Creating a responsible and sustainable business

Our communities

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Building on our global commitment to building a better working world through our work with our clients and our markets, we also invest in our communities both local and in developing countries. 

Supporting entrepreneurs

We know, too, that entrepreneurs can transform economies, drive innovation and change communities. However, there are smaller-scale entrepreneurs worldwide who might not be able to easily access professional services. These include small- to medium-size enterprises, some women entrepreneurs who lack a network to help them grow, young entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs building a business to benefit society or the environment.

Helping these entrepreneurs is one of the most powerful ways that our people at EY can support our communities. By working with organisations like Endeavor, Kiva and Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship, we are improving the lives of an ever widening circle of people who work for, sell to and are served by their businesses.

Here are some of our other programs which support entrepreneurs:

Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY)

We want to encourage people around the world to think about what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how we can create an environment where innovation and creativity can thrive. The Entrepreneur Of The Year * and World Entrepreneur Of The Year programs are a natural extension of this commitment as both programs recognize the world's most successful and innovative entrepreneurs.

*Entrepreneur Of The Year competitions are held in more than 140 cities in 51 countries.

Entrepreneurial Winning Women (EWW)

From 25 years of experience through Entrepreneur Of The Year, EY has a strong view of entrepreneurial success, and we noticed not enough women were represented at the highest levels of achievement.

We know experienced role models and access to business-building networks are critical for women entrepreneurs and this program is designed to deliver just that. Through Entrepreneurial Winning Women, EY identifies a select group of women entrepreneurs with established, successful businesses and clear growth goals.

The program provides introductions to an influential network of entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, investors and advisors, as well as potential partners, strategic alliances, customers and suppliers, who can help the entrepreneurs think bigger and scale their companies.

EY Vantage Program

The EY Vantage Program works in collaboration with the non-profit organization Endeavor to provide support for high-impact entrepreneurs at no fee, promoting social and economic growth in emerging markets. At EY, we dedicate our most valuable resource — our talented people — to work alongside entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Since 2005, more than 120 of our top-performing mid-career professionals have served as EY Vantage Advisors. The Advisors spend six to seven weeks assisting entrepreneurs and working with them to identify and address their key business challenges. These Advisors have emerged as inclusive leaders and increased EY’s visibility and reach in the entrepreneurial sector.

By working with Endeavor and other organizations such as Power of Youth, which accelerate the growth of entrepreneurs, we’re supporting social and economic change for the communities in which we live and work, helping to improve the lives of an ever-widening circle of people.

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

EY people support the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)'s goal of bringing entrepreneurship education to low income teenagers at risk of dropping out of school. Working with students from disadvantaged backgrounds, the program helps them see the relevance of their studies as they learn skills in key subject areas alongside business and financial planning. 

As well as our people volunteering their time - judging business plan competitions, mentoring students, and teaching the NFTE curriculum:

  • An EY partner serves on every one of NFTE's Regional Advisory Boards across the US, and we are aiming to have an EY partner on every NFTE affiliate board around the world.
  • Maria Pinelli, Global Vice Chair, Strategic Growth Markets, is Chair of the NFTE board.
  • We have created the Entrepreneur Of The Year Alumni Fund, pledging to match US$300,000 in donations to NFTE in honor of Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners.


Endeavor breaks down barriers that prevent emerging-market entrepreneurs from reaching their high-impact potential. Endeavor identifies entrepreneurs who lead high-growth innovative companies in emerging markets. These entrepreneurs are then given world-class strategic advice, access to key networks and other tools that enable them to succeed.

With Endeavor's guidance they become “high-impact” – expanding employment, generating wealth and inspiring others to innovate. Often overlooked, these local entrepreneurs are now jumpstarting private sector development in their countries.

We are proud that our people:

  • Are part of their international selection panels identifying these businesses for support
  • Give our high performers the opportunity to make a difference, build their skills and develop their global mindset but spending 5-7 weeks ‘in the field’ working with the businesses.
  • Have supported businesses in 12 emerging economies: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, El Salvador, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, South Africa, Turkey and Uruguay,


Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending money to alleviate poverty. It is the world's first and largest microfinance organization.

Using the internet, Kiva encourages individuals to lend as little as US$25 to entrepreneurs from emerging economies around the world. They work with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems.

We have made a commitment to provide US$1m of value to Kiva through pro bono work. Our EY professionals from Advisory and Assurance are contributing their time to drive projects designed to assist Kiva track its flow of funds and organize and check information surrounding its activities with borrowers and lenders.

Supporting the workforce of tomorrow

Through our peoples’ time and skills, we invest in the education of tomorrow’s workforce to ensure that the skills and characteristics required to enable businesses and societies to thrive are available. 

Through skills based volunteering, our people are helping young students continue in education and stay on track. It makes a big difference to the lives of individuals but it is also helping to increase the skills and education of the next generation of workers.

Here are a few of our initiatives around the world:

NextGen (Africa)

The program was launched in South Africa in 2012, the program selects a group of young girls to attend a unique and exciting curriculum to prepare them for university and beyond. They complete an innovative course in leadership, entrepreneurship, and African studies.

The program aims to make great strides in a continent where only about one third of women participate in local economic activity. We see great possibility in the economic force that women in Africa could represent, if nurtured and developed because the continent cannot reach its potential with half its resources untapped.

Pathways to education (Canada)

Pathways to Education helps youth in low-income communities graduate from high school and successfully transition into post-secondary education. It provides a comprehensive set of academic, financial and social support to young people.

Our people volunteer with Pathways as mentors to help break down systemic barriers to education. 

The College Mentoring for Access and Persistence (MAP) program (U.S.A)

College MAP identifies economically challenged high school students who have the potential to succeed in college but need some extra help creating the “MAP” that will take them there. We work with College for Every Student (CFES), a non-profit organization committed to raising the academic aspirations of underserved young people so that they can prepare for, gain access to, and succeed in college. CFES has helped more than 100,000 underserved young people in 540 schools.

Smart Futures (UK)

Our EY program is designed to unlock career opportunities for ambitious and motivated young students from some of London's most underprivileged boroughs. Launched in 2012, the program selects young students who then have the opportunity to develop their skills and business knowledge through a series of practical experiences. It's a great way for our mentors to engage with young people as they consider their work and life options.

ABCN Programs (Australia)

EY Australia is a member of the Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN), a group of highly committed business leaders and companies who participate in mentoring programs with disadvantaged schools. EY offers a number of these structured mentoring programs to staff that aim to improve the opportunities and outcomes for students from high-needs schools. The programs give students an increased awareness of the personal, educational and vocational choices available to them as well as access to business networks.

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