Mary Kay presents its challenge on innovation and entrepreneurship

The leading company promoting women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, in collaboration with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), recently announced the start of its third annual World Series of Innovation (WSI) challenge, a global competition that brings together young people between the ages of 13 and 24 to test their critical thinking skills, and invites them to participate in solving some of the biggest challenges facing humanity today to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Launched last September 15, within the framework of World Cleanup Day, the initiative encourages those interested to work towards the UN’s SDG 14: Life under water, a challenge that tests young people to design a solution that promotes the conservation and/or protection of marine ecosystems and coastal communities around the world.

Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operating Officer of Mary Kay Inc., noted:

All life on planet Earth began in and depends on our oceans. Water is the most valuable resource on our planet and it is essential not only to respect it, but also to do our part to protect it.

These are the challenges promoted by Mary Kay since 2020:

  1. During its first year of partnership with the NFTE, in 2020, the WSI Challenge for UN’s SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, participants were invited to promote the reuse or upcycling of textiles.
  2. For the second challenge, in pursuit of the UN’s SDG5: Gender Equality, the challenge was to develop programs to promote equality in the workplace and ensure equal access to economic opportunities for women and girls.

“The next generation of global thinkers and leaders is already working on these crucial areas of concern to all of us and spearheading conservation efforts. We are excited to see how the youth of the world can help advance the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity globally,” added Gibbins.

Founded more than 35 years ago, the NFTE is a global non-profit educational organization that works to bring entrepreneurship to low-income communities.

Each fall, the NFTE launches a new set of challenges for the WSI contest and invites corporate sponsors to address the UN SDGs. The 2022 NFTE World Series of Innovation is presented by the Citi Foundation and features challenges sponsored, in addition to Mary Kay Inc., by organizations such as, MetLife Foundation, Mastercard, Bank of the West, Link, Maxar, Ernst & Young, LLP (EY), ServiceNow and Zuora.

“The Mary Kay Global Ocean Conservation Challenge challenges our young WSI contestants to think big about water quality. In classrooms, students learn that water is critical to a healthy ecosystem. However, through experiences like WSI’s, they are empowered to sustain that resource. They can devise ways to care for marine life, protect the oceans, ensure affordable access to clean water, protect water resources from pollution, deal with overconsumption or help preserve our ecosystem for generations to come. It really is a very powerful thing,” said Dr JD LaRock, President and CEO of NFTE.

The top three winners will be announced in early 2023. For more information on the World Series of Innovation and all the challenges, click here.


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