Encouraging entrepreneurial spirit in young people as part of the UNCTAD Empretec Women in Business Awards
UNCTAD EMPRETEC WOMEN IN BUSINESS AWARDS
UNCTAD, the UN Conference on Trade & Development, is part of the UN Secretariat based in Geneva at the Palais des Nations. It supports “developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively.”
UNCTAD’s - Division of Investment & Enterprise (DIAE) created the Empretec Entrepreneurship Training Programme for entrepreneurs in developing countries more than 30 years ago. The Empretec Women In Business Awards is a specific celebration of women as entrepreneurs and recognition of their contribution to thriving communities through economic empowerment.
In 2018, UNCTAD-DIAE was organising the UNCTAD Empretec Women in Business Awards 2018, as part of the World Investment Forum, and wanted to engage young people ages 8-18 years as future innovators and entrepreneurs.
They wanted to encourage young people to see their imagination and creativity as the starting point for innovation and to explore entrepreneurship as a key tool for achieving gender equality and the economic empowerment of women and girls.
Having worked with Elaine on the Start-Ups for SDGs event and partnering on youth entrepreneurship workshops, UNCTAD-DIAE commissioned Elaine to create a Student Innovation Ideas Toolkit and bring young people into the event.
Working with UNCTAD-DIAE, Elaine created the Student Ideas Challenge as a toolkit for educators to use with students. It invited young people to respond to five innovation challenges linked to SDGs 2, 4, 5, 11 and 12. The toolkit was adapted from from Flow In Action’s learn to move mountains® innovation challenge workshops for young people and UNCTAD’s VISION youth entrepreneurship training programme.
Elaine created an easy-to-use pack, complete with lesson plans, challenge questions and research links, for educators to use with their students as a rapid download or multi-lesson activity; or give to students for self-directed learning, especially for service-learning projects. Its purpose was also to enable whole schools, classes or clubs to take part. Embedded into the toolkit approach was the development of core skills, fundamental to having an entrepreneurial mindset: critical and creative thinking, growth mindset, risk-taking, perseverance and many more. And, it included the process of moving from problem to ideas for solutions to prototype descriptions, as a first experience of the entrepreneurship journey.
Additionally, Elaine invited young people as speakers during the event to voice their ideas for solutions to the SDGs.
7 young people were coached by Elaine to present their ideas as a 3-min pitch during the Empretec Women in Business Awards 2018, held in the Assembly Hall at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.
An exhibition of young people's innovation ideas was displayed during the World Investment Forum Week in the Pas Perdus in the Palais des Nations and were viewed by more than 4000 delegates from around the world.
Young people shared their posters and short videos of their ideas, which were featured in a display in the Pas Perdus in the Palais des Nations, during the World Investment Forum (WIF) 2018 from 22-26 October 2018.