In the European Union (EU), 99.8% of businesses outside the financial sector are micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Between 2002 and 2008, the number of SMEs in the EU increased by 13%, while the number of large enterprises increased by only 5%.1 All over the world, entrepreneurs drive innovation, create jobs, and fuel economic opportunity. Entrepreneurs don't just transform their own lives—they frequently transform their communities.
We work with organizations all over the world to help recent graduates, young people, and aspiring entrepreneurs acquire the information technology (IT) skills and knowledge they need to launch successful businesses and help their local communities prosper.
In 2010, we consolidated three previously existing programs to create the HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE) . This global initiative helps entrepreneurs develop essential IT and business skills.
The programs under the HP LIFE umbrella include:
- GET-IT The HP Graduate Entrepreneurship Training through IT (GET-IT) program develops business and IT skills in young people and recent graduates, ages 16–25. It includes a network of about 100 community training centers in more than 30 countries, in areas with low income, high unemployment, and limited job opportunities.
- HELP The HP Entrepreneurship Learning Program (HELP) supports the growth of microenterprises in communities across Asia that are experiencing high unemployment or economic decline.
- MAP Microenterprise Acceleration Program (MAP) provides small and medium-sized businesses access to technology and training that help them accelerate and sustain business growth and economic opportunity.
Collaborating with organizations worldwide is core to the success of HP LIFE, ensuring that young entrepreneurs receive training customized to local conditions and challenges. In 2010, HP worked with Micro-Enterprise Acceleration Institute (MEA-I) , Education Development Center (EDC) , World ORT , United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) , and a network of nearly 300 other organizations to design and deliver training through the HP LIFE program.
Since 2007, HP LIFE programs have reached 500,000 students, recent graduates, and young entrepreneurs through nearly 300 training centers in 47 countries. Our goal is to reach one million people by the end of 2011. HP LIFE has facilitated the creation of more than 20,000 jobs and more than 6,500 businesses. Learn more about the impact HP LIFE is making.
Getting young people excited about entrepreneurship is an investment in future job creation. HP has worked with Junior Achievement (JA) since 1996 to build entrepreneurship and business skills among young people in new ways, and many HP employees volunteer in JA tutorial and training programs.
HP and JA jointly conduct the annual HP Responsible Business Competition to encourage the development of business and work-readiness skills, and teach the value of corporate social responsibility. More than 200,000 students have benefited from the event since its inception in 2006. In 2010, one winning group of high school students created a solar-powered lantern company and demonstrated a commitment to corporate responsibility by supporting an international microlending organization that works with entrepreneurs in developing countries. Learn more about the Responsible Business Competition and its 2010 winners from Europe, Latin America, and North America.
HP and JA also conduct an online Responsible Business Ideas Contest, during which teams submit ideas for a business that integrates social and environmental responsibility. Learn more about the Responsible Business Ideas Contest and the 2010 winners.
In 2010, HP and JA also held Social Innovation Camps for students in Brussels, Belgium and Palo Alto, California, United States. The camps challenged students to find creative business solutions to a social challenge. In 2011, HP is taking the program further with a Social Innovation Relay, connecting young people around the world with HP Visual Collaboration technologies.
Through its global infrastructure and talented employees, HP brings real-world knowledge and skills, plus the mentoring and role modeling so vital to unleashing entrepreneurial instincts in young people.
- 1 European Commission, annual report on EU small and medium-sized enterprises, 2009.