The Unloc Enterprise Academy, a programme working with schools and colleges to inspire, motivate and develop entrepreneurship in young people, has joined forces with global communications & technology leader, Verizon, to launch a new competition for young entrepreneurs across Europe – the Unloc Enterprise Challenge.
The Challenge invites budding entrepreneurs aged 16-25 in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom to submit their start-up business concept online. Ideas will be judged on their creativity, sustainability, and viability, and the winning entrepreneur will receive £5,000 of funding, a mentorship package and a technology bundle to help get their business off the ground.
Portsmouth-based Unloc has been working since 2014 to help young people to develop their entrepreneurial skills by setting up and testing their own businesses, projects and ideas. Unloc partners with schools to help run workshops and create dedicated departments to promote entrepreneurship in young people. Unloc has expanded-rapidly in recent years from a local business ran by two young-entrepreneurs into a national operation and now has partnerships with over 100 leading schools and colleges giving it a presence across the U.K. The organisation is now expanding its operations into Europe, with this competition its first initiative on the pan-European stage.
Verizon has a long history of supporting innovation. The company describes its mission as ‘giving humans the ability to do more in this world’, and teams with visionaries all over the globe who use technology and data to turn innovative ideas into reality. In the United States, the Verizon Innovative Learning initiative provides next-generation technology access and innovative curricula to millions of under-resourced students to prepare them for a tech-dependent economy. In addition, the Verizon Innovation Program works with companies of all sizes to bring their non-traditional connected solutions to market. This new relationship with Unloc brings this focus on innovation to Europe, with the competition designed to promote self-development, technology and entrepreneurship skills amongst young people..
“We are delighted to have joined forces with Verizon to launch the Unloc Enterprise Challenge”, said Hayden Taylor, Managing Director of Unloc. “Verizon’s focus on fostering innovation makes the company an ideal partner for the Challenge. We’re looking forward to seeing what ideas European entrepreneurs are able to generate – and helping one lucky winner take the first step to turning their idea into a business.”
“Verizon strongly believes that by promoting entrepreneurship we can promote independence, innovation and success”, said James Montgomery head of HR for Verizon EMEA. “The Verizon team regularly works with schools and college groups to help students develop the business and technology skills required in the modern workplace, and working with Unloc on this competition is a natural extension of those initiatives. We’re looking forward to seeing the ideas this competition generates – and also to supporting the winning entrepreneur as they take their idea from concept to reality.”