Partnership story

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UNIDO-HP Global Partnership Programme Promotes Entrepreneurship and IT Training for Youth


By: Barbara Kreissler, Petra Wenitzky, Suman Lederer, UNIDO

A partnership program between the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Hewlett-Packard (HP) addresses the crucial issue of youth unemployment in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East by providing ICT skills, thus enhancing chances for self employment (entrepreneurship) and decent work for the unemployed…

In May 2008, UNIDO and HP launched HP’s Graduate Entrepreneurship Training through IT, in short the GET-IT program. The GET-IT training program delivers training in the basics of entrepreneurship with practical hands-on experience in the use of computer technology. It is designed for young un- or under-employed people aged 16 to 25. The main aim of the training program is to empower youth to establish and run their own business or to get employed. Courses are offered in the areas of management and operations, finance, marketing, communication and technology management, providing youth with IT skills and solutions for daily business challenges.

Since the commencement of the UNIDO-HP partnership program, 33 GET-IT centers in 10 countries in Africa and the Middle East have been established and 143 GET-IT trainers have been certified. Training centers in Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and United Arab Emirates deliver the GET-IT training and more than 15,000 people have been trained so far. After finishing the training, many took up the challenging path of entrepreneurship.

The focus of the UNIDO-HP partnership in 2010-2011 is on the entrepreneurship and IT training program LIFE (Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs), which builds on the existing GET-IT training. The core element of the new entrepreneurship education program, developed by the Microenterprise Acceleration Institute (MEA-I) in Geneva, is an innovative online and offline curriculum which complements the basic modules and topics of GET-IT with more advanced business and technology topics to address the entire entrepreneurship lifecycle and targets potential as well as existing entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurship education curriculum encompasses four training modules, which include Technology for Operations, Finance, Communication and Marketing. The curriculum courses “Imagine – Plan – Start – Grow – Innovate” meet the needs of four different target groups according to their exposure to entrepreneurship and IT. The four target groups and matching courses are the following:

  • Young students attending school (Imagine);
  • Graduates or potential entrepreneurs (Plan and Start);
  • Entrepreneurs of micro and small businesses who aim to learn how they can operate their businesses more efficiently with the help of technology (Grow); and
  • Innovators to learn more advanced IT to operate their businesses efficiently (Innovate).

Through the modular concept of the curriculum, training centers will be able to train students and entrepreneurs in line with their exact needs and demands. Building on the success of the partnership over the last two years, in 2010-2011 UNIDO and HP plan to strengthen the GET-IT/LIFE program in Africa and the Middle East and expand it to a global level covering Asia and Latin America.

For further information on the UNIDO-HP partnership program, please click here or contact Barbara Kreissler, UNIDO.