Youth & Social Business

Youth & Social Business is a training programme for high school students of Pistoia and its surroundings. High School students are involved in a series of classes and workshops carried out during school hours. The aim of the Programme is to disseminate social business theories to high school boys and girls and help them to try to develop their own social business idea.

Innovation, economic-financial sustainability and social / environmental impact are the central concepts of  the whole training, with a particular emphasis on the explanation of the importance of promotion and communication. At the end of the Programme, groups of students who have developed their own social business idea according to the guidelines provided during the training, will compete among each other in a final competition.

The three ideas deemed most worthy by the jury will be awarded during the final event of the Programme. Projects will be evaluated by jurors coming from the YSBCUF,  the Cassa di Risparmio Pistoia and Pescia Foundation and the Un Raggio di Luce Onlus Foundation.

The first prize is a trip abroad for all the members of the winning group, while the second prize is a trip to Italy and third parties win a voucher to purchase books. The Italian and abroad journeys are intended to be an occasion to discover and learn social businesses elsewhere, to understand their work and the impact they have on nearby communities.

Structure of the Programme

The training cycle is divided in two phases.

  • The first phase is a general introduction, aimed at explaining what social business is and at showing  example of social businesses operating in the territory of Pistoia.
  • The second phase is more practical and dedicated to business design, communication strategies and the analysis of the material that has to submitted to the jury to participate to the competition.

The training phase is followed by a remote assistance by YSBCUF Researchers to student groups who want to participate to the final competition. Furthermore, during the first meetings, Researchers will provide student with training materials and publications to students who want to deepen particular topics.

Youth & Social Business Competition


Students can ask for YSBCUF support during the development phase of the social business idea. They can also ask for help and meet in person with YSBCUF Researchers when asked to fill the simplified business plan of thei social business idea.

Evaluation of social business ideas

The social business ideas submitted by student teams will be evaluated by a jury composed by YSBCUF Researchers, members of the Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia and Pescia Foundation and the Un Raggio di Luce Foundation. The role of the jury is to identify the three final winners of the competition.

From ideas to videos

Participants to the competition that overcome the first phase of the competition, will be assisted by professional videomakers to shoot promotional videos to explain their ideas. Videos will later be uploaded to Youtube on the YSBCUF channel.

Students need to promote their video to get the most possible likes on their business idea to increase their winning chances.

Discover the videos

Final ceremony

The scores obtained during the first evaluation phase added to the number of likes received on Youtube will allow the jury to draw up a final ranking and select the winners.

The jury will assign prizes during the final ceremony which is a public event.


At the end of the Programme, YSBCUF will submit to students a survey concerning their experience during the Youth & Social Business Programme. They will be asked to evaluate the structure of the training, the level of trainers, their availability to answer students’ questions and the level of interest stimulated by the programme.

Youth & Social Business from 2014  to 2016

First year of Youth & Social Business