Somali Youth Development Fund

The submission deadline has passed and we are no longer accepting applications.
The Somali Youth Development Fund at Youthprise supports positive youth development with Somali youth and capacity building for organizations serving Somali youth.

About the Fund

Youthprise manages the Somali Youth Development Fund to support positive youth development activities, community engagement, and capacity building for Somali-led community-based organizations. Youthprise oversees a transparent and competitive grantmaking process designed to enable youth engagement to help build the resiliency of the Somali Minnesotan community and address structural challenges facing Somali youth.

Somali YES! Fund

The Somali YES! Fund is an initiative that invests directly into projects led by Somali youth entrepreneurs. This initiative is a part of the Somali Youth Development Fund established to build the entrepreneurial capacity of Somali youth with awesome ideas but limited access to the capital for implementation. Using the model of Youthprise’s original YES! Fund, The Somali YES! Fund invests money into projects led by Somali youth entrepreneurs with big ideas, and offers a flexible menu of entrepreneurial options. We are looking to support young people in developing a business, non-profit or project. Funding options range from robust business planning opportunities for the emerging entrepreneur to funding for the entrepreneur who is ready to launch with additional capacity building support. The competitive grantmaking process is open now through August 11th.

Qualifications:

  • Must be a Somali youth entrepreneur, ages 14-25
  • Live in Minnesota
  • Strong willingness and desire to share and mobilize a big idea
  • Proposed project must address an issue in the applicant’s community, whether geographic or other

What does a YES! Fund grantee do?

  • 1 year commitment beginning September 1, 2017
  • Participate in business plan development sessions with the YES! Fund cohort
  • Complete implementation plan

What does a YES! Fund grantee get?

  • $15,000 or $25,000 start-up funding with $5,000 additional support toward business plan development

The YES! Fund is a part of the second round of 2017 SYDF grantmaking intended invest directly in Somali youth, not just the organizations that serve them. The YES! Fund grants will be complemented with a SYDF YouthBank, a youth-led grantmaking model hosted by several Somali-led organizations in Minnesota. Both of these initiatives of the SYDF put money directly into the hands of Somali youth.

The Somali YES! Fund will activate the four levers that drive our work: racial equity; leveraging; growing the role of youth, and systems alignment. We believe that the YES! Fund will yield a tremendous return on our investment because we know that established entrepreneurs are interested in providing jobs to young people and reinvesting in their communities. We see this happening with many of the entrepreneurial models we support. The notion of entrepreneurship is very central to the Youthprise investment portfolio, from capacity building investments to Change Fellows to Opportunity Reboot, entrepreneurship is integral to our work as a youth community foundation.

Requirements & Restrictions

  • You must be a Somali youth age 14-25 to apply
  • Applicants must submit a video that details their project and goals
  • Include original content in your application. Do not submit a video that has been submitted elsewhere.
  • Video must NOT be longer than 5 minutes.
  • Avoid profane language, violence, sex or personal attacks on people or organizations.
  • Avoid violating copyright laws or using brand names or logos other than those you have been granted permission to use in your video. You agree to indemnify Youthprise for any claim, demand, judgment, or other allegation arising from your possible violation of someone’s trademark, copyright, or other legally protected interest in any way in your video.

Review Process

Youthprise staff and a panel of youth will review all video applications, score on a standard rubric, and select YES! Fund grantees. Notifications will be made by August 31st, 2017.

Click here for the full application.

Investing in Somali and East African Youth

Minnesota is home to many high-potential, creative and bright Somali youth whose families and communities have greatly contributed to our international landscape. If you walk the streets of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, you can find Somali malls, cafes and organizations that are filled with a vibrant community of poets, educators and entrepreneurs. Minnesota’s Somali community is a distinct and celebratory part of our global home.

There are many challenges facing Somali-Minnesotan youth including a lack of access to resources, racism, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiments. We know that the communities most impacted by these issues must be central to developing effective responses. Youthprise has a long history of supporting organizations that serve East African and Somali youth and we are committed to building the capacity of these organizations and the youth themselves to advance youth success.

Somali Youth Development Fund 2017

At Youthprise we invest in the future of Minnesota by investing in youth, with focus in underserved communities. We also have a long history of supporting organizations that serve East African and Somali youth and we are committed to building the capacity of these organizations and the youth themselves to advance youth success.

Youthprise established the Somali Youth Development Fund to support positive youth development programs, community engagement partnerships, and capacity building for Somali-led community-based organizations. The Somali Youth Development Fund is a part of a public-private partnership that seeks to build the capacity of the Somali community, facilitate better coordination of resources, and provide a holistic approach to youth development. Read our updated statement that addresses concerns regarding sources for the fund here.

In 2016, Youthprise received state funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to reduce disparities and address challenges facing Somali youth. In 2017 we offered grants through a competitive application processes to:

  • Build the capacity of small to mid-size organizations serving Somali youth in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area;
  • Build the capacity of small to mid-size organizations serving Greater Minnesota; and to
  • Strengthen partnerships through an Initiative Grant for Youth and Community Engagement program by investing deeper in a limited number projects that effectively engage youth and families from the Somali community.

Click below to learn about our Grantees

2017 SYDF Capacity Building Grantees

2017 SYDF Initiative Grantees

Now, more than ever, it is vital that we invest in Minnesota’s Somali community. The political climate is shifting and the normalization of Islamophobia is threatening young people’s safety and pathways to success. We will continue to invest in the Somali community and use our resources to challenge Islamophobia in our state.

Contact:

If you have questions please contact Salah Ali at salah@youthprise.org.