UPSHIFT – Social Entrepreneurship Program

UNICEF and the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development piloted this program in June 2018, with support from the Ministry of Education and Science.

The UPSHIFT intervention package contains: 1) learning through a human-centered design methodology; 2) mentoring opportunities to develop ideas to their full creative potential, and 3) initial funding to support and engage young people. These interventions are implemented in each cycle, which consists of:

  • 3 published calls per annual cycle
  • three-day workshops for developing ideas after each of the published calls
  • Mentoring period of three months and initial funding with a grant of € 2000 for the most successful
  • The methodology follows the latest research on brain development in adolescents. UPSHIFT gives young people a sense of belonging, autonomy and ability, and motivates young people to succeed.
  • It involves young people in social processes by giving them guidance in identifying problems in their community, and then together with the community creates solutions, services or products that address those problems. This “customer-centric design” and learning entrepreneurship through services enables young people to develop critical thinking and gain 21st century skills that can be applied to all walks of life.
  • Significant effort has been made to ensure the sustainability and national coverage of this program through cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Bureau for Development of Education.