The Youth Sustainable Energy Hub (YSEH) is the first of its kind global platform for youth action towards SDG7. It is a flagship project of the SDG7 Youth Constituency galvanizing youth engagement in sustainable energy as we approach the halfway mark in the Decade for Sustainable Energy for All and entering the Decade of Action. 

Based on the results from the 2020-2021 cohort, 69% of YSEH participants rank funding as the top need for their projects, standing out as the key requirement for youth projects along with partnerships/networking and speaking opportunities. The partnership and networking opportunities are provided through the YSEH mentorship sessions and the format of the upcoming workshops will encourage peer to peer learning,with speaking opportunities sourced from within the SDG 7 Constituency.  As such, this leaves the key area of financing to be addressed.

The YSEH Program will comprise of three subcategories of programming:

  • Finance Education Workshop: 

“If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

The goal of this workshop series is to build the financing capacity of young project leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs.  Instead of helping them directly with funding, we aim to equip young people with knowledge to to source for their own funding and purposely grow the success of their own ventures. 

YSEH workshops allow for specificity and user interaction accommodating active peer-to-peer learning through regional breakout sessions. By developing their own financing strategy and finding their brand identity, the project teams will hopefully be able to overcome the biggest hurdle faced by youth projects: access to funding.

As the projects grow, it will be expected that the youth innovators or entrepreneurs develop more skills and refine their ideas, but we expect the program to adequately prepare them for initial funding stages and help scaffold their initial growth. 

Topics covered:

  1. Fundraising Techniques 
  2. Pitch Development 
  3. Grant/Proposal Writing 
  4. Digital Marketing and Branding 
  5. Business Modeling 
  6. Intergovernmental Support
  7. Legal Agreements
  8. Project Risk Assessment
  • Mentorship Program: 

The mentorship program is designed to provide guidance to teams looking for support from experts and experienced mentors with an understanding of how to best improve the team’s approach and strategy. The teams also get a chance to interact with partners and build their network with reputable organizations such as IRENA, UNDP, SE4ALL, and UNIDO.

  • Pitch Competition / Crowdfunding Connections:

The culmination of the 6-month program will be the pitch competition, providing an opportunity for the project teams to showcase their newly-developed skills and apply what they learned in a real-life setting. 

  • The competition will have two rounds:
    • First round will be private and feature all the participants (in theory, every team in YSEH should participate in this segment). The top 10 teams will then proceed to the final rounds, while an additional 20 best participants will also proceed to the People’s Choice Award
    • The final round will have a panel consisting  of partners and event sponsors.. Partners may consider directly funding projects at their discretion 

Selection Criteria For Projects 

  • Goal Alignment
  • Youth-led/youth-serving project focuses on sustainable energy and aligns with SDG7 YC and UN goals
  • Functionality and Relevance
  • Project solves a problem (that has not been or not sufficiently addressed by existing initiatives) supported by evidence that the team understands the target audience
  • Consider the intended scope, benefits, and effects of the project on the community
  • Financial Planning
  • Great financial awareness with clear idea of costs, and other budgetary analysis for the project to be sustainable
  • Understanding of how the team will meet financial needs for both short-term operations and long-term growth of the project
  • Team
  • Clear motivation  from a diverse team comprised of members with unique skill sets based on collaborative experiences 
  • Implementability
  • Have a clear idea of tangible impacts in the community and metrics to measure the impacts
  • Understanding key barriers to implementing the project on the proposed scale of implementation and an idea of how to overcome them over a set timeline/schedule


The application is composed of 3 sections : Personal Information, Project Details and Long Answer Question. Applicants will be given the opportunity to provide links to social media accounts and provide further information on the nature and context of the project. 

Long Answer Questions

  1. What is your personal motivation to tackle this problem? What inspired you to create this project? (250 words max.)
  2. What are your main expenses? How do you  cover them? Outline any sources of funding  (150 words max)
  3. What are the main challenges running your project? (150 words max)
  4.  How will you measure success for your project? What indicators will you apply and how many people do you plan on impacting with the project?
  5. Is there anything else you would like the selection committee to consider? (100 words max) (OPTIONAL)

The link to the application form can be found here. The application should take 30 – 45 minutes to apply.

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