NEW YORK, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ImagineNations Group and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) today announced that they are joining to promote ImagineNations Network (imagine-network.org), a platform of global and local portals that engages and connects young entrepreneurs to each other and to mentors, supporters, financing sources and markets to spur the development and growth of youth-led businesses.
The announcement was made today at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2010 Annual Meeting by Alan H. Fleischmann, managing director and co-founder, ImagineNations, and Jerry Yang, co-founder, Yahoo! Inc.
ImagineNations Network will be expanding its reach with the development of a mobile phone interface that will not only enhance its accessibility, convenience, and utility for users but also offer contextualized content and services to local users through the mobile phone. This is a direct response to the reality that in emerging markets, Internet usage is increasingly driven through wireless access technologies, low-cost messaging channels, and mobile net and Web services.
In addition, ImagineNations Network intends to expand its partnerships to target sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, as well as the Middle East/North Africa region. Mobile integration will take place at both the global and local levels. ImagineNations and its partners aim to grow the platform's user base to 750,000 over the next five years.
Yahoo! Inc. will use the power of its global reach to promote the ImagineNations Network through targeted media on its advertising platform. With more than 600 million unique visitors per month and a platform that reaches half of the world's online population, Yahoo! will use the power of its science, art, and scale to help promote ImagineNations Network's efforts in various regions across the globe and to engage mentors and entrepreneurs around the world. ImagineNations Network has already gathered the commitment of several thousand mentors from across the world and Yahoo!'s advertising efforts will help match them with local entrepreneurs.
"ImagineNations Network is creating opportunities for entrepreneurs around the world by providing them with access to thousands of other entrepreneurs, mentors and supporters, who may be able to help them start or grow their businesses," said ImagineNations Group Managing Director Alan H. Fleischmann. "By adding mobile phone technology and working closely with our partners, Imagine-network.org will be in a position to reach those entrepreneurs who do not have ready access to the Internet or the resources they need for their business ideas."
"Entrepreneurship creates significant opportunities for individuals and youth, as well as serving as an economic growth driver," said Jerry Yang, Yahoo! co-founder. "One of the critical factors that enables young entrepreneurs to thrive is having the resources and a network of mentors to tap for ideas, coaching, funding and information. Yahoo! is excited to partner with ImagineNations Network, an organization that is creating a global platform and ecosystem that will help make these important connections, enabling more innovators to reach their entrepreneurial dreams."
ImagineNations Network is a global technology platform with a focus on emerging markets that helps young entrepreneurs connect at the local and global level with peers, mentors, and resources so they can build businesses and livelihoods around the world. Through global and local portals, ImagineNations Network offers a one-stop platform for young people, NGOs, supporters, financing sources, commercial outlets, and others to interact virtually to promote youth-led entrepreneurship and economic development. The platform was developed by ImagineNations Group (www.imaginenations.org) in collaboration with Mercy Corps, and with support from Cisco Foundation and the Global Partnership for Youth Investment (GPYI) of the World Bank.
ImagineNations Network sets itself apart from other portals and websites by focusing on interactive experiences and high-value services designed expressly for young entrepreneurs and their supporters, rather than solely on static informational content or general social exchange opportunities. ImagineNations Network also works with other content and non-profit partners to host individual sites and maximize local community engagement.
Imagine-network.org also serves as the portal for Partners for a New Beginning (PNB), which has an emphasis on Muslim-majority countries. PNB is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization established to harness private sector and civil society resources to advance the vision President Barack Obama laid out in his Cairo speech in June 2009 of renewed engagement with Muslims around the world based on mutual respect and responsibility. PNB is chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, along with Vice-Chairs Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute and Muhtar Kent of the Coca-Cola Company, who are working with a steering committee of other prominent public, private, and civil society leaders in close partnership with the U.S. Department of State in Washington and U.S. embassies abroad.
Further, imagine-network.org is a platform for the U.S. Department of State's E-Mentor Corps, an initiative first announced at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in April 2010 and designed to inspire a new legion of mentors to support young entrepreneurs. To that end, ImagineNationsNetwork is working closely with the U.S. Department of State and PNB in realizing the E-Mentor Corps initiative.
For more information about ImagineNationsNetwork, visit www.imagine-network.org.
About ImagineNations® Group
ImagineNations® Group is a partnership-based global network that provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the financial capital, technologies, and business/leadership coaching that young women and men need in order to start micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises in emerging and frontier markets. Along with the World Bank Group, ImagineNations is the co-founder of the Global Partnership for Youth Investment and has been working to empower and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs by creating innovative, large-scale investment strategies that promote development opportunities with specific initiatives in Southeast Asia, Africa, and across the Middle East and North Africa. In developing ImagineNations Network for young entrepreneurs, ImagineNations has realized its partnership-based global vision in a technology platform, mobilizing and empowering young entrepreneurs, connecting them virtually to supporters, mentors, capital and business development resources. For more information, visit www.imaginenations.org.
Yahoo! attracts hundreds of millions of users every month through its innovative technology and engaging content and services, making it one of the most visited Internet destinations and a world-class online media company. Yahoo!'s vision is to be the center of people's online lives by delivering personally relevant, meaningful Internet experiences. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit pressroom.yahoo.com or the company's blog, Yodel Anecdotal (yodel.yahoo.com). Yahoo! is the trademark and/or registered trademark of Yahoo! Inc.
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 125 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 1,700 commitments valued at $57 billion, which have already improved the lives of 220 million people in more than 170 countries. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship, MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make a Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young leaders from business, government, and civil society. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.
SOURCE ImagineNations Group, Inc.