Cecilia Chapiro is a young Argentinean leader and entrepreneur, and our Entrepreneur of the Month YABT. Cecilia is the Co-founder of Yunus& Youth (Y&Y), an online acceleration program for social entrepreneurs. The goal of this successful program is to train, educate and connect high potential entrepreneurs with the experience, resources and opportunities they need to enhance their impact.
Cecilia started this venture in January 2014 when she identified the lack of a global support network for social entrepreneurs who are just taking their first steps. That is why she decided to found Yunus& Youth to cultivate the next generation of social business leaders who can be highly capable and effective through training and accelerating their social enterprises with the right resources. "I think this is the most effective way to solve local social problems and foster economic growth and social progress," says the young leader.
YABT asked about the moment when she realized that she would be an entrepreneur and the young Argentinean replied, "At 15 years of age I participated in a community project where together with 30 students from my school we renovated a public school. We spent almost two months fixing the school, painting the walls, hanging curtains, cleaning benches and leaving it beautiful. But a month after we finished we went back to visit the school and saw that something that we worked so hard on, was ruined. It turns out that the public school students continued to treat the school as before and it quickly returned to its poor state. It was not the kids' fault, but how the program was planned. Today, I know that you cannot go to a foreign land and pretend to know how to fix it, you have to talk to the locals and make them part of the solution. So they will value it more. This experience motivated me to look for efficient ways of solving problems related to poverty. I did not know it at the time, but this focused my constant search for the creation of social projects, and led me to be an entrepreneur!"
"My strength of will (resilience) is what I most emphasize about myself as an entrepreneur. In January, Yunus& Youth had another name, but in imagining the potential that the venture could have, I decided to travel to Bangladesh in search of the endorsement of Muhammad Yunus. But when the time came to travel, the Bangladeshi people began an armed political unrest where there were daily bombs thrown into the street. I waseven told I was going to be picked up at the airport by an ambulance because they were the only ones who did not get bombed. Despite the state of emergency I decided to go because I had a mission. After three months in Bangladesh, I got the endorsement of M. Yunus and he baptized the organization with the name of Yunus & Youth."
Cecilia projects that Yunus& Youth will position itself as a benchmark in the ecosystem of social enterprises. "With this goal we aim to reach any entrepreneur anywhere in the world who needs the support of a community that understands what they are doing and understands how to do it better. There are many social problems in the world and there is still no global network that facilitates knowledge or solves these problems that have not been resolved for so long,"says Cecilia.
Finally, we consulted about the impact of this enterprise in her country and region "I am Argentinean, and in my country as well as in the region of Latin America there is a lot of poverty and social problems that come out of it. The projects we help work in multiple sectors, including health, education, water, food, among others. Through Y&Y, we help make these projects more efficient, in terms of the social impact they generate and the financial sustainability they have to operate,"concluded Entrepreneur of the Month YABT.
For more information on Yunus & Youth, visit: https://yunusandyouth.com