Social Innovation Competition held by UNICEF in collaboration with Enactus
In the framework of the UNICEF/Enactus partnership, a competition calling on young innovators to design business solutions was held
CAIRO, 16 May 2022 –UNICEF in collaboration with Enactus organized today the ‘Social Innovation Competition’ which is an essential component of UNICEF/Enactus partnership officially announced in September 2021. The competition calls on young innovators to design business solutions that respond to their community needs and aims at empowering young people by providing them with a platform to utilize their skills and ideas to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Egypt.
During the event, high-level officials and private sector partners were invited to judge and rank the eight projects (submitted by AAST Sheraton, the British University, Cairo University, Chinese University, Modern Academy, Banha University, Al Azhar University and Assuit University) that correspond to the SDGs, in terms of their feasibility, impact, potential sustainability, solution-driven, innovation, clarity and inclusiveness.
The projects tackle different environmental challenges such as climate change, reducing salinity levels in agricultural lands, plastic pollution, finding cheaper alternative raw materials, waste management and recycling. The project that won the first place was that of Cairo University which worked on innovative ideas for tanneries and for collecting, sorting and transforming plastic into biodegradable material, contributing to reducing the carbon footprint.
Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt said, “We believe that human progress and sustainable development are depending on young people and their ability to tap into the entrepreneurial space.” Hopkins added that “through this competition and through our partnership with Enactus, we contribute to equipping the next generation of Egypt’s youth with the skills they need to be successful in life, and to empower young women and men to reach their full potential.”
Fatma Serry, President and CEO of Enactus Egypt said “we believe that investing in young people who take entrepreneurial action for others, creates a better world for us all. She added that “In business, we believe that competitions encourage innovation, and for Enactus, this means more lives impacted everyday”
UNICEF partnered with Enactus in September 2021 to build on its experience in outreaching and mobilizing young people’s learning, innovation, participation, and engagement. In addition, the partnership aims at capacitating young people as trainers for “Meshwary” (a project supported by UNICEF in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands, Swiss Embassy and USAID) to reach out to their peers in the Egyptian universities and skilling them, as well as developing innovative business solutions for urging community issues.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/egypt/