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Arthur Guinness Fund Makes Commitment to Help Aspiring Entrepreneurs in America

NEW YORK, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of the 250th anniversary celebration honoring its founder, the makers of Guinness(R) beer announced a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative to develop a micro lending program in the United States for young adults of legal drinking age with a desire to launch a new business, but who do not have access to funding. The commitment is being made as a $750,000 investment in Youth Business America, an independent non-profit organization that supports young entrepreneurs, from the newly created Arthur Guinness Fund.

"Making this commitment to Youth Business America is a tremendous opportunity to continue the philanthropic legacy of Arthur Guinness, "said Nagisa Manabe, vice-president of marketing at Diageo, the company that produces and markets Guinness. "This commitment will enable Guinness and Youth Business America to make strides towards a unified objective: to assist individuals in using their personal skills and knowledge to benefit the members of their community."

The Arthur Guinness Fund is a global program from Guinness & Co. donating euro 6 million with the sole purpose of supporting programs and projects around the world that enable and empower people with skills and opportunities to benefit and enrich communities. The projects will bring to life a commitment to social responsibility and the vision of the Arthur Guinness Fund - "From One to Many."

Young adults represent the bulk of the unemployed in the U.S. and, in the underserved communities Youth Business America (YBA) reaches, unemployment is well over 25 percent. The investment from the Arthur Guinness Fund will go toward expanding YBA's reach to more local communities and to support administration of the program. In addition, staff at Guinness & Co. and Diageo, will use their expertise to mentor the young adults supported under the program, improving the young entrepreneurs' approach to marketing and innovation, and helping ensure the businesses created have a strong sense of social responsibility.

Darcie Cookson, CEO of Youth Business America, said, "This collaboration will really make a difference to young aspiring entrepreneurs. When we made the commitment last year to launch a youth business initiative in the USA, I realized that we would need some major support from three or four leading companies to make it happen. Guinness is the first of these businesses and we are working towards growing this coalition over the coming months."

Youth Business America was established as a 2008 Clinton Global Initiative commitment by Youth Business International (YBI), a London-based non-profit organization that leads a global network of independent country initiatives helping young people to start their own business and create employment. The Prince of Wales founded Youth Business International and continues to serve as President.

The global network led by YBI uses a tried and tested model that ensures that the new businesses supported have survival rates that are typically experienced in the small enterprise start up market. Youth Business America will use the same successful approach to provide a combination of a loan, a volunteer business mentor and other business development services to young adults who otherwise would not have access to the resources needed to start a business. The investment from the Arthur Guinness Fund is expected to help over 170 young adults to start up their own businesses, creating jobs for hundreds of others.

Youth Business America and Guinness believe that there is a real opportunity to take advantage of two factors in America - the long-standing commitment to small business, and the culture of volunteerism - to build a program that promotes self-employment and creates jobs using the resources and skills of the business sector.

In 1759, 250 years ago this year, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. Arthur Guinness and his family have been responsible for numerous acts of corporate philanthropy and created a tradition of goodness within the company that continues today. As an enlightened entrepreneur, Arthur Guinness had the vision to improve the communities and lives of the citizens where Guinness did business around the world. The euro 6 million Arthur Guinness Fund will support a variety of programs and projects around the world that enable and empower people with skills and opportunities to deliver a measurable benefit at the community level.

Please visit www.GUINNESS.com to learn more about global initiatives and remember to always drink responsibly.

About GUINNESS(R)

GUINNESS(R) enjoys a global reputation as a uniquely authentic Irish beer and the best-selling stout in the world. Famous for its dark color, creamy head and unique surge and settle, this distinctive beer has been brewed at the St. James's Gate brewery in Dublin, Ireland since 1759. Over 10 million glasses of GUINNESS beer are enjoyed every single day around the world, and 1.8 billion pints are sold every year. GUINNESS is available in well over 100 countries worldwide and is brewed in almost 50. Also from the makers of GUINNESS, SMITHWICK'S, Ireland's oldest and best selling ale and HARP Lager, whose name pays tribute to the GUINNESS logo and the national symbol of Ireland. Additional information about GUINNESS can be found at www.guinness.com.

About Youth Business America

Youth Business America helps young people turn their good ideas into sustainable businesses. In the USA, we support young entrepreneurs who are unable to find start up funds elsewhere. Globally, we support the network led by Youth Business International (www.youthbusiness.org), by enabling US tax payers to support young entrepreneurs all over the world. www.youthbusinessamerica.org

YBA is based on the successful Youth Business Program model operating in 39 countries some for over 20 years that form the membership in the Prince's Youth Business International (YBI), a London-based network organization. Combined, these programs have created over 90,000 new businesses worldwide. The combination of a commitment to small business and the culture of volunteerism that exists in the U.S. provide an optimal climate for building a Youth Business Program in America.

About Diageo

Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.

Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

    Media Contacts:
    Elizabeth Balduino, Taylor,
    +1-212-714-5726
    ebalduino@taylorpr.com

    Darcie Cookson, Youth Business America
    +1-415-203-5126
    Darcie.Cookson@youthbusiness.org,

    Erica J. Johnson, Guinness
    +1-646-223-2038
    erica.johnson@diageo.com

SOURCE GUINNESS

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