Entrepreneurship is for everyone - Moving towards inclusive entrepreneurship


This blog was originally published on the OECD Forum Network here.

The world is changing rapidly, and along with it, the working life. Industrialization, globalization, digitization, robotization  - these are all making old jobs obsolete and thus, deepening the unemployment challenges our societies face. So how do we overcome these problems? Entrepreneurship is a buzzword and it is mentioned in multiple fora as a critical component of the solution. Increasingly, it comes with the prefix “inclusive”. What is inclusive entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is about the journey, and not the destination. It’s about doing and building things, not only about the result. Therefore for me, inclusive entrepreneurship is first and foremost fighting for the rights of all people to become active members of society to be able to realize their dreams. We need to proactively build the world we want - not building the future based on what has been done in the past. We should create a world that is truly inclusive for everyone, regardless of their gender or other attributes like nationality or religion. Moreover, it is about coming together as teams to work towards a shared mission and not about idolizing founders.

We need decision-making mechanisms that are all-inclusive, forward-looking and proactive, including a framework of values, ethics, and humane moral.

Digital and mobile tools play a major part in this. It enables access to training and services for broader populations that has not been possible before. Mobile is THE device that billions of people have and use everyday. At mobile learning service Funzi, we are disrupting the delivery of learning by providing everyone with the chance to learn on their mobile, for free. Funzi is accessible directly at http://funzi.mobi to everyone with a connected device.


But for inclusive entrepreneurship to be realized, it is not enough to develop skills related to  entrepreneurship and livelihood. We feel it is crucial for everyone, everywhere to be global citizens and develop 21st century skills to grow into well-rounded, empathetic and ethical individuals, and decision-makers. To have truly empowered and active citizens, they need to possess digital literacy, financial literacy, and civic skills. This is crucial in order for us to ensure the environmental, social and economical sustainability of the planet’s future. As Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has stated, “Embarking upon the new SDG agenda requires all of us to reflect upon the ultimate purpose of learning throughout life.”

As our “five cents” to the solution, we are launching the SDG 101, a mobile learning course to give everyone the skills they need to become a global citizen. So that everyone will be able to grow as collaborative, creative, and curious problem-solving members in society. We are currently looking for members to our SDG 101 steering group - if interested, please do get in touch with me at aape@funzi.fi.

The ultimate goal of the Sustainable Development Goals, or Agenda 2030, is to leave no-one behind. We wish to reformulate this through the positive: let’s build for a world that includes everyone.

Thank you to my co-panelists Nicola Hazell of BlueChilli, Roxanne Varza of Station F and Chiara Condi of Led by Her for an invigorating panel discussion at the OECD Forum, 2017 on Bridging Divides.

Aape Pohjavirta
Chief Evangelist, Founder, Funzi

Continue the conversation by commenting below your thoughts!

  • Can entrepreneurship help address the dual challenge of globalisation and digitalisation?
  • What is needed to create resilient entrepreneurs who will be driving forces of social change?

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