Part of HP’s emphasis on education is cultivating tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and skilled workers, who are crucial to driving future economic growth and job creation. We work with organizations that are helping recent graduates, young people and aspiring leaders acquire the IT skills and knowledge required to succeed in the global economy, launch businesses and help their local communities prosper.
In 2009, HP contributed $6.7 million to promote entrepreneurship education and training worldwide. Our entrepreneurship education programs and activities are summarized below.
HP Graduate Entrepreneurship Training through IT (GET-IT)
The HP Graduate Entrepreneurship Training through IT (GET-IT) program is working to provide young people with business and technology skills training they can use to start careers or launch their own businesses. In partnership with the Micro-Enterprise Acceleration Institute (MEA-I) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), World ORT, and local training centers, HP has made the GET-IT program available in 30 countries in EMEA, particularly in low-income communities with high unemployment rates and limited job opportunities.
GET-IT courses teach 16- to 25-year-olds practical hands-on IT solutions for daily business challenges in areas such as finance, management, marketing and technology management. In 2009, HP opened 30 GET-IT training centers in Africa and the Middle East, and Russia and Ukraine, bringing the total number of training centers to 100.
Young entrepreneurs who do not live near a GET-IT center can access training courses through www.get-it-city.net, an online portal that offers hands-on resources and tools to facilitate self-directed learning. For example, Blossom, a role-playing game launched in 2009, offers students the chance to manage their own virtual floral business.
Since the launch of GET-IT in 2007, the program has reached more than 100,000 young people through online and on-site training courses, with the goal of reaching half a million by the end of 2010.
HP Entrepreneurship Learning Program (HELP)
Microenterprises—very small businesses with fewer than five employees—are integral to creating jobs and strengthening local economies, particularly in emerging regions. A total of 9,890 micro-entrepreneurs and youth have participated in the HP Entrepreneurship Learning Program (HELP), since it was launched in 2007 to support the growth of small businesses across the Asia Pacific region. The program now includes 48 centers in ten countries, each targeting microenterprises and unemployed youth in their local communities.
In 2009, HP made 24 HELP grants with a combined value of approximately $1.55 million and expanded the reach and curriculum of HELP in China, India, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand.
Students in secondary schools worldwide are learning about managing a business through HP-sponsored Junior Achievement (JA) programs. HP is a long-time sponsor of JA, and many HP employees volunteer in JA tutorial and training programs. In 2009, HP again sponsored the HP Global Business Challenge, giving students the chance to assume the role of a corporate business leader.
In addition, HP and JA jointly conduct the HP Responsible Business Competition to encourage the development of business and work-readiness skills and teach the value of corporate social responsibility among its student participants. The top award is given to the student company that does the best job at integrating strong financial performance, social responsibility, environmental excellence and innovation into their business plan and operations. This is HP and JA’s flagship program, and has been running successfully in Europe since 2006. In 2009, the competition was extended to other regions. Winning student companies include:
- Europe A team from Lithuania won the top award for creating a suite of educational tools to help young children learn the principles of recycling. As part of the competition, 150 HP employee volunteers visited schools and advised the student companies on how to run a responsible business.
- North America The winning company marketed and sold an environmentally friendly Eco-Tote made of 100 percent recycled material to replace plastic bags at grocery and retail stores. The innovative design eliminates the need for packaging, as the bag folds to form a small zip pouch for easy storage and re-use. In addition, the student company sold 800 Eco-Totes and donated more than 20 percent of its profits to a community charity, the Georgia Conservancy, while delivering a 250 percent return on investment to its investors.
- Latin America The winning student company created a series of handmade greeting cards made from recycled paper. The company marketed and sold the cards in school and via Facebook, with a 125 percent return for investors.
HP and JA also partner to hold an online Responsible Business Ideas contest, during which teams submit ideas for a business that integrates social and environmental responsibility. Winners from this year’s regional competitions include:
- Africa A Nigerian student company took first place with the idea to host a concert for students at their school to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. The team planned to use the proceeds from the concert to introduce a recycling initiative in the school and wider community.
- Europe The winning team from Germany developed a concept for an online portal to connect those interested in solar power systems with others interested in renting out their roofs.
- Latin America A student company from Mexico City developed a business plan to sell an intelligent pill case that used digital technology to remind users to take their medication. The company embraced social and environmental responsibility in its marketing, product sourcing, packaging and employee relations.
- North America The winning student company applied an innovative business model that combines education and capitalism—which the students termed educapitalism. The company gives students a chance to learn business skills by selling certified Fair Trade and organic coffee and running a campus retail operation. It also aims to sell packaged coffee to organizations in the community and offer coffee, tea and cocoa gift baskets.
Professional Education Program
In Brazil, students in technical colleges are receiving training in critical vocational IT skills as well as “soft” skills such as language, entrepreneurship and citizenship through HP’s partnership with Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje Industrial (SENAI), the largest professional education organization in Latin America. The two-year course is designed to prepare students for entry-level jobs that are key to Brazil’s IT and economic growth. In 2009, 64 students participated in the program. School administrators report that students in the program are averaging scores nearly 20 percent higher than other students and achieving 25 percent higher attendance rates.