JCI recognized by WBAF for Global Efforts to Support Youth Entrepreneurship

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The World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) has recognized JCI (Junior Chamber International) as an outstanding partner in the development of global entrepreneurship with a World Excellence Award. WBAF presented the honor, a Special Recognition Award for Global Efforts to Support Youth Entrepreneurship, to JCI on 21 February, and 2021 JCI President Ryubun Kojima accepted the recognition on behalf of the organization.

“JCI is honored by what this represents,” President Ryubun Kojima said. “By recognizing JCI with the Excellence Award, WBAF encourages JCI members to keep reaching for greater heights. We will continue to create leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators that can turn global challenges into opportunities.” 

2021 JCI President Ryubun Kojima accepts the Special Recognition Award on behalf of JCI on 21 February.

The WBAF World Excellence Awards recognize those who stand out in shaping the future of an entrepreneurial world. The award celebrates high growth and success in the angel and early-stage investment market – recognizing the fastest growing brands and acknowledging the founders, angels, crowd-funders and early-stage venture capital investors behind them.

WBAF Executive Chairman Baybars Altuntas, who is also a JCI Ambassador, said that recognizing the impact entrepreneurship can have on the future is of crucial importance, especially given the diverse challenges facing the world in the twenty-first century.

“The World Business Angels Investment Forum aims to contribute to that impact by driving positive changes that will facilitate entrepreneurship by recognizing global movers and shakers,” Executive Chairman Baybars said. “Fostering entrepreneurship whose effects can be felt in both economic and social arenas is a hallmark of the World Business Angels Investment Forum. I congratulate all awardees for their global efforts to empower the world economy through entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Though the two organizations have been longtime partners, JCI and WBAF came together in November 2020 with an official Memorandum of Understanding to address the world’s pressing economic challenges together. Together, JCI and WBAF aim to promote financial and digital inclusion, female leadership, business development and entrepreneurial skills development. 

Last year also marked the start of the JCI RISE Initiative, which set out to rebuild economies, support the workforce and preserve mental health in response to the global pandemic. With COVID-19’s continuing impact in the new year, the partnership between the organizations has been more important and valuable than ever as local and global economies seek solutions. 

“Young people around the world are entering the workforce in a very turbulent time….they need to be reinforced with the qualities of self-discipline and empathetic leadership,” 2021 JCI President Ryubun Kojima said. “We will nurture those qualities this year through our Creative Young Entrepreneur Program. With this revitalized program, we plan to begin testing the skills and ingenuity of young leaders, to better equip them for success in this changing world and to give them access to smart finance, hopefully with the support of angel investors.

“Only by working together are we going to be able to solve the greatest challenges facing the world. JCI members need to think how they can use our amazing partners, like WBAF, in their JCI RISE projects at the local, national and international level. With our shared goals and combined talent, WBAF and JCI can do wonders to support startups and female entrepreneurship, and encourage digital and financial inclusion.”

For more information about JCI’s partnerships, the JCI RISE Initiative, or the Creative Young Entrepreneur program, visit juniorchamber.international.

About JCI

JCI, a global leadership organization, provides personal and professional development opportunities to young leaders ages 18 to 40. Through its international network of 110 countries around the world, JCI unites government, business and civil society and empowers the leaders of tomorrow to turn challenges into opportunities today. For more information, visit juniorchamber.international

About WBAF

As an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) is committed to collaborating globally to empower the economic development of the world by fostering innovative financial instruments for startups, scaleups, innovators, entrepreneurs and SMEs and to promoting gender equality and women’s participation in all sectors of the world economy. WBAF invites you to join our global efforts to ease access to finance, promote financial inclusion, and create more jobs and social justice.