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Business News 2009
Business News->East meets West for final of the Global Enterprise Challenge
East meets West for final of the Global Enterprise Challenge

(11 March 2009)

Iqbal Wahhab, one of the judges of the Global Enterprise ChallengeThirty young people from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan and Uzbekistan met in London from 9 - 11 March, 2009 to take part in the final of an international enterprise challenge to mark the first-ever Global Entrepreneurship Week last November. The initiative, for 17 to 21-year-olds at vocational schools across Central and South Asia, was a partnership between the British Council’s Skills for Employability project in the region and the UK’s Make Your Mark enterprise campaign, co-founder of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Many of the young people involved were from remote towns and villages and some live in communities which are affected by war and political instability. In Nepal, for example, the competition ran during demonstrations in Kathmandu and students had to walk through anti-riot tear-gas to take part in the event.



Following last November’s regional contest, winning teams from each of the six countries came to the UK capital on 9 March for a three-day final at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on the Southbank. For most this trip was their first ever outside their countries. In London they met and shared ideas with some of the UK’s most promising young people and networked with entrepreneur-ambassadors for the Make Your Mark campaign. Over the three days they were tasked with developing a product or service to tackle pollution in their home town or village and encouraged to think about the environmental impact of industry. A distinguished panel including entrepreneurs Tim Campbell, founder of the Bright Ideas Trust, and restauranteur Iqbal Wahab, judged their proposals on 11 March.

Martin Davidson, CEO of the British Council, said: “Projects like this play a crucial role in giving young people the skills, knowledge and understanding to change their societies. Allowing our brightest and best entrepreneurs to make vital connections with their counterparts overseas can only benefit the UK."

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2008 involved an estimated five million young people in thousands of events across 77 countries with the specific aim of developing enterprising ideas to tackle both international challenges, such as poverty and climate change, and more specific problems in local communities. Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009 will run from 16 to 22 November.

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