Ali Raza Khan founder and CEO of YES Network Pakistan has innovated a unique trust-based model to turn young people into changemakers after having been tested with over 16000 young people from almost every walk of life.

His model did not aim at throwing money at the problem, building big infrastructure, setting up tech incubators, bringing on board investors, or looking for ‘fledgling potential’ and all these other approaches that are nice but are no model to scale to reach the hundreds of millions of young people at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’, who most need this experience and encouragement.

As of today, 88% of student teams, from 16,000 participating students in the changemaking competitions of YES were able to make a profit.

What is Youth-led Changemaking?

“It is a conscious effort of young people to discover their inherent changemaking potential by initiating an idea or activity that produces social and economic dividends.” Ali Raza Khan, Founder, YES Network Pakistan

Comparison between YES and Existing Players


YES Youth-led Changemaking Model

Existing Players (Educational Institutions and Organizations)

It follows a bottom-up approach. Everyone can join and participate in it.

It follows a top down approach. Best ideas are rewarded and supported.

Complete autonomy is provided to decide the nature of changemaking project.

Ideas are subjected to the approval of authorities.

No plan is required to begin the changemaking journey. Only desire to participate is the major condition.

Detailed plans are required for consideration before funding.

No need to pitch the idea to anyone. The focus is on doing.

Ideas need to be pitched before implementation.

Focus is on the person and the application of his or her changemaking abilities

Focus is on presentation and his or her research and communication skills

The focus is on starting early by taking feedback from the buyers.

Focus on starting late after doing a lot of research.

Pursue ‘get out of building approach’ to test their ideas.

Focus on elaborate planning.

Focus on using personal knowledge and experience.

Focus on gaining insights from experts.

No need to wait for initial investment to begin the changemaking journey

Has to wait and sell the idea before getting any financial assistance

It is open for every young person. It follows an inclusive model.

It follows an exclusive model. Young people enrolled in economic/business studies and projects can participate only.

Young people have the opportunity to experience the whole changemaking process from start to finish.

Young people’s ideas are subjected to the approval of experts.

Customer feedback is preferred right from the beginning over detailed planning.

Intuition is used to design the project.

Instant access to risk-free funding

Inaccessibility to risk-free funding. Banks don’t even talk to young people who want to borrow small funding.

Build an ecosystem first to support youth-led changemaking

Has to operate in difficult and unfavorable conditions

Striking Features of Youth-led Changemaking Model

The unique features of the Youth-led ChangeMaking model are:

● Youth-led: It assists youth to lead rather than be led.

● Self-reliance: It helps youth to become self-reliant and contributing members of the society.

● Workforce: It provides society a large number of workers at a very little expense or even no expense at all.

● Social Exclusion: It combats social exclusion by mainstreaming left out youth to drive change in their communities.

● Training Ground: It provides an excellent training ground for producing changemakers.

● Service Delivery: It develops an indigenous service delivery mechanism for the poor and left-out.

● Employment Policy: It contributes to employment policy by providing first ever full-time work experience to young people.

● Head-off Terrorism: It is an effective way to reduce the incidence of neighborhood crime, poverty, drug abuse and terrorism by engaging young people in constructive activities.

● Education in Action: It is the most effective way to counterbalance the years of largely passive education received by students in the classroom.

Conceptual Framework for Youth-led Changemaking

Youth-led Changemaking generates professionals, programs, social settings, organizations and communities to unlock the changemaking abilities of young people for the benefit of everyone.


To Unlock Changemaking Abilities

To Benefit Everyone



Social Settings















It offers substantial benefits to young people. It includes reintegration into the society as active citizens, career exploration, work experience, positive belief system, skills acquired, new identity formation, social maturity and a sense of connection and usefulness.

Impact on Society

Youth-led changemaking will result in:

-Meeting unmet service needs

-Developing and disseminating new solutions

-Peace building

-Transcending traditional social divides

-Decrease dependence