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Business Initiatives for Youth

Many youth find it difficult to be part of traditional educational structures. They drop out of school and find themselves in a downward spiral. Integrating youth into independent business initiatives allows them to become part of a normative and challenging environment where they gain practical skills, learn to take responsibility, accept discipline and become acquainted with the business world.

What is Business Initiatives for Youth?

ELEM establishes independent businesses or partners with companies to provide ELEM youth with training, jobs and even participation in management. Involvement in businesses provides youth with a sense of belonging to a group, improves their self-image and enables them to experience success in the workplace. Participants acquire professional experience and develop personal skills, a work ethic, negotiation skills, acceptance of authority, interpersonal communication, time – management and decision – making skills.

New Trends

  • Identifying and addressing the needs of young mothers, a new target population.

  • A significant rise in the number of youth in poverty.

Who is served?

Youth aged 16 to 26, most of whom have dropped out of formal schooling and who are involved with criminal behavior, substance abuse or other significant challenges. To be selected for this program, participants must be capable of undergoing a process of personal development in order to take on a job with high demands.



Nailit is a business venture that provides express pedicure and manicure services while providing at- risk young mothers with a source of income, training, therapeutic guidance, empowerment and the skills needed to open their own businesses.

Liliyot Restaurant and Liliyot Bakery

The Liliyot Restaurant in Tel Aviv has been operating since 2000 offering youth at-risk professional training in culinary, baking and pastry- making skills. The training program at Liliyot runs for about 18 months and is tailored to the needs and abilities of each participant. The Liliyot project is a joint initiative of ELEM and the Liliyot Group, private entrepreneurs who have placed social action at the focus of their business. They give people from disadvantaged populations a chance to change their future and become integral members of society by including them into the workforce.

Mataim Restaurant

The Mataim restaurant, which opened in 2012, is a kosher dairy restaurant in the heart of the Ramat HaNadiv nature reserve that trains and employs at-risk youth from the area.

Coffee & Company

The Coffee & Company café was opened in 2011 in the head office of Hewlett – Packard Israel, serving thousands of the company’s employees. In addition to the professional kitchen staff, the company employs youth at- risk who receive practical training in the restaurant business. The café was established at the initiative of HP, in partnership with the Dualis Israeli Social Venture Fund and ELEM, which provides the support and guidance for the youth participating in the program.



Klafte, our newest partnership with Dualis Social Welfare Fund, is a woman’s clothes store run as a profitable business in downtown Jerusalem. It offers new fashionable clothes for sale that have been donated by clothing manufacturers. ELEM youth are trained to be salespeople,  learn how to run a business and are provided volunteer and social work mentors.

“I dream about being a beautician. I want my own clients and my own place with fragrant candles. I completed my training with distinction.”

Orly, 16, Jerusalem

 Achievements for 2018

  • An increase in the number of youth who worked consecutively for more than 10 months.

  • Transferring the ownership of Cafe Yael from ELEM to the Gvanim Association. The cafe continues to run as a social enterprise.

Goals and Development Plans

  • Open new businesses designed for transgender youth.

  • Increase the number of girls in the business initiatives.