On August 12th, 2013 the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), the Organization of American States (OAS), PepsiCo and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship of Oxford University welcomed an outstanding group of young entrepreneurs, representing environmentally responsible business projects, at the headquarters of the OAS in Washington D.C. This event marked the celebration of the United Nations International Youth Day 2013, by bringing together young people from 10 countries in the hemisphere and highlighting the existing talent and drive that today's youth represents.
The Eco-Entrepreneur 2013 Official Opening Ceremony saw opening remarks by Ambassador Albert Ramdin, OAS Assistant Secretary General; Diego Ruiz, Vice President, Global Public Policy and Government Affairs for PepsiCo; Dr. Pamela Hartigan, Director, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship of the University of Oxford; and Roy Thomasson, Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors, YABT. During his speech, Amb. Ramdin highlighted the importance of supporting young innovative entrepreneurs and the partnerships created by the program organizers: "I support any program that helps strengthen the capacity of young people not only to improve their life but also the life of others…Our [OAS] job is to have governments and officials understand that they will benefit from [young entrepreneurs'] success…"
The Eco-Entrepreneur's Week2Grow, held on August 12th – 16th, is an intensive training week designed and catered especially for the program beneficiaries. In an interview with YABT, the young participants expressed their excitement about working with international experts on further developing their business: "…This is a dream event for any entrepreneur, where important actors from the private, academic and public sectors put together their efforts in order to foster the new kind of business people, who are not only working to create a product or a service…but also help to take care and protect our planet." – Jhosep Guzman, Waposat, Peru.Week2Grow will explore four areas of training: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Implementation and Business & Innovation. These will be lead by distinguished experts, including Dr. Pamela Hartigan, Oxford University; Dr. Djordjija Petkoski, University of Pennsylvania; Luz Stella Gómez, Parque E; and Luis Montoya, PepsiCo Beverages Latin America, amongst others.
Furthermore, on August 16th, the young entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to apply the newly acquired knowledge and skills through featuring their ideas at the International Expo. Not only will they have the benefit of meeting other entrepreneurs, but also will gain international visibility, build new networks and get to know potential partners, investors and clients. To meet the young entrepreneurs, RSVP here.
Eco-Entrepreneur is a new program designed by PepsiCo and the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) with support from the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, University of Oxford. Eco-Entrepreneur assists young entrepreneurs in the implementation and expansion of projects focused on environmental issues.