Nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset

Each year, the board of the Student Union creates an annual plan with a set of goals to achieve, and indicators to ensure these goals are being met. As part of this annual plan, a focus was outlined, to let students develop their personal competencies next to their studies. This is to be achieved through informing students about (the added value of) challenge-based learning and an entrepreneurial mindset within activism. Additionally, the focus of sustainability was also defined, with the goal of making students and associations aware of sustainability through Student Union support of at least two events or challenges regarding sustainability. 

Recently, two outstanding initiatives have been brought to our attention, which we want to share with students in order to make a start at meeting the goals outlined in our annual plan.

“Peace Through Trade” student competition

The first is the World Trade Centers Association Foundation (WTCAF) annual “Peace Through Trade” student competition, “a program designed to identify and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders from the 300-plus cities where a World Trade Center branded business is located.”

This program is open to students globally who want to submit ideas that “promote social innovation and sustainability through collaboration, fair trade, and ethical international business practices,” as well as tackle one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The winner will receive a cash prize, as well as a range of experiences such as participation in the WTCA’s virtual 2022 Member Forum and 2023 General Assembly, and the opportunity to present their ideas to a global and entrepreneurial audience during these events. 

The submissions have already opened, and will be open until Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. More information can be found here

National ThinkTank

Very soon the annual National ThinkTank will take place in Amsterdam. This initiative for (almost) graduated students willing to dedicate their time during the 15th of August until the 16th of December is aimed at making a societal impact. This year the theme is “biodiversity,” and will encompass a range of research and development activities together with coaches, trainers, and professionals in the field. 

During the 2020 edition of the ThinkTank, the team came up “with smart and innovative solutions to improve the resilience of the Dutch middle class, which is under pressure due to – among others – flexibilisation of the labour market and the lack of affordable housing.” During this edition, desired solutions are sought for “The global climate crisis,” “for example in the field of soil fertility and crop pollination in agriculture, unclear Dutch nature policy, lack of awareness among policymakers, companies and citizens, and financial risks.”

Signups have already opened, and will close on the 10th of April. Find out more and sign up for the annual National ThinkTank on the website https://nationale-denktank.nl/home-eng/ 

Do these themes and these interesting environments of like-minded, research-oriented, problem solvers interest you? Submit your idea to the student competition, or sign up for the National ThinkTank! Who knows, you might see enough potential in your idea to ultimately launch a business, and make real change nationally or abroad.

The Student Union believes every student should achieve More Than a Degree, and hopes that through promotion of these types of initiatives and events, students are able graduate as well rounded, empathetic, and open minded individuals.