Written by Elena Cirligeanu
To begin with, as the most international Junior Enterprise, Westminster Business Consultants believes that it is crucial to increase the awareness of the SDGs and the actions organisations are taking to achieve the goals.
Human beings are seriously transforming the planet to such a degree that a remarkable political agreement was made consequently in September 2015. The treaty called “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” or ‘SDGs’ was signed on 25 September 2015 by 193 countries from United Nations Member States (UN, 2015).
Furthermore, the document was mainly designed for developed and developing economies and is a way to solve the global challenges we face through 17 goals and 169 targets that will promote prosperity while at the same time will ensure that the environment will be preserved.
In this article, WBC will explain the goals and will further develop how JADE and our organisation are committed to number 4, 8 and 17 and how it links to the services we provide to our clients.
Goal 4: “Quality of Education”
The first goal JADE and therefore WBC are committed to is goal four “Quality of Education” that is defined as: “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” (UN, 2015). Worldwide, a significant part of children and adolescents lack the minimum skills standards in reading and mathematics.
When aspiring to a more sustainable world, education should be the most crucial factor humanity should take care of because it is the principal solver for a set of problems that SDGs addresses: poverty, gender inequalities, peace.
Westminster Business Consultants’ tagline ‘Building Leaders of Tomorrow’ has the aim to aid the students to become leaders in their careers by fostering an atmosphere to develop multiple skills. Moreover, it allows the students to put their theoretical knowledge into practice, and it encourages entrepreneurship by promoting the concept of Junior Enterprises.
Furthermore, Junior Enterprises are working to make an impact on target 4.4: ‘By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship’ (UN, 2015).
To achieve the target, JADE started to implement inside the JE network a set of actions: ‘Reach 21 countries in Europe by 2021’ and ‘Increase the presence of the JE concept in developing countries’ (JADE, 2018).
WBC respects and admires brands who engage in Corporate Social Responsibility activities, and a reliable model is Intel that is also motivated to have an impact on goal number 4, target 4.4.
Intel has built a strong reputation when it comes to investing in education and actively worked to increase the quality of people’s lives through technology. In 2017, the brand shared their initiative called Intel® Innovation Generation that had the purpose of increasing the ability to develop technological skills and gain relevant experience for the ‘jobs of tomorrow’. Furthermore, their action also focused on ensuring that ‘the next generation of innovators is diverse in terms of geography, economic status, ethnicity, and gender’ (Intel, 2017).
Goal 8: ‘Decent work and economic growth’
Goal eight is defined as ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’ (UN, 2015).
Youth unemployment is a global issue and should be a priority worldwide. The majority of students or young adults who fail to get a job have massive concerns when it comes to buying their own house, having a decent life or even be independent. It is known that a lot of young adults engage in jobs that are outside their university’s degree, such as part-time work or temporary work. Consequently, they do not get a fair chance to work in their domain, resulting in even more frustrated adults when employers refuse them due to their lack of experience (B. Gontkovičová, B. Mihalčová, M. Pružinský, 2015).
Junior Enterprises are a tremendous chance for university students to develop their skills and become more employable while at the same time it is a perfect opportunity to share ideas and support the growth of their clients and the local economy. On the other hand, by being part of a JE, you build up the reputation of the university you are affiliated to, which results in a higher number of talented and motivated students who will want to join your organisation.
JADE and therefore WBC are keen to have a positive effect on target 8.2 ‘Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value-added and labour-intensive sectors’ (UN, 2015).
To make a difference, JADE aims to work with European Institutions to further develop the idea of ‘education acting as an expert about entrepreneurial education’ (JADE, 2018).
It is known that SMEs in developing countries are contributing massively to their countries’ economic development and with the help of large international companies, these enterprises can have the opportunity to grow.
Google made a sustainable move towards goal eight, target 8.2 in 2015 that had the intention to grow 20 million Indian SMEs online with the help of the app ‘Google My Business’. This application gave enterprises the chance to design and control their content for free using Google products available in two languages, English and Hindi.
Goal 17: ‘Partnerships for the Goals’
Goal seventeen is defined as ‘Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development’ (UN, 2015).
The last and the most important goal of SDGs is attempting to intensify global partnerships to accomplish the targets proposed for the 2030 Agenda. To successfully achieve this, collaborations between the private sector, civil society and the government are necessary and ‘are needed at the global, regional, national and local level’ (UN, 2015).
As Helen Keller said, ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’, the JE Network intends to expand the collaboration with its shareholders to accomplish the ‘so much’ H. Keller was talking about – the 17 SDGs. Junior Enterprises are making significant transformations when it comes to the academic and business world, as well as society. Moreover, the students who involve themselves in organisations are always encouraged to take action and responsibility, to take part in extracurricular activities and to share from heir knowledge with others.
This last goal has five categories of targets (Finance, Technology, Capacity Building, Trade, Systematic Issues) and the category JADE and JEs can have the most impact on is called Systematic Issues. Target 17.16 has the purpose of enhancing ‘the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilise and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries’ (UN, 2015).
To conclude this target, events to raise awareness of the Agenda need to be organised; as well as collaborations between JEs and European Student Organisations to associate young adults with the completion of the 17 SDGs (JADE, 2018).
According to the annual report from 2017, Master Card has made it possible for 15,000 people from Yemen and 9,000 people from the Philippines to receive aid more safely and efficiently through Mastercard Aid Network, Mastercard Prepaid Cards, and Mastercard Send for Disbursements (MasterCard, 2017).
MasterCard Aid Network represents a digital, sustainable way for organisations to provide food, shelter and medicaments to communities of people who need it the most.
To summarize, the 2030 Agenda is a guideline for humanity, the Earth and prosperity; it assembles 17 Sustainable Development Goals, 169 targets and was approved and signed on 25 September 2015 by 193 countries from all United Nations Member States.
Westminster Business Consultants and JADE’s services can help United Nations to reach the 17 SDGs, especially 4,8 and 17 by: expanding the presence of the JE Concept in 21 European countries, by raising the awareness of the Agenda within the Network, and by providing to our clients high-quality services that are growing their businesses in a sustainable way.
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Master Card. (2017). Working to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Available: https://newsroom.mastercard.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/SDG-Fact-Sheet-2017.pdf.
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