2 min read
Co-Author: Amanda Kee
Objective of the Webinar
More than 50% of youths across emerging Southeast Asian markets who participated in AVPN’s youth priority study said they struggled with their mental health within the last one month. In India alone, 383 youths die by suicide everyday. The silver lining is that many funders are finally starting to recognise that mental health in Asia must become a top priority for youth development.
Yet, there is still a lack of long-term capital in fields such as mental wellbeing and social-emotional learning. Often deemed separate from mainstream education curriculum and healthcare services, these intersectional solutions often do not have the resources to keep up with the growing demand for such support.
In this context, AVPN organized the webinar on ”Best Practices in Funding Under-Supported Youth Interventions for Systems Change” on 20th October for funders to learn best practices and explore innovative financing vehicles in order to make equitable, long term investments. At the same time, entrepreneurs can also evaluate their position, and find tangible ways to become more funder-ready.
Key Highlights from Fireside Chat between Richa and Supriya
- One of the key challenges for early stage startups or for young founders is to advocate for and demonstrate the impact of systems change. One of the best support that funders can give to founders is early stage, unrestricted funding. This can provide an enabling environment for founders to take risks and fail, demonstrate faith in their long term vision, and a deep understanding of the growth process.
- Funders must acknowledge the funding gap in India, in which funders typically invest in programmes rather than in the organisations. This limits vision, and there is a call for funders to shift mindsets, because good programmes are products of a good organisation.
- Both Richa and Supriya encouraged founders to have open conversations with funders to pilot initiatives, be bold in building a strong and large vision, and keep the importance of building evidence bases are important as the organisation grows.
Identified Ecosystem Priorities
- Funders must take the time to intimately know the issues that they want to tackle in order to walk alongside the impact organisations. This way, funders can provide more tailored funding support to meet the dynamic needs of young people.
- There is a need to develop a more transparent ecosystem to understand where the needs are, who the players are, and what types of capital are required.
- There is a need for more equitable funding to support women-led organisations and youth-led organisations.
- While there is a need to pay attention to emerging or under-focused communities, we also need to pay close attention to ‘traditional’ youth development areas to ensure continuous innovation.