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UNIDO invites young social entrepreneurs to apply for training and mentorship program

 The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Fondazione CRT invite young social entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35 from the Euro-Mediterranean area ok to applying for the new cycle of Entrepreneurs for Social Change (E4SC).

Young women and men from the 26 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region, who either have an established social enterprise or are planning to establish one soon, are eligible to apply. The call for applications will run until the end of June 2018, after which applicants will go through a three-stage competitive process.

Successful applicants will take part in a 10-day intensive training in Turin, Italy, providing a unique learning experience, rooted in the values of intercultural connectivity, peer-to-peer exchange and community building. The training will then be complemented by a 12-month process of executive mentoring to support the social enterprises in realizing their full economic potential while generating measurable positive impact in their communities.

The E4SC program has been developed to promote social entrepreneurship as a driver to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It seeks to elevate the role of social entrepreneurship in today’s world and its capacity to empower youth to realize their innovative and economic potential to address pressing social and economic challenges, including environmental degradation, food security, waste management, as well as the root causes of migration and connected social tensions and challenges.

E4SC looks beyond the traditional technical training, allowing for personal growth and a tailored system of empowerment which involves experts, coaches and mentors at various levels. Furthermore, it fosters the creation of a unified, supportive and dynamic cohort of agents of change.

“Social entrepreneurship is a new developing field" says Dejene Tezera, Director of the Department of Agri-Business of UNIDO, "millennials want to be drivers of change and they want to create, for themselves and for other young people, sustainable and decent jobs. Through Entrepreneurs for Social Change, UNIDO is providing them the right platform to succeed."

Since its inception, the programme has received more than 2000 applications, out of which the best 25 are selected to join the E4SC cohort each year. The previous four editions have trained 85 social entrepreneurs, and 96% of survey respondents say that their skills have improved thanks to the program.

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