Project Inspire 2015: Progress for Women is Progress for All

Project Inspire 2015

Project Inspire 2015

“A new economic agenda will not only make the economy work for women, but also benefit the majority of men. Progress for women is progress for all.”

– UN Women Flagship Report “Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016”

As the international community is poised to agree on the new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is a strong and growing global consensus on the need to achieve gender equality. While we have to acknowledge the significant strides made towards this goal, we have to also focus on where we need to redouble our efforts to achieve substantive equality and the realization of human rights for all women and girls.

To educate girls is to reduce poverty.

Now in its fifth edition, Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World seeks to highlight the efforts of entrepreneurial women in the less advantaged global regions and celebrates five years of supporting social entrepreneurs around the world. This is done in the hopes of emphasizing the right of all women and girls to a good job with equal pay and safe working conditions, which in the medium to long run should be brought into consideration during economic policymaking. Through Project Inspire, we hope that the increased support would enable these women to provide enough income to support a decent, sustainable standard of living for themselves and their families.

Little girls with dreams become women with vision.

Little girls with dreams become women with vision.

Previous notable projects have been those such as the 2014 Runner-up, Riverkids Project, which provides counselling, healthcare and vocational training for Cambodian sex workers, so they can transition out of the sex industry, and run their own small business; and the 2014 People’s Choice, Sinag Store Project, where financially disadvantaged girl students will gain marketable design skills and experience first-hand how to use those skills to launch a social enterprise project.

Launched in 2011 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and the 25th anniversary of MasterCard in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, “Project Inspire: 5 minutes to Change the World” is a global challenge that presents 18-35 year olds with a 5-minute platform to pitch their inspired idea to the world.

The fastest way to change society is to mobilise women of the world.

The fastest way to change society is to mobilise women of the world.

With a US$25,000 Grand Prize and US$10,000 Runner-Up Prize on offer to make their idea a reality, Project Inspire 2015 will take on the theme of ‘Technology or Design for Economic Empowerment’. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how they use design or technology as a tool in the work they are doing to enable and empower women economically throughout Asia, the Pacific, Middle East & Africa.

As part of the youth community, let us take a stand and continue to support these youth initiatives and the projects and women that they support during the crowdfunding period. The Grand Finals will be held in Singapore on November 13, 2015. For more information, please go to http://www.ProjInspire.com.

IT Auditing: An Emerging Issue for Corporations

Source: http://www.target.com

Source: http://www.target.com

Auditing, a familiar term, is used in the corporate world more frequently. Among various types of auditing, IT auditing is one of them. Before discussing about IT auditing, it is necessary to give you a brief idea about what do we mean by auditing? Auditing is the process by which a competent, independent person accumulates and evaluates evidence about quantifiable information related to a specific economic entity for the purpose of determining and reporting on the degree of correspondence between the quantifiable information and established criteria.

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Make Your Business Social & Role on the Web

Source: http://mysecretseo.com

Source: http://mysecretseo.com

On the eve of the 21st century, businesses are growing so faster than even before. Due to it, the numbers of competitors are increasing which makes the businesses more competitive. Social media a platform by which the businessmen are engaged with the potential customers and take the competitive advantages.

When you have a business, what do you want? The answer is that you want more profits from your business. But you need to know how you will make more profits than your competitors. To run your business more efficiently, you should keep in mind several things such as:

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Main points for a successful fundraising strategy

Source: Forbes

Source: Forbes

In the present era, we have various NGOs all over the world working towards a good cause and most of these NGOs require funding to achieve their goals. These NGOs normally look for individuals in the community along with international and local organizations to support their mission. Similarly, youth-led NGOs need to develop positive, long term relationships with the members of the community along with international and local organizations. Hence, it is pivotal for a youth-led NGO to be clear about its objectives and be transparent in their operations in order to build a good reputation.

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Youths and their role in Project Inspire

As a joint initiative from the Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard, Project Inspire was launched in 2011 to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. It aims to provide youths from the ages of eighteen to thirty-five the opportunity to work with non-profit organisations and compete for a US$25,000 grant to help create a better world for women and girls in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

The grant is aimed towards the target beneficiaries of the winning proposal. In the past, other than the winner’s grant, selected teams have been chosen and granted additional grants due to the strength of their proposal. It’s not just about the best proposal winning, but about increasing awareness about the promotion of economic empowerment for women. These additional grants are funded by the judging panel or by interested members of the public. Thus is the impact of such an initiative, that it encourages the public to see through the implementation of feasible projects.

I first heard about the call for Project Inspire’s Country Ambassadors in one of the Singapore Committee for UN Women’s bulletins. The qualities needed to be a Country Ambassador are similar to some of those needed for participants of the project: drive to contribute positively to society and determination to build a long-term relationship that extends beyond the initial phase.

The bulk of my time as Singapore Country Ambassador lies in relationship management and public relations, driving awareness to youths, particularly those in local and international tertiary institutions. My aim in targeting these institutions is that these youths can form a proposal with like-minded individuals. I am pleased to note there has been great support from the management of these institutions. Many of them recognise the potential of youths, and are glad to lend their support to such an initiative that provides youths with the ability to promote economic empowerment for women.

The importance of youths is key not only to the development of Project Inspire, but also in ‘Womenomics’ and creating sustainable economic growth in developed and developing countries. This enables them to believe in their own voices, and to believe in their ability to influence key decision making steps and policy planning.

One of the Special Recognition Award winners of Project Inspire 2012 recently had the pleasure of knowing that most of their beneficiaries had created their own income from using the skills developed through their proposal (http://projinspire.com/bringing-sustainable-change-to-women-in-northern-sri-lanka/). Many of the Livelihood Initiatives for Empowerment of Women (LIFE) past beneficiaries in Northern Sri Lanka are now working full time at government managed farms. LIFE has now expanded its programme to include business management skills for future beneficiaries. The ability to transfer long-term knowledge on these women’s areas of expertise have led them to further become active producing, contributing members of their economy.

In the words of Singapore Committee for UN Women’s Project Development Coordinator Ms. Soha Yassine (http://projinspire.com/the-team/), Project Inspire “represents a sustainable solution for the world we want our children to inherit. The traditional model of non-profit NGOs has seen limited success in the past but the convergence of business and social good is a more realistic and exciting model for ending poverty, disease, and injustice in the future.”

Applications are open until 30 June 2014, after which the panel of judges will select the best proposals. Representatives from these teams will be mentored and flown to Singapore to give a formal presentation of their proposal. For more information of Project Inspire, please visit http://projinspire.com/.

Negotiations take place every day

UNYANET Negotiation Club

UNYANET Negotiation Club / UNYSA Austria

“In which restaurant are we going to eat tonight?” “In which country will we spend our summer holiday?” “Which film are we going to watch?“

Questions like this, you will face almost every day or at least on a regular basis. Therefore, it is important to be able to negotiate well, in order to reach your desired outcome. If you prefer Chinese food to Japanese, rather visit Stockholm than spend your vacation on the beach in Italy, or prefer a horror movie to a romantic film, then you need to be able to find good arguments and negotiate well, so that you persuade your (negotiation) partner to vote for your choice.

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Support for the World Cup, but not for interns?

At the end of March, it was announced that the United Nations are supporting Brazil in their effort to finish the stadiums they are building for the World Cup in 2014. The whole contract between Brazilian government and the United Nations is worth 17.6 million dollars. A lot of money that could be used for other things, like interns.

First of all, I am not against the World Cup in Brazil. I would love to go there, and I am sure it will be a huge sucess. However, the financial troubles, the corruption and huge waste of money are bothering not only me as the protests are showing and I am especially not agreeing with this kind of support the United Nations provides. Continue reading

Youth Unemployment

UN Photo/Jean Pierre Laffont

UN Photo/Jean Pierre Laffont

Youth unemployment. This is one of the major concerns for young people all over the world today, especially in the countries going through major economic crises.

According to the International Labor Organization, there are 75 million youths looking for jobs around the world today [1]. However, it is not only unemployment that is affecting our fellow youngsters across the world.  The precarious conditions in which they work involve low salaries and long hours, with interns feeling lucky to be paid since the increase of unpaid internships in which one works as a slave with only a “thank you” and a whisper from the boss hoping that this job will help you find better future opportunities.  How are we, the younger generation, supposed to survive in a society ruled by plutocracy (money) if we cannot get a job?

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