On 25–26 June 2019, EO presented a two-day International Entrepreneurial Summit at the United Nations focused on inspiring, educating and connecting business leaders to promote sustainable business practices. More than 180 entrepreneurs and business leaders convened to determine concrete actions entrepreneurs can take to help transform our world.
The interactive International Entrepreneurial Summit (IES) focused on supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—17 goals and 169 targets to eradicate poverty, reverse inequality and halt climate change by 2030.
By hosting the IES, EO aims to create momentum among leading entrepreneurs from around the world and incite connections with key stakeholders from the broader UN SDGs ecosystem—forming a network of connections that will empower business leaders to contribute in solving pressing global challenges.
“The level of engagement, passion and commitment demonstrated by attendees was beyond expectations. The insights and commitment to channel entrepreneurial passion, heart, courage, tenacity and creativity into making a significant impact in the world was extremely evident!” says Brian Brault, former EO Global Chair, who was a key organizer for the event. “There was a genuine desire to support and drive EO, at the global and chapter level, to create permanent positions and infrastructure to support these efforts.”
The engaging line-up of speakers for the International Entrepreneurial Summit included H.E. Dr. Michal Mlynar, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Slovakia to the UN; Dr. Derrek Kayongo, Global Soap Project; Andrew Wilson, ICC; Shamina Singh, Mastercard; Joshua Williams, Ashoka; Rosemarie “Bubu” Andres, EO Global Chair; and Warren Rustand, Dean of the EO Leadership Academy.
During the summit, more than 180 entrepreneurs and business leaders participated in panel discussions to formulate concrete actions that business leaders can implement to tackle issues surrounding the following four SDGs:
• SDG 4 – Quality Education
• SDG 5 – Gender Equality
• SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation
• SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
“The event ended with a lengthy standing ovation. From there, everyone signed an Outcomes Declaration and committed to adopting and advancing the action items that were created during the Summit,” Brault explains. “At the end of the summit, multiple people shared that the event changed their life and changed the way they look at EO and its ability to make a significant impact in the world.”
Now that the summit is over, the next step is for attendees to partner with EO leadership to begin to make the changes that were discussed. The Outcomes represent a combination of specific action items in the short term as well as creating permanent positions and infrastructure to create a lasting approach to inspire, educate and connect EO members and their businesses to act on the impact-driven activities discussed.
Following is the Outcomes Declaration from EO’s International Entrepreneurial Summit:
Outcomes Declaration from the International Entrepreneurial Summit at the UN, presented by Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), 25-26 June 2019.
Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
1. Create an EO Children’s Education programme that includes:
– Developing an educational programme for children of EO members to engage them in social impact and teach SDGs, and,
– Partnering with Model UN organizations for programming, and ultimately hosting a global gamified competition among EO kids
2. Create an Impact Track with a deliverable of increasing participation of EO-member companies with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), with a goal of the Chapter Impact Chair achieving a minimum 20% UNGC engagement among chapter members within 12 months.
3. Create an EO-SDG education programme that includes:
– A curated SDG channel on EO’s Virtual Learning Platform, with regular content updates, to be done by the Learning Committee, developed shortly after this UN event, and,
– An online SDG learning platform with SDG best practices from EO members (including business cases and how-to’s), as well as rolled out to EO members, EO Accelerator program participants, corporations, and schools, with CPE credit
4. Create a Social Impact Day that includes creating and celebrating social impact on one day globally by encouraging chapters to host a Social Impact Learning Event, which would include education on ROI to businesses, key executive involvement, member spotlights and community action.
Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
1. Support more women in leadership, including:
– On the Path of Leadership at the EO chapter, regional and global levels,
– In local and national community and civic leadership,
– In local and global businesses, and,
– Placing women on boards of private and public companies
2. Create a gender equality certification programme for companies and EO chapters that features pillars such as:
– Equality in recruitment and selection during promotions,
– Clear parental leave policies,
– Safe environments for women,
– Equal compensation, and,
– Equal opportunity to board positions
3. Place more women front-and-center in EO external relations, including leveraging partnerships and speaker agencies to place more EO women speaking to the outside world.
Sustainable Development Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
1. EO to commit and hold regions, chapters and member companies accountable to using no single-use plastic.
2. Create an Impact Chair who will be an ambassador for sustainability at the regional level and create awareness within each chapter, to be voted in and supported with a regional budget.
3. Develop metrics for greater and more global-oriented impact outside EO members, using their influence and ability to scale.
4. EO to create and support a competition for chapters and member companies to fund a sustainable water supply for 5,000 people in water-stressed areas of the world.
Sustainable Development Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
1. Create both a Global Social Impact Chair and local chapter-level Social Impact Chair.
2. Chapters to adopt entrepreneur nurture programmes at multiple levels to include GSEA Angels (EO member investors in Global Student Entrepreneur Award participants―both winners and non-winners), EO Cares Startup Engagement, and Young Entrepreneurship Academy.
3. Chapters to use B-Corp B-Lab Assessment to aggregate data and measure EO Impact.
EO is an avid supporter of the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda: In September 2017, EO members pledged support for the UN SDGs during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, recognizing the importance of solving real-world problems through sustainable business practices. In May 2018, former EO Global Chair Brian Brault was a keynote speaker at the UN’s International Council for Small Business and Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, where he signed a declaration emphasizing the importance of entrepreneurship in driving positive change by addressing sustainable development challenges.
Learn more about EO members and their commitment to changing the world through #EOImpact.