23 June 2020
BeChangeMaker attracts record number of skilled entrepreneurs
For a four-year-old, BeChangeMaker is growing at an incredible rate.
This year sees nearly 800 teams of social entrepreneurs who want to turn their dreams into reality.
That’s more than three times the number from last year’s record breaking competition and from just a handful at the launch in 2017.
BeChangeMaker 2020 is also reaching out to Africa, with a pilot project, BeChangeMaker Africa, that will focus on reaching young people in communities where even small ideas can bring big changes.
Together, the two programmes have attracted 790 applications from 100 countries, with ideas that range from tackling pollution, to improving health and well-being, and developing renewable energy.
Organizers have now selected the top 30 teams from each programme who will move on to the next stage, and take their projects to the next level.
For the Global competition, supported by WorldSkills and the HP Foundation, the top 30 have been selected from 475 applications, and will represent 28 countries.
BeChangeMaker Africa sees another 30 teams from 21 countries from an original 315 applications representing 42 nations, while HP is joined by the African Union as partners, along with support from the United Nations Development Programme and the German development agency GIZ.
BeChangeMaker offers free online coaching and training to build businesses, with the winning teams also receiving financial aid as well as further mentoring.
The countries represented in both programmes range from Australia to Zimbabwe, and include Nepal, Cameroon, Russia, Spain, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
Grace Lung, Senior Manager of Partnership Programmes at WorldSkills International, said “We are absolutely pleased with the level of interest from young people around the world who have applied to join BeChangeMaker and the continuous support from our partners this year.
“The programme has grown since 2017, and we are excited to have piloted a regional programme of BeChangeMaker in Africa, where social entrepreneurship is one of the most empowering ways for young skilled professionals to create jobs that help address the most difficult social issues in the continent.”