizations in Egypt to provide consultation to and network with potential business partners. The programs in Egypt offer an opportunity for additional young entrepreneurs, including disabled ones and those engaged in craft production and sales, to receive training and consulting services and to network with American individuals and groups.

In addition to the more practical experience that both the Egyptian and American participants receive in the field of business administration, the program seeks to engage young people in intercultural dialogue.