Global Competition Celebrates Youth Entrepreneurship and the Power of Innovative Thinking
DALLAS, TX – Mary Kay Inc., a leading corporate advocate of women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, announces its third annual World Series of Innovation (WSI) challenge in partnership with Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). The global competition invites young people ages 13-24 to put their critical thinking skills to the test and get involved in solving some of the biggest challenges humanity faces today to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mary Kay’s WSI challenge kicks off September 15 in conjunction with World Clean Up Day. The Mary Kay challenge encourages young entrepreneurs to submit innovative solutions to address UN SDG 14: Life Below Water. Specifically, students are challenged to design a solution to further the conservation and/or protection of the world’s marine ecosystems and coastal communities.
“All life on Earth began in and depends on our oceans. Water is the most valuable resource on our planet, and it’s essential that we not only respect it, but do our part to protect it. The next generation of global thinkers and leaders are already addressing these critical areas of concern and spearheading conservation efforts. We are excited to see how the world’s youth can help to advance ecosystems and biodiversity conservation globally.”Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operating Officer for Mary Kay Inc
In its first year partnering with the NFTE World Series of Innovation in 2020, Mary Kay sponsored a WSI challenge for UN SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. Young entrepreneurs were encouraged to design a product, service or initiative that promoted the reuse or upcycling of textiles. In 2021, Mary Kay sponsored its second WSI challenge to address UN SDG 5: Gender Equality. Students were tasked with developing programs to promote workplace equality and ensure equal access to economic opportunity for women and girls.
“Mary Kay Global Oceans Conservations Challenge dares our young WSI competitors to think big about water quality. In classrooms, students learn that water is fundamental to a healthy ecosystem. Through experiences like WSI, however, they become empowered to sustain that resource. They can ideate ways to look after marine life, safeguard oceans, secure affordable access to clean drinking water, protect water resources from pollution, address overconsumption, or otherwise help preserve our ecosystem for generations to come. That’s powerful.”Dr. J.D. LaRock, President and CEO of NFTE
NFTE is a global educational non-profit focused on bringing the power of entrepreneurship to low-income communities. Since its founding more than 35years ago, NFTE has trained thousands of teachers and educated well over a million young people worldwide. Every fall, NFTE launches a new set of challenges for the WSI competition and invites corporate sponsors to address the UN SDGs. The 2022 NFTE World Series of Innovation is presented by Citi Foundation and features challenges sponsored by Mary Kay Inc., MetLife Foundation, Mastercard, Bank of the West, Link, Maxar, Ernst & Young, LLP (EY), ServiceNow and Zuora. The top three winners will be announced in early 2023.