2 April 2021
BeChangeMaker helps entrepreneurs use their skills to improve the world
Teams have until 4 June to apply for a chance to become one of the thirty teams receiving three months of intensive training and coaching as part of BeChangeMaker 2021.
BeChangeMaker is back for 2021! The hugely popular competition and training programme offered by WorldSkills and the HP Foundation provides young people around the world a unique opportunity to turn their ideas into working businesses.
The coming months will see 30 teams given mentoring and support to develop their concepts, working towards September when the final 5 will pitch for the title of BeChangeMaker 2021 and financial support to take their project to the next level.
Last year the global and regional programmes of BeChangeMaker saw nearly 800 teams from 100 countries and six continents take part, looking for solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time, from the environment and sustainability, to health and gender equality.
As our first regional programme, BeChangeMaker Africa was an instant success with over 300 applications from 42 African countries. The programme will return in May of 2021 under the partnership with the African Union and the HP Foundation.
The original BeChangeMaker started five years ago with just a handful of entries and has grown at an incredible rate.
Throughout this time, WorldSkills has worked with the HP Foundation, whose support includes HP LIFE courses and mentoring from HP employees, an essential component to developing young participants’ skills.
One of those giving their time to volunteer is Veronika Tatarnikova from Russia, who works for HP in global procurement.
The BeChangeMaker mentoring experience, she says, has been “very inspiring” for the dedication shown by young people “to make improvements in society and environment.”
“Working with the teams helped me to connect with young generations and to see how intelligent, caring and brave they are. This makes me feel happy and confident about our future,” she says.
And Veronika says, working with the teams has been a two-way process.
“It’s also mentors who learn from the teams. You can see how a meaningful idea can be developed into a real business with positive impact in quite a short timeframe.”
She hopes the programme will continue to grow, as it “demonstrates a successful connection between a tech company like HP with its resources and knowledge and young people who are passionate about their ideas to make a meaningful change for society and our planet.”
Stephanie Bormann, HP Foundation manager, agrees. “Their drive to solve social problems during the pandemic has been impressive. In fact, the pandemic seems to have made them even more determined to find solutions.”
Looking back at the five years of BeChangeMaker, Stephanie says it has “exceeded my expectations.
“The breadth of ideas presented by participants has highlighted how much work needs to be done to improve our world. Their innovative ideas for social businesses give me confidence we can make a difference.”
She hopes the project will continue to grow. “The more BeChangeMakers there are, the more social enterprises there will be making a positive difference in the world.”
“In the past, teams have travelled to a WorldSkills event to pitch their ideas, but in 2020 that was disrupted and our teams quickly adapted,” said Grace Lung, Senior Manager of Partnership Programmes for WorldSkills. “This year, we are excited to be back once again partnering with the HP Foundation to offer skilled young people a chance to apply their talents and innovation to important issues facing the world.”
Teams have until 4 June to apply for BeChangeMaker 2021. Then 30 teams will be selected to receive training and coaching leading up to the final live pitches on 27 September. Visit bechangemaker.com for details.