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Making an Empact

Chiara de Caro speaks with Sarah Green as the Empact Showcase Award comes to Europe for the first time

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and over 75 million youth worldwide are looking for work. How does the Empact Showcase hope to help with this crucial issue?

When myself, Sheena Lindahl and Michael Simmons co-founded the Empact Showcase, we wanted to tackle this youth unemployment issue through an entrepreneurship lens. The fact that we are young entrepreneurs ourselves, enables us to share the common passion of helping each and every young person achieve their true potential in life by utilising the entrepreneurial mindset.

So how do you define the entrepreneurial mindset?

The entrepreneurial mindset is a way of thinking that encompasses concepts of innovation, creativity, passion fulfilment, idea creation, goal setting, accountability, etc. To truly encompass the entrepreneurial mindset, you have to go one level deeper: at the centre of each entrepreneur's success story is a history of defeat, hopelessness, failure, insecurity and ultimately, courage. What separates the successes from the 'what if' stories are giant leaps of faith that require healthy daily doses of daring perseverance.

Most speeches or courses on entrepreneurship and pursuing passion, focus on topics like Startup Secrets or How To Pitch An Idea To An Investor. As a result, many entrepreneurship training programmes and events leave out some of the largest challenges and insecurities everyone struggles with on a daily basis.

Empact believes that the key to a more entrepreneurial generation is learning how to recognise insecurities and break down barriers while providing the encouragement and inspiration to take courageous and immediate action.

How do you create a culture of entrepreneurship?

The first approach Empact takes in creating a culture of entrepreneurship is celebrating and awarding existing young entrepreneurs within the community to expose individuals to the many different faces of entrepreneurship. The goal is to make entrepreneurs relatable and recognise each diverse entrepreneur as a role model.

One significant insight Empact observed is that many do not consider themselves entrepreneurs because the images of entrepreneurs promoted by the media are often of only one type of entrepreneurs - those in the tech space, the ‘overnight’ successes!

The reality is that there are many different types of entrepreneurship - enough to make entrepreneurship relevant for nearly any personality, not just the stereotypical tech entrepreneur image.

How does the Empact Showcase and Award achieve this goal?

To achieve this goal, Empact created the Empact Showcase, an online platform that highlights the vital role young entrepreneurs play within the economy so that they are seen as today's role models that will inspire tomorrow's generation.

By aggregating the power of this group into a collective platform, we are then able to prove how important it is to support existing young entrepreneurs, but also how important it will be to expand this population in the future. For example, in 2012, the entrepreneurs in the US Empact Showcase contributed over $1.2 billion in revenue to the economy and created over 8,000 jobs.

From this platform, Empact then takes the best among those amazing, diverse and real stories of the young entrepreneurs, recognises their achievements at an annual Award Event - at the White House (2011), the US Chamber of Commerce (2012) and the United Nations (2013). We also get these young achievers out to events around the world to serve as role models to all different shapes and sizes of future entrepreneurs.


Sarah Green is a Partner and COO of Empact. While in school, she was nominated for the Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award for her success in running an entrepreneurship programme in Kampala, Uganda, founding a chapter of AIESEC, the world's largest student-held organisation and founding the High Country Global Opportunities Conference. Her collegiate achievements were recognised through a scholarship named, "The Sarah Green Scholarship for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship". She has been published by the United Nations and acknowledged by President Obama for her work as a young leader in entrepreneurship in America. Sarah has a strong passion for, and expertise in, social entrepreneurship and enterprise based solutions to poverty, and her work  has been featured in prominent media outlets including Forbes, Entrepreneur,, MSNBC, ABC, Yahoo Finance and Fox Business.


Originally from Southern Italy, Chiara de Caro holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Perugia (Italy). At University, she was the leader of a student association and the representative of students in the academic board of her faculty. With a strong experience in youth entrepreneurship, Chiara brings varied experience to Empact. Most recently she worked as General Manager of EBAN, the European Association of Business Angels and Early Stage Investors. Prior to this, she was the Director of YES, a Brussels-based organisation representing 40,000 entrepreneurs all over Europe. She is also an active member of several international networks such as Professional Women International and Toastmasters.
Published on 24-05-2013 20:38 by David Tee. 1623 page views

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