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In September 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 global goals (commonly known as the Sustainable Development Goals or “SDGs”) as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

With 193 governments represented in the United Nations of which 152 are representatives of developing countries, the SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.  However, governments alone will not bring these goals to fruition. 

Global Pandemic

Despite efforts made since the adoption of these seventeen Global Goals in 2015, the ongoing, devastating impacts of COVID-19 threaten to undo “years of progress on poverty, hunger, health care and education” that UN member states have worked to achieve.  The economic and social disruption caused has and will continue to require innovation and collaboration to create new solutions that ensure equitable growth and prosperity.

To sustain progress and achieve the United Nations’ 2030 Visions of zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, clean energy, sustainability of life, and all other goals outlined in the chart below, governments must invest in young, innovative leaders and proximate entrepreneurs. 

Entrepreneurial Mindsets & Action

Entrepreneurs, as we know, are relentlessly curious and committed problem-solvers. In a time where sustainable solutions to humanity’s most pressing issues are in high demand, innovative entrepreneurs have been leading the way and inspiring us all to take action.  

Now, more than ever, we must be working to equip and empower the next generation of socially and environmentally conscious innovators and entrepreneurs. 

Why? 

  1. Entrepreneurship education is foundational for creating value and solving humanity’s most pressing problems. 
  2. All young people deserve to experience inclusive innovation.
  3. Our future depends on it.

Leading Entrepreneurship Education with 3 Day Startup

With entrepreneurship and innovation being the key to achieving these goals in several facets, educating them in ways that center circular innovation and social responsibility is critical. 

Our organization founded in 2008, 3DS (3 Day Startup) has created opportunity and built communities of practice for innovation and entrepreneurship through dynamic and experiential education.  Since inception, we have educated over 16,800 young aspiring entrepreneurs, equipping them with the foundational skills required to found new ventures, create value in their communities, and thrive in the future of work and a global economy. 

3DS aligns our mission and vision for the future to the United Nations’ goals for shared prosperity through achieving the SDGs. To support the attainment of these goals, 3DS is focused on inclusivity by empowering young entrepreneurs and innovators who bring diversity in perspectives, lived experiences, and social identities.

We are thrilled to spotlight entrepreneurs we’ve watched create tremendous value for their communities and thrive in their entrepreneurial endeavors:

3DS Limelight

By way of our rigorous and inclusive training programs, the 3DS community has grown to over 16,800 entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and leaders. Here are a few worthy of mention for their innovative solutions in identifying opportunities to advance the United Nations’ SDGs. 

Luca Fichtinger is the co-founder and head of Business Development and Marketing/PR of Kern Tec, an Austria-based fast-growing startup. Kern Tec, operating on a ‘zero waste’ philosophy, brings innovation to the fitness, confectionery, cosmetics industries, and more. The company focuses on converting fruit pits (originally disposed of as waste across the beverage and other industries) into high-quality innovative products for users in various focus areas. 

With this no-waste principle, Luca and the rest of the team at Kern Tec are actively advancing the Sustainable Development Goal #12 on “Responsible Consumption And Production” among others, including “Zero Hunger” by creating more nutritious food from supposedly waste fruit pits.

“With our scalable technology, we aim to upcycle several thousand tons of pits in the coming years. Through our innovations we can enable these resources to the food and beverage industry for the first time.”  —Luca Fichtinger

Michelle N. Samuel is the founder and president of SLUDTERA, a Saint Lucia-based entrepreneurship education initiative for youths and entrepreneurs to connect and build partnerships and communities that can further pursue sustainable development. 

Founded in 2017, SLUDTERA is inclined towards achieving the 17th goal of the United Nations’ SDGs: Partnership for the Goal. Also, it focuses on addressing unemployment in the Caribbean region, thus satisfying its pursuit of the eighth goal: Decent Work and Economic Growth. 

“The economic development of an economy now lies in the hands of entrepreneurs and particularly, the youth who will soon be responsible for carrying the mantle of a global responsibility to lead. They need to be taught entrepreneurial skills to create jobs [to] learn and train and grow into that role, and the challenges to reveal the hidden entrepreneur in [every] one of them.” —Michelle Samuel

Nick Yehle is the co-founder of JoGo Straw, a Kickstarter-funded startup that creates stainless steel reusable straws for outdoor coffee lovers. Nick and the entire JoGo team are enthusiastic about reducing the 8 million pieces of plastic dumped into the ocean daily that threaten Life Below Water. 

“JoGo was founded in 2018 with the mission to share convenient, flavorful, and sustainable ways to experience coffee and tea – whether you are working at the office or hanging from the side of a mountain. Both myself and my cofounder Joey Jones are experienced wilderness guides, and hold a deep respect for the environment. The JoGo is built to be sustainable, long-lasting, and contains no disposable parts. JoGo’s unique brewing method allows you to brew and drink from the same cup, eliminating all unnecessary waste. No more k-cups, paper filters, or disposable coffee packets. Just you, your JoGo, and the great outdoors.” – Nick Yehle

Nick’s vision is that reusable stainless steel straws will eliminate the need for plastic straws, coffee lids, K-cups, and coffee filters, each of which adds to the plastic polluting oceans.

Entrepreneurs working together are unstoppable. 

We call on all education institutions and governments to operationalize innovation by ensuring entrepreneurship training is provided to all young people as a core component of their career development. With high quality training and mentorship programs like 3 Day Startup provides, aspiring entrepreneurs will continue to create and scale innovative solutions to solve problems with their communities and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  

Want to work with 3DS continue its mission of creating opportunity and building communities of practice for entrepreneurship? We’d love to hear from you. 

team@3daystartup.org

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