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Summer Entrepreneurship Academy kicks off in Turin

Year/Date: 2011/07/05

Summer Entrepreneurship Academy


A high-level delegation of policy makers, businessmen and women as well as young budding entrepreneurs have gathered in Turin to learn how and why businesses need to be more environmentally friendly. The ‘sustainpreneur’ academy, run by GIZ (German international aid agency), and hosted by the ETF, 4-8 July, comprises representatives from Algeria, Tunisia and Jordan.

The academy involves a series of business case studies drawn from European and Southern Mediterranean countries which demonstrate how enterprises have assumed more sustainable production processes and have seized on the opportunities that more responsible business can generate in markets with more discerning customers.

Opening the academy, Marita Riedel of GIZ, underlined the complexity of sustainable development. Sustainability transcends economic, social and ecological concerns, she said.

Welcoming the academicians, the ETF’s Anthony Gribben highlighted the importance of partnership - governments and private sector co-working an enterprise-enabling environment that would ensure a greener economy. He also said that sustainable enterprise development was a priority area for cooperation between the European Union and its Mediterranean neighbourhood through the Euro-Mediterranean Enterprise Charter where indicators to promote entrepreneurship feature within a policy index where all countries had signed up for regular reviews.

Arne Baumann of the ETF provided participants with the broader EU policy perspective on sustainable development, underlining the importance of education and training in addressing economic and social inclusion.

Halim Takhedmit, 22-years old, captured the spirit of the academy’s opening morning. ‘I have a business idea which I want to bring to the market. I am here to learn and to network,’ he said. Along with fellow students from Ecole Polytechnique d’Alger, Mr. Takhedmit has developed a prototype for generating more efficient electricity use within a household environment.

During the week long academy, participants will focus on challenges and opportunities for business start-ups, early phase enterprise development as well as business growth. The programme also foresees site visits to the Politecnico di Torino and Turin’s environment technology park where participants will have access to businesses from Turin and the Piedmont region that have embraced sustainable development principles and have put these into practice. On the closing day of the academy, the ETF’s Gérard Mayen will share his know-how on engagement of businesses into training development in the Mediterranean neighbourhood.

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