Our Company

YENA is a for-profit with really strong, integral social values. Started in April 2013, YENA began as just one monthly meet up in a bar in Bristol but as demand grew, it soon became apparent that YENA would no longer be just a meet up. With demand from thousands of young ambitious individuals across the world, we decided to turn it into a fully-fledged business in April 2016.

We were founded in order to make an impact and we will always focus on how we can change the lives of our members and those around us before anything else.

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Our Vision

Our vision is lofty, but simple:

To connect the next generation of business leaders earlier, in order to create the best-equipped generation with the highest opportunity for success, there has ever been, regardless of their individual circumstances. 

Our YENA Members become a part of this generation and our Business Members directly support this mission through their subscriptions and engagement.

Our Mission

In order to help us achieve our vision, it’s important to set ourselves goals. Our current goal is to lower the failure rate of businesses in their first year from 80% by just 1%. For the UK in particular this represents 14,000 that we can help to ensure the success of and, in doing so, help to achieve our overall vision.

We currently connect over 3,000 businesses across the world and are well on our way to achieving this goal.

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Our Values

The next generation of business leader tend to live by a new generation of values, rules & ethics. Our values set the bar for the way business should be done in a modern way.

  • To help unconditionally and to see this as an achievement in itself: “If you fail, I fail. If you succeed, I succeed.” (See Ubuntu philosophy)
  • To connect others with people, opportunities and resources that can help them succeed
  • To be genuinely curious, eager to learn and engaged in people, their businesses and their impact on the world – no ‘sell, sell, sell’ mentalities
  • To strive for greatness, regardless of our circumstances and understand that there is always opportunity, no matter your situation
  • Not to judge others for their ambition, but to enable them to achieve their goals wherever possible
  • To treat others, individuals or businesses, fairly and with the highest moral virtues
  • To be entrepreneurial does not require being an entrepreneur. Taking action to progress, achieve things your peers may not and using initiative are all entrepreneurial traits. Just because you are a professional, does not mean you aren’t an entrepreneur. Our belief that the dictionary definition of the word is wrong is a constant (until it’s changed, of course).

Our Founder

After starting his first business at 19, Ash Phillips knew he would forevermore be an entrepreneur… or ‘unemployable’ as he likes to describe it. The founder of multiple businesses before turning 25, Ash has been awarded for his work in developing the next generation of entrepreneurs & professionals on lists such as The Maserati100 and being featured in the likes of Forbes and The Sunday Times.

Ash has a background in brand consultancy, design & digital marketing (specialising in social media, community building, digital customer service and personal brand development).

He started YENA after always being the youngest person at business events and wondering just where everyone else his age was. Realising that in this ‘social media age’ it’s likely people were running what looked like big brands from behind their phones or in their bedrooms, he wanted to develop a more personal aspect to disrupt this quickly. YENA bought together people just like Ash – whom had entrepreneurial approaches to their jobs, study, businesses – and there he found the makings of what is now the global YENA community.

Ash is an active campaigner for better opportunities for young entrepreneurs and a regular public speaker at all types of events (book Ash here).

In his spare time, Ash is a big film buff, self-confessed comic book geek and considers himself a bit of a gin & pizza connoisseur (not exclusively at the same time).

His biggest dream is to experience space travel and hopes that, thanks to the YENA network and the speed of technological developments today, he’ll be able to walk on another planet in his lifetime. YENA Mars, anyone?!

Ash Phillips, YENA Founder