Helping young people turn their dreams into reality – that’s our goal!

Are you between 16 and 30 years old and do the following statements resonate with you?

  • I want to make something of my life
  • I want to discover what skills, knowledge and attitudes I need to think and act in an entrepreneurial manner
  • I speak Dutch or French
  • I don’t have qualifications that are recognised in Belgium
  • I don’t have a permanent (full-time) job
  • I’m not a full-time student

…If so, YouthStart is definitely something for you!

You can join our training programme for free. More than 8,000 young people have already taken on the challenge. How about you?


During the YouthStart training programme, you and 10 to 15 other opportunity-seeking young people will be coached by two YouthStart trainers. The eight-day course, which is spread out over several weeks, will inspire you to think and act in an entrepreneurial manner. Using your talents and dreams as a starting point, you will develop a feasible business idea. We will help turn your business idea into a business plan. On the final day of the course you will have the opportunity to present your plan to an advisory board. What do you stand to gain? In exchange for your efforts, you will receive the much-desired YouthStart certificate.


YouthStart was launched in 1998 by Gaëtan Hannecart, who in turn was inspired by Steve Mariotti, founder of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

Steve developed a training programme specifically for underserved high school students in the US. He believes that every young person has the potential and entrepreneurial abilities to take charge of their future. YouthStart Belgium was the first European organisation to offer the unique NFTE programme. Together with all our NFTE partners from around the world and with support from thousands of certified trainers, we have already made a difference in the lives of over 800,000 young people.


Don’t listen to us blowing our own trumpet, listen instead to
other people blowing our trumpet…

  • “I’ve been blessed with many opportunities in life. YouthStart’s students experience difficulties or are underprivileged in this sense. This doesn’t mean they haven’t got the potential for greatness. Their dreams deserve to be seen, heard and passed on. I’m a passionate believer of untapped potential in people. I see it as my mission to empower and inspire students to take charge of their lives and to equip them with the skills to turn their passion into entrepreneurial opportunities.”
    Caroline Dobbeleir
    YouthStart trainer
  • “Last December, I was asked to join the panel of judges for YouthStart’s Business Plan Competition. What an exceptional experience! It was great to hear these young people talk about their projects with such passion, and to see them pushing themselves out of their comfort zones and enjoying their new adventures. It was a truly heart-warming experience. Thanks to YouthStart for making this possible.”
    Corentin Scarcez
  • “It’s a fantastic opportunity for young people to meet the YouthStart trainers and learn more about their training methods. They offer high-quality work and our youth deserve to benefit from what YouthStart has to offer. The best part for me was attending the certificate ceremony and seeing the difference only a limited number of training sessions can make. My goal for today is to repeat the experience with YouthStart and a new group of young people.”
    Dominique Bernard
    CPAS Braine-l’Alleud
  • “Today’s generation of young people is facing unprecedented technological, social and economic changes. Young people need practical and versatile skills in order to be considered for meaningful jobs. The Citi Foundation focuses on training programmes that provide young people with support to link education to management skills. That’s why YouthStart is a strong partner for Citi Foundation in Belgium. By offering an efficient, effective and innovative training programme that gets young people excited about entrepreneurship and enables them to overcome obstacles and reach their full potential, YouthStart is in line with our ambitions.”
    Lars Seynaeve
    Citi Foundation
  • “YouthStart has huge added value for us. YouthStart gives students a boost and builds their self-esteem, allowing them to dream bigger and pursue higher goals. All our teachers are very satisfied with how the collaboration with YouthStart has worked out.”
    Ludo Viaene
    Coordinator CLW Campus Petrus en Paulus Oostende
  • "I enjoy teaching courses that inspire young people to think and act in an entrepreneurial manner and support them in their entrepreneurial endeavours. I help each participant recognise opportunities and contribute to enhancing their future career prospects. Being a trainer means working with young people on a personal level. I find this very inspiring!”
    Lydie Amici
    YouthStart trainster
  • “At first I felt overwhelmed by the amount of information I had to process. But thanks to the excellent guidance provided by the motivated trainers, I began to see the wood for the trees. Slowly but surely my project started to take form. The fact that I’m deaf was not an obstacle, because I was able to get extra support where needed. I also found it increasingly easy to speak in front of an audience. It was also an opportunity for me to show that having a disability doesn’t need to hold you back. This was confirmed by the fact that I was selected for the National Final, and subsequently, by winning the Public Prize. This prize allowed me to prove myself on a European stage in Sofia. I firmly believe that if you are offered the opportunity to take part in a YouthStart course, you should jump at the chance. It opens doors in ways you’ve never imaged and allows you to grow in every sense.” Thank you YouthStart for all the opportunities!”
    Phebe Verstraeten
    YouthStart alumnus
  • "YouthStart knows that each person has an entrepreneurial spirit; the question is how to unlock it. The quality of the training course is amazing! I would recommend it to everyone interested in self-development, working in business and other fields! The YouthStart training is quite confrontational and can be a bit overwhelming, especially at first. But the guidance provided by the inspiring trainers helps you to relax into the process and makes everything easy. Shouting, laughing, crying, not giving up, hallelujah – emotions like these make the course all the more intense. :-) Thanks to YouthStart, my presentation skills have improved and I’m a lot more focused. Every day in my work I apply the skills that I gained from YouthStart. If I, Wali Sediqi, can do it, so can you!”
    Wali Sediqi
    YouthStart alumnus

With much appreciated support from:

Thanks to

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  • teamdigital