Thank you, Dell’s customers, partners, supporters, team members—together we achieved something immense! Through the #EntrepreneursUNite campaign, under Michael Dell’s leadership, we were able to garner monumental awareness and support for Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aka ‘the world’s to do list’ for the next 15 years, which world leaders ratified at the UN this past week.
Overall, #EntrepreneursUNite generated more than 1.2 billion actions in community participation (emails, blogs, social and traditional media) and nearly 60,000 petition signatures, delivered to the UN ahead of the vote. Together, we created a movement!
On Sunday, after Goal 8 was officially gaveled in, we were able to see extraordinary entrepreneurial ideas at the Solutions Summit hosted by Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer for the White House, and Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama. Megan touted Dell as the leader in technology solutions, and thanked us for bringing the private sector to the Summit—business and policy must work hand-in-hand to create effective change.
The Solutions Summit took place at the UN Headquarters, and gave exceptional innovators whose ideas are already helping to push forward the SDGs the chance to meet with policymakers, investors and industry leaders, all working to scale these projects for greater impact.
Speaking at the Summit, Macharia Kamau, Ambassador and Permanent Representative from Kenya to the United Nations, said it best:
We need to get started right away. We only have 15 years.
In other words, the work starts in earnest NOW.
The SDGs span a range of pressing issues from ending poverty to gender equality to protecting our oceans. The 17 goals that were passed are an inclusive take on what needs to be done to make our planet a happy, healthy and safe place for all people.
Participating in UN week has been a reminder that we still have a lot of work to do on many fronts—people are going hungry, women still don’t have equal opportunities, and climate change is putting our world at risk—but Dell believes in the power of entrepreneurs around the world to step up, strengthen the economy, create jobs and solve these issues. They are the superheroes of our generation.
Goal 8 is focused on providing sustainable economic growth and decent employment opportunities for all. The world needs to add 600 million new jobs in the next 10 years to employ the entire eligible workforce. Goal 8 also recognizes that a major driving force behind the economy—and those jobs we need—are entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the global economy, with startups and small businesses providing up to 70 percent of new jobs, and up to 90 percent in some emerging markets. From Sudan to Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs are providing jobs and growing the economy, creating a trickle-down effect that brings benefits to entire communities.
We were able to reiterate the need for strong support of entrepreneurs globally on “Morning Joe” on Monday, highlighting the need entrepreneurs have for access to technology, capital, markets and talent in order to be able to thrive.
The support behind Goal 8 and the rest of the SDGs has been phenomenal. Because of the power of the movement we all built together, Dell was invited to help open the Social Good Summit—which brought together advocates, global leaders, and change makers interested in creating a more sustainable, equal and thriving world.
Karen Quintos, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Dell, assisted in opening the Summit by reading Goal 8 on stage with luminaries such as Victoria Beckham, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, and Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever. Dell representatives also had the privilege of speaking on panels with some of the most dedicated supporters of the SDGs.
Passionate people with big ideas can accomplish great things, and being surrounded by individuals who truly care and are working hard to make change was inspirational. Leila Janah, founder and CEO of Samasource, is an example of how entrepreneurship carried out globally can make an outstanding impact on communities. By providing low-level tech jobs to people in poor areas, she’s helped lift thousands out of poverty.
Now that Goal 8 has passed, the work we need to do has just begun. It lies on all of us—citizens, governments, and the private sector—to make sure we keep entrepreneurship a priority and front of mind for the next 15 years, so that we can provide jobs for the millions of people who need them.
You can continue to help us build a more innovative and sustainable world by continuing the dialogue around #EntrepreneursUNite here.
The global economy needs support from everyone; it has to be a team effort. Let’s enable entrepreneurs around the world and make a change together!