PepsiCo UAE Innovation Challenge launched to Recognize Youth Innovation in the UAE

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  • In support of the UAE Innovation Week, ‘PepsiCo UAE Innovation Challenge’ calls on young people in the ages of 15-30 to share their ideas and provide innovative solutions to important sustainable development challenges.
  • PepsiCo’s ‘2025 Sustainability Agenda’ unveiled last week is aligned with the global UN sustainable development goals highlights the importance of driving community development including youth engagement and empowerment.
  • Organized by PepsiCo and powered by SkillPowerment and Launchpad, the challenge is being held in partnership with Innovation Live!.
SkillPowerment Impact 2016
SkillPowerment Impact 2016

Dubai, UAE: In support of the UAE Innovation Week and as part of the Innovation Live! Summit, PepsiCo, the global food and beverage company, has launched a competition aimed at contributing to UAE’s innovation culture while engaging youth, and encouraging them to develop solutions for environmental and social challenges.

In alignment with the UAE vision to drive a culture of innovation, the ‘PepsiCo UAE Innovation Challenge’ will take place during UAE Innovation Week as part of Innovation Live! event on November 21, 2016 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai. It is open to UAE innovators aged between 15 and 30 with innovative ideas that will drive sustainable development and make a lasting impact when it comes to society and the environment.

The PepsiCo UAE Innovation Challenge will recognize most innovative ideas in 3 categories including environmental conservation, talent development and health and wellness. In the environment category, there is special emphasis on clean energy and water. In the talent development category, the focus is on education, talent development, skills building and the empowerment of women. And for the health and wellness categories, the focus is on leveraging technology to raise awareness and any other ideas that can improve quality of life. Applications are open until November 13, 2016.

Omar Farid, President, Middle East and North Africa region at PepsiCo, said: “The PepsiCo UAE Innovation challenge places innovation at the heart of efforts to improve the quality of life, and to help address societal and environmental issues in new ways while contributing to the economy and building the spirit of entrepreneurship and individual social responsibility amongst youth.”

“We are very proud to welcome applications for the ‘PepsiCo UAE Innovation Challenge’. We believe the challenge can support driving a culture of innovation in the UAE by giving young people the platform to hone their creativity, innovation and skills before a panel of expert judges. The UAE already has a strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in a scaling digital economy, and now is the time to build on progress so that we can recognize and provide exposure to the new generation of youth who are passionate to make a difference.”

“Globally and regionally, PepsiCo’s is empowering people and driving social development across our operations, supply chain and communities. Under the recently announced ‘2025 Sustainability Agenda’, PepsiCo has committed to creating social and economic value in the communities in which operate. By focusing on innovation amongst young people in the UAE, we are aiming to help build on their potential to become innovators and contributing to shaping the sustainable leadership mindset required in areas like the environment, talent development, skills building and wellness which are so important for sustainable development in the UAE and in line with the country’s vision.”

Abed Shaheen, CEO of InfoFort and founder of SkillPowerment commented: “We are very excited to be part of PepsiCo UAE Innovation Challenge and partner with PepsiCo and Launchpad. Innovation Live! Is the perfect platform to connect organizations with youth seeking to enter the job market through innovative digital platforms.

“Today’s youth are going to be tomorrow’s clients and decision-makers so it is critical, now more than ever, that we invest in their future. If we can overcome these education and skills-related challenges through the use of innovative technological solutions, we will be in a better position to fill the current skills gap.

“Not only will we provide our future generations with the education and skills required to succeed in their professional lives, but we will be able to offer businesses the necessary human capital to drive economic success, strengthen communities, reduce youth unemployment, improve the quality of life and much needed stability across the region.”

Aysha Alawadhi, Vice Chair & Chief Executive, Launchpad: “As the first CSR (corporate social responsibility) licensed organization in the UAE, Launchpad is a broad platform that can work with many different stakeholders to create impact. We are very excited to partner with Pepsi, Skillpowerment and MEED on this important event, as we wholeheartedly believe in supporting all forms of innovation that lead to positive impact, both at an enterprise and social level.”

About PepsiCo:

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2015, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world is what enables PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders.

About Innovation Live!:

Organised by MEED, the leader in providing businesses with market intelligence, Innovation Live! in association with Dubai Chamber is an official anchor event of the UAE Innovation Week. Taking place on 21st November, the conference and exhibition is bringing government and businesses together to achieve UAE Vision 2021. With Ted style inspirational keynotes, skill boost bootcamps, and innovation experience zone, the event will host 1000+ senior execs from government and businesses together to access a stimulating programme that will help shape the future of UAE.

About SkillPowerment:

Skillpowerment is a platform which aims to address the alarming youth unemployment and poverty rates in the Middle East and Africa.  The platform links youth organizations with companies that will share skills with youth and help them invest in their human capital. Building human capital will increase youth’s competitiveness, employment opportunities, and enhance their economic condition thus strengthening communities and reducing poverty. While there are plenty of worldwide initiatives addressing the issues of unemployment and poverty through empowering entrepreneurship, there remains a social group unintentionally left behind: marginalized youth, especially in the MEA region, who are unemployed due to the lack of skills demanded by the job market. Skillpowerment complements other initiatives by matching youth with companies that will make them ready to seize better employment opportunities.

About Launchpad:

Launchpad is the first UAE enterprise licensed to design, fund, and implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. As an Emirati founded platform, Launchpad’s CSR charter is to align aspirations of public and private sectors towards sustainable economic and human capital development. Launchpad incubates CSR programs and social enterprises by leveraging its network to create awareness and advocacy for impact driven initiatives.