The Youth Economic Participation Initiative

The Youth Economic Participation Initiative (YEPI) is a multi-year demonstration grant program that supports youth entrepreneurship education at engaged universities in the global south.  The eight participating YEPI partner programs are working with students at fourteen universities in twelve countries.

YEPI Talloires

The YEPI Program

YEPI began in 2012 with support from Mastercard Foundation, motivated by the belief that universities around the world have an important role to play in preparing young people for meaningful and productive engagement in their societies. Too many students are completing university without the skills, guidance, and access to networks that are vital to starting a business or charting a career in a fast-changing global economy.

YEPI set out to identify some of the most promising approaches to youth entrepreneurship education at universities in the global south. In 2012 and 2013, a year-long request for proposals process led to the identification of the eight YEPI partner programs. Through highly experiential training in entrepreneurial attitude, personal development, leadership, business planning and community engagement, these programs are preparing students to thrive as 21st century employees, entrepreneurs, and citizens.


Each YEPI partner receives a total of $350,000 USD over a period of 3.5 years (2013 – 2017). This funding is intended to allow participating programs to expand, deepen and refine their approaches to youth entrepreneurship education, while creating opportunities for international learning and exchange.

Learning Partners

In order to support the learning goals of YEPI, the Talloires Network collaborated with team of researcher-practitioners at the University of Minnesota. This team has worked closely with each of the YEPI programs to facilitate and support the YEPI programs’ own learning processes, as well as to build knowledge, identify best practices and draw comparisons among the eight YEPI programs. The UMN learning partners regularly shared their learning through blog posts on the Talloires Network’s online platform for exchange: TN Connects.

Each YEPI program additionally provides a quarterly update about their experience. Click here to read posts from each of the YEPI programs from 2013 to today.