Innovation America Innovation America Accelerating the growth of the GLOBAL entrepreneurial innovation economy
Founded by Rich Bendis

I [Terry Young] recently found a webs te launched in the Fall 2009 that is truly amazing in its potential impact upon entrepreneurship and subsequent national economic development. ImagineNations Network is a social networking platform for young entrepreneurs to connect to their peers, suppo ters, NGOs, financing sources, and others committed to helping young people build businesses and livelihoods around the world. ImagineNations Network helps educate, mentor and empower young entrepreneurs within the age limits of 15-29.

A young person registering as an "Entrepreneur" builds a profile describing the current idea or project and all background and contact information.  The advantages for a young entrepreneur to join are to (i) find individuals or groups with sim lar interests, (ii) find mentors to help them launch their project or to grow the new start-up business, and (iii) obtain answers to crucial business questions.

On the other side of the coin, a seasoned business person joins he Network as a "Supporter." The website lists three reasons for a business person to become a Supporter, (i) "make an impact" upon communities of the world, (ii) save time: the Network helps busy business professionals find convenient and rewarding oppo tunities to mentor or offer advice by using the Network, e-mail, Skype, telephone, etc., and (iii) cultivate skills, tackle new challenges, and sharpen mentoring and advising skills. We could envision other reasons to participate, such as the personal re ard of becoming an angel investor in a new small business, or expanding international experiences.

I registered this morning as a Supporter, a simple process. Immediately the site generated a shortlist of entrepreneurs whose needs most closely matched the background information I provided in completing my personal profile, a nice touch!

Now, I can be found by entrepreneurs seeking someone with my skills. Conversely, I can contact an entrepreneur to initiate a business relationship. Contact is made through the communication features of the Network. Both the young entrepreneur and potential Supporters are shown, listed alphabetically, with location and basic needs for the one, and location and basic skill sets for the other.  In perusing the list of Supporters, I found more than 1,000 individuals approximately half-way through the alphabet. If the numbers for entrepreneurs are similar, this is indeed a large network with plenty of mentoring taking place! Most of the participating entrepreneurs are from countries other than the United States.

Give it a try. The website for ImagiNations Network is The Network is a new project of ImagiNations (, and is supported by the World Bank Group, Cisco Foundation, and Mercy Corps, 
Author: Terry Young, Editor
Beyond the First World