Veronica Colondam has been championing social entrepreneurship in Indonesia since the establishment of YCAB Foundation in 1999. YCAB believes that education is the basis to improve welfare and therefore focuses on youth empowerment and livelihood. To date YCAB has touched the lives of more than three million underprivileged youth through education and entrepreneurship and its mission-driven microfinance program where education is made the precondition to loan. Veronica holds a double degree in communications and public relations and an MSc. in social science from Imperial College, London (2001). She is a speaker and author of several books on youth development and risky behavior and the recipient of several awards and recognition, such as the UN Solution Maker in 2017, Forbes' 48 Asian Philanthropist in 2015, or EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011.
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- YCAB Foundation
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- Hybrid Social Enterprise
- Education and Skills; Sustainable Development; Youth Perspectives
- Areas of Impact
- ASEAN, Lao PDR, Myanmar
Established in 1999, YCAB Foundation is the founding and flagship organization of the YCAB Social Enterprise Group, which bases its operations on a mutually reinforcing and financially sustainable social change model. YCAB's mission is to improve welfare through education and inclusive financing. YCAB aims to encourage underprivileged youths to become self-reliant through economic empowerment and education as it believes in the power of education to break the poverty cycle.
To accomplish this mission, YCAB applies innovative financing to break financial barriers for school dropouts so they can further their education, including soft skills and vocational training. YCAB achieves this by implementing unique, mission-driven microfinance where education is the precondition to a loan. Since 2010, 116,337 women microentrepreneurs have received loans. The repayment rate is 98.4%. Furthermore, around 70% of YCAB's graduates get jobs and retain them for at least one year following their graduation; women microentrepreneurs can double their daily income within 12 months of intervention because they are able to use their loan to grow their microbusinesses. Many of them became more confident in planning their future and to start saving for it. In addition, almost every microfinance group of women will send at least one youth back to school every year, bringing in thousands of youth who would otherwise have dropped out.
YCAB is now exploring ways to implement the last link in its change model: to create a sustainable system whereby students who graduate and become entrepreneurs or employed can pay it forward, by giving back or investing in a mutual fund to help grow and scale YCAB's mission-driven microfinance so more youths will be empowered to take control of their own destiny. To date, YCAB has empowered more than 3.3 million youths; by 2020, YCAB aims to reach five million youths in six countries in South-East Asia and raise $50 million in social investment funds. Since 2013, YCAB has actively operated its education programmes in Myanmar and Laos.