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GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP DECLARATION

by the 1MillionStartups Initiative
welcomed by
the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

To promote entrepreneurship
as a key driver to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

WHEREAS the United Nations Charter calls for the promotion of higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development, with a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples;

WHEREAS 1MillionStartups is committed to supporting innovative business ideas with a view to harness their potential in contributing to social and economic development and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while creating a network of key stakeholders including entrepreneurs, investors, business angels and international organizations;

WHEREAS the international community has stressed the crucial role that innovative business solutions, and in particular the role of youth-led social enterprises and start-ups, can play in driving development objectives on national, regional and global levels and in addressing pressing social and economic challenges, including high levels of unemployment, environmental degradation, food security, waste management, as well as migration and connected social tensions and challenges, and consequently recognizes the importance of providing entrepreneurs access to the necessary tools, knowledge, and networks;

WHEREAS UNIDO and 1MillionStartups have been collaborating to globally build awareness on the role of startups, including social enterprises, and to build the capacities of existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, leveraging on their respective expertise, with a view to achieving the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs;

NOW THEREFORE, 1MillionStartups initiates this GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP DECLARATION to call upon the international community to join efforts with 1MillionStartups and commit to supporting women and men in their entrepreneurial pursuits, and to elevating the role of entrepreneurship, and in particular social and impact entrepreneurship, to empower young women and men in realizing their full social and economic potential and in putting innovative business ideas into practice with a view to achieving higher levels of living and development; and declare their intention to:
1. Engage with UNIDO, which is committed to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development, with a particular focus on supporting young women and men in realizing their social and economic potential through entrepreneurship promotion, including social entrepreneurship, in strategic industrial sector with high potential for growth and decent job creation, which is reflected in UNIDO’s active engagement at the global level on promoting entrepreneurship and self-employment to create decent jobs for young women and men, such as through the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth;

2. Continue to advocate for the role of entrepreneurship, and particularly social entrepreneurship, for inclusive and sustainable development, as well as continue to promote entrepreneurship as a key driver of job creation and economic independence and empowerment, with a specific focus on youth, women and other underrepresented groups of society;

3. Increase efforts in providing young entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to enable them to successfully create and develop their enterprises, including improved access to markets, networks (including peer-to-peer networks), knowledge, and skills (including innovative opportunities for skills development, such as global virtual education and training), and improved access to finance (including innovative financing mechanisms and potential combinations of public and private funding, as well as impact investment);

4. Adhere to principles of accountability and sustainability by defining targets to measure the progress achieved through this Declaration, as well as the positive social, economic, and environmental impact generated by the supported enterprises, and encourages partners to set targets in line with the objectives of this Declaration to maximize effectiveness;

5. Accelerate outreach to increase the number of enterprises and partners committed to jointly take action towards the achievement of the SDGs; the objective is for 1 million entrepreneurs and start-ups with a clear focus on SDG action to join the 1MillionStartups initiative by 2020 (The Annex provides a list of enterprises, startups and partners that have already joined 1 MillionStartups as of 22 November 2017);

6. Create a global entrepreneurial network, by calling upon aspiring and potential entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs, local authorities and national Governments, international organizations, voluntary organizations, representatives from academia, science, technology and educational institutions, investors, and others, to commit to this Declaration and strive for its observance through their respective strategies to support and enable entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on youth, women and other underrepresented groups of society.