Case Study: Yoke's story as a Solutions Innovator

Case Study: Yoke's story as a Solutions Innovator

"As a young youth-led organization, it is not always easy trying to be taken seriously. But, being able to state that we were featured as one of 50 “game-changing projects” by SDSN Youth definitely catches people’s eyes, and we believe it gives us an advantage when we seek funding or explore collaborations with other organizations."

Last year, WISE - WASH in Southeast Asia, a non-profit organization working for social and environmental change in Southeast Asia, was featured in the Youth Solutions Report. Being featured in the report and having the opportunity to participate in the Investment Readiness Program has benefited our organization in several ways.

First, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) is a network that was set up under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. Being recognized by a UN initiative adds a significant amount of legitimacy to our work. As a young youth-led organization, it is not always easy trying to be taken seriously. But, being able to state that we were featured as one of 50 “game-changing projects” by SDSN Youth definitely catches people’s eyes, and we believe it gives us an advantage when we seek funding or explore collaborations with other organizations. We definitely include this accomplishment in all of our applications, pitches, and materials whenever we can!

Second, the Investment Readiness Programme was an excellent motivator for our team to consider all aspects of our business model in detail. Not only were there structured lessons and tasks, but we were also assigned two experienced mentors who regularly provided feedback to improve on our ideas. From articulating our vision and mission to applying lean startup principles, to developing a revenue and cost model, our team learned a number of new tools and used them to strengthen our project. For example, we carried out a SWOT analysis as well as Porter’s Five Forces analysis during Week 10, which then enabled us to identify key strategic priorities in the coming months and years. We ended up with a pitch deck that we can confidently use to pitch for funding and partnerships.

Finally, just knowing that we had been selected by a panel of 24 experts, out of thousands of applications, has been a source of encouragement for everyone in the organization. Young people’s ideas are often dismissed, and we often doubt ourselves and our projects as well. Therefore, being included in the Youth Solutions Report 2019 gave us confidence that our efforts are on the right track to make the world more equal and sustainable!

If you are working on an initiative that contributes to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), we would encourage you to give this a shot - apply! The recognition, resources, and encouragement that you can gain from this are well worth your time.

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