Entrepreneurs create jobs and build communities

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EY is well known in the marketplace as a friend to entrepreneurs. Our Growth Markets practice has helped many of the world’s most dynamic young companies grow into industry leaders. EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, which celebrates successful entrepreneurs in 50 countries worldwide, is the most prestigious award of its kind. Google, IKEA and Starbucks are all former Entrepreneur Of The Year winners.

Working with and supporting entrepreneurs has given us a profound understanding of the value of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs create jobs and transform communities as well as industries. And entrepreneurs are extremely resourceful in both good times and bad. A recent study by the Kauffman Foundation highlighted how more than half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 were founded during a recession or bear market.

We encourage our people to donate their skills to smaller ventures that otherwise could not access such specialized business advice but that still have the potential to contribute significantly to the economy of a household, a village or an entire nation.


In September 2008, we announced an in-kind donation of up to $1 million of professional services to Kiva.org, the world’s first not-for-profit website that provides person-to-person micro-lending. EY is mobilizing its skilled professionals around the world to assist Kiva.org in increasing the transparency of its microfinance process.

EY Vantage

This competitive program sends high-performing EY people to high-impact entrepreneurs in Central and South America for three-month assignments. EY Vantage projects are designed to improve the integrity and effectiveness of the entrepreneurs’ key business processes and to use the unique skills of each of our professionals

Best practices in international corporate volunteering

The EY Vantage program was featured in an independent study conducted by FSG Social Impact Advisors, Best Practices in International Corporate Volunteering. As noted by the study, the program leverages “its most valuable assets to help promising entrepreneurs create sustainable economic value” and is one of the top corporate approaches to making a positive impact abroad.

A focus on in high-impact entrepreneurs

We work with Endeavor, a respected non-profit organization in the field of entrepreneurship, to place our Corporate Responsibility Fellows with high-impact entrepreneurs that have a proven track record for delivering exceptional value in terms of both revenue growth and job creation, and are a source of innovation in the market. The entrepreneurs we assist through the program generally employ more than 200 people. They create long-term value: the companies Endeavor works with have a 96% survival rate over ten years, while most emerging market entrepreneurs are in business for 42 months or less. In addition, 80% of Endeavor entrepreneurs invest in research and development, and at least half have secured, or are in the process of securing, patents.

Junior Achievement

In Edmonton, our people volunteer with Junior Achievement’s Business Basics and Economics of Staying in School programs for elementary and junior high-school students. The programs teach younger students about business — while showing older students that getting a good education is the smart career choice.

In our Montreal office, our people volunteer as judges for the awards ceremony, and as advisors to the participants. Stephane Leblanc, one of our partners in Montreal, sits on Junior Achievement’s board of directors, and has been an executive committee member for the past five years.


Through local universities — Wilfrid Laurier and Waterloo — our Kitchener office supports an initiative called Launchpad, where young entrepreneurs present new business ideas to judging panels. The students compete for startup funds and business advice, which is provided by our young tax and accounting professionals — many of whom participated in the program when they attended university.

Please note: EY does not accept unsolicited requests for funding or volunteer engagements.