Meet YBI’s Kickstart Scheme Team Members

YBI’s two decades of experience in youth entrepreneurship and many reports evidencing the importance of young people to the global economy and building back better when it comes to environmental and social issues means that we have prioritised the training and mentorship of young people in our own team.  

As a result, we are proud to participate in the government’s Kickstart Scheme, which provides funding to employers to create new jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. 

Meet Diana, Ellarene, Lauren, Luke, and Merline, our Kickstarters bringing their individual passions, skills, and expertise to YBI across several departments. 


Why did you choose YBI when applying with Kickstarter? 

My dream since I was little was to work in publishing, but as I got older I realised the root of that dream was to use my writing abilities and interest in language to communicate things which are truly meaningful in my eyes. I also knew I needed more experience in copyediting and copywriting, as well as general evidence of administrative and office experience in order to pursue a permanent contract, especially in the incredibly competitive field of publishing, and in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Additionally, while completing my English degree, one of my scholarship requirements was to volunteer at a charity, and I volunteered at Royal Trinity Hospice Shops throughout my three years of study. I had also volunteered when I went to school and so, when I started looking for Kickstarter placements, I looked for third sector organisations which I thought were doing important work, in the hopes that I could help make the world a better place through doing my job. 

Youth Business International really stood out to me due to its mission of helping other young people who had struggled to find employment and had turned to the challenging field of entrepreneurship, because I had experienced first-hand what long-term unemployment during the pandemic was like. I initially applied for an administrative position, but, luckily, YBI’s brilliant HR manager instead suggested that I would be a good fit for a Junior Communications role they had, and here I am! 

What skills etc. have you learned/what do you hope to learn as part of your placement? 

As I’ve now completed my placement, looking back I’ve learned so much that it’s sometimes hard to even wrap my head around it all at once! I started working when lockdown was still in effect, so some of the first things I learned included how to work with Microsoft Teams and how challenging it is to get to know people at the workplace digitally. Nonetheless, I think that was a valuable experience in terms of diversifying my social skills to fit the totally new set of demands the pandemic produced in the workplace. 

Aside from that, I learned tonnes of new software, including Google Analytics, Canva, Vuelio, Shorthand, Social Suitcase, Salesforce, and how to work with the backend of a website and liaise with website designers. And, of course, I got plenty of experience copywriting and editing social media posts and blogs, and uploading things to various platforms. 

What are your career plans and aspirations for the future? 

My aspirations have widened to include working with non-profit organisations as a result of my experience at YBI. I’ve was initially taken on for a few more months outside of the Kickstart scheme, and I would have loved to stay here, but my contract is ending in December so I’m looking forward to finding my next role. 

I hope that I can continue to do work that I am proud of an which allows me to use my writing for a good cause, whether that’s as part of a diverse publishing house or in the communications department of another non-profit organisation. Considering how much more work is left to be done in the environmental sector especially, that is the next area I have set my sights on. 


Why did you choose YBI when applying with Kickstarter? 

I chose YBI because I was intrigued about the work that they did in multiple countries. I was happy to see that they had members in the Caribbean (where my family are from) and the success stories were quite moving. Also, they were the only company offering a role in Data, and since Maths has always been my favourite subject in school, I wanted to try it out. 

What skills etc. have you learned/what do you hope to learn as part of your placement? 

I hope to increase my skills in Excel and any other software programs that are used in the company. I also hope to keep having conversations with our international members because it is interesting to learn about other cultures. 

What are your career plans and aspirations for the future? 

I am not sure where I want my career to go in the future, but I enjoy anything mathematical based, and this role is already keeping me on my toes so it would be great to stay. 


Why did you choose YBI when applying with Kickstarter? 

Ever since the age of 7, reading and writing has always been a platform that I have loved and excelled in, prompting me to study English Literature at university. Whilst at university, I found myself volunteering to proofread and edit essays and dissertations which sparked my interest in working in publishing. I was fortunate enough to complete work experience with Penguin Random House, however I knew this would not be enough experience to secure a position in the publishing industry. Therefore, when Simon Barnett from Generation recommended that I apply for a Junior Communications Assistant at YBI where I could use and improve my writing and editing abilities, I jumped at the chance. 

When I looked into YBI’s virtues, I found myself immersed in their work and the impact they have. My volunteering experiences improved by my written and verbal communication skills and made me proud of the impact I have achieved. I have volunteered as a Reading Mentor to GCSE students who needed additional support with their reading abilities so that they had an equal opportunity to excel in their exams, and then volunteered as part of my university’s Buddy Scheme to help students adjust to university life and access the support they are entitled to.   

Hence, the Junior Communications Assistant role with YBI stood out to me as a way of expanding my communication skills and join a network of incredible people supporting entrepreneurs globally. 

What skills do you hope to learn as part of your placement? 

Despite only joining YBI in October, I have already developed so many invaluable skills and been given opportunities to write blogs for the website, an aspect of the role that I thoroughly enjoy. Within the first three weeks, I have learned how to upload to the website using Social Suitcase and navigate my way around Canva and Excel. Over the next five months of my placement, I hope to build my confidence in using the range of software and work on a range of social media campaigns with the Comms team. 

What are your career plans/aspirations? 

Before I started my placement, my sole aim was to enter a career in book publishing. However, this role has already taught me that proofreading and editing are not skills that are only used in publishing. This placement has broadened my career aspirations and made me realise that I love the diversity that a career in Communications offers, from writing, proofreading and editing blogs to drafting social media posts. Although I haven’t been with YBI for very long, I will most certainly look for Communications roles in the future. 


Why did you choose YBI when applying with Kickstarter?  

The first thing that attracted me to YBI is the work they do and the personality of Inga, the recruiter. Inga explained the work of YBI just enough to draw my curiosity but left me interested to know more. An international company helping to uplift young entrepreneurs around the world is not something I’m familiar with, so out of all the opportunities I was exposed to on the recruitment day, YBI enchanted me the most.   

What skills etc. have you learned/what do you hope to learn as part of your placement?  

In my short time at YBI, being able to organise several different partners is something I have noticed that I’m developing more. I have been in work environments where you’re trying to balance the needs and goals of competing parties, but I have never been in a situation where I’m doing it completely digitally. It is challenging to communicate tone and persuasiveness over emails, but this role at YBI has helped me develop this skill already, especially as I am communicating with people where English is their second or third language.   

What are your career plans and aspirations for the future?  

One day I aim to work in government, perhaps in the sector of national security. It is a goal of interest to me, but I am not clamped by urgency, and I enjoy all the experiences that come my way. 


Why did you choose YBI when applying with Kickstarter? 

The reason why I chose to apply for YBI was because I was intrigued by what YBI does and how they support young entrepreneurs all around the world. I read some of the entrepreneurs’ stories on the YBI website and they were amazing. I wanted to work to be a part of it. I wanted the next role I had to be something that I was passionate about and YBI was exactly that. 

What skills etc. have you learned/what do you hope to learn as part of your placement? 

I have learnt different software skills; I have been able to build up my administrative skills e.g. sending emails, organizing interviews, events appointments etc., not taking and creating toolkits and business cases. I hope to continue to strive and learn more admin skills and also HR skills as part of my placement. 

What are your career plans and aspirations for the future? 

I would like to be part of the HR team at YBI. I believe some of the skills that I have learnt from my admin role intertwine with some of the skills you need to work in HR. 

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