Zina Ammar grew up in Gafsa, Tunisia, where she learned how to make the region’s famous Margoum carpets from the women in her family. Zina eventually started her own carpet-making business, but her lack of confidence and business skills limited her success. Hoping to grow her business, Zina enrolled in Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Financial Education trainings at the Women's Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) Center for Women’s Business Development in her community.
Chadleya Idriss began making toys for her children using recycled wood, which was “safer, more environmentally friendly, and more affordable than store-bought toys,” she explains. Chadleya went to the WES Center for Women’s Business Development in Kairouan, Tunisia, with a dream of starting a toy business. She participated in the WES entrepreneurship training and worked closely with the WES Center staff to conduct market research on the local toy industry. Last November, Chadleya launched her new business, Toy Story.
Today, women make up 12 percent of all computer science grads. Just three decades ago, they represented 37 percent. They’re half the workforce, but hold only a quarter of technical or computing jobs.
According to “Entrepreneurship Education and Training Programs Around the World—Dimensions for Success,” a 2014 study of entrepreneurship education programs around the globe by the World Bank, entrepreneurship is “the largest single source of new job growth in both developed and developing economies.” Therefore, a few weeks ago I was thrilled to see this idea in action when I attended the Eastern European regional finals of “Get in the Ring” (GITR), which took place in Sofia, Bulgaria.
A recent episode of NPR’s popular broadcast Morning Edition, deplored the fact that 5.8 million young Americans are neither in school nor work. What’s more, according to the show, in some parts of the United States, “the unemployment rate among 16 to 24 year-olds is more than twice the national unemployment rate, which is currently 6.3 percent.” However, youth unemployment is not only a U.S. problem.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Following their 10-day voyage across the United States while aboard the Millennial Trains Project’s (MTP) second cross-country journey, five Fulbright non-U.S. Students met with IIE’s President, Allan Goodman, U.S. Department of State staff, and IIE staff for a lunchtime storytelling session. The Fulbrighters traveled with MTP from Portland, OR, to New York, NY, where they were hosted at IIE, and shared their traveling tales, impressions of the United States, and images from the trip—a Special Fulbright Enrichment Activity.
Jam-packed and intense—these are two adjectives I would use to describe the four-day-long Price Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE), which I had the privilege of participating in this past May. The symposium, which is one of the leading training programs for entrepreneurship educators, had already graduated 33 classes, comprising more than 3200 individuals from over 650 institutions worldwide. As a participant in SEE 34, I had the pleasure to collaborate, brainstorm, and learn from and with 59 other educators from 13 different countries (from the United States and Canada to Thailand, Bahrain, Brazil, and Argentina). Moreover, I spent a significant part of the training in a group.
Bulgaria has the lowest levels of public spending on education in the EU. Many of the school facilities are old and crumbling. There are barely any public funds available for building 21st century classrooms equipped with multi-media facilities and language labs. Moreover, there are no public funds for modernizing the Bulgarian school curriculum or for teacher professional development.
What if there was a global movement to inspire people everywhere to unleash their ideas and take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey? That question sparked the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) five years ago. This week, as 138 countries celebrate, the Institute takes a look at what we have been doing to generate innovation and entrepreneurship around the globe.
Are we preparing today’s youth to be successful in the workplace? I think that is a question that we as educators should be constantly asking ourselves. Getting a good (and hopefully international) education is not enough. We need to make sure that today’s youth are getting the skills and experience to create their own futures and be successful globally. This is one of the reasons I am so proud that IIE is partnering with the Alcoa Foundation to manage their 125th anniversary initiative to support internships for youth from around the Globe.