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FERD's List 2020: How can technology develop entrepreneurship and local economies?

12 November 2020

The third and last webinar to celebrate the FERD's List 2020 on 12 November featured another two inspirational JA AlumniJonas Alexandersson, Founder & COO of UserTribe; and Victoria Mbabazi, Founder & CEO of Kitchen Station. Moderated by Johan Andresen, Owner & Chairman FERD and Jānis Krievāns, CEO JA Latvia, they discussed about the critical role of technology in developing entrepreneurship and local economies. Boris Kolev, Head of Digital Transformation at JA Europe and 2017 FERD’s List Honouree also participated in the discussion.

The webinar was opened by Jānis Krievāns, who stressed how entrepreneurs usually start at the local level, but they often have global ambitions. Since 2017, JA Europe and FERD are showing the impact of entrepreneurship education on the career paths of young people. 

Jonas Alexandersson reflected on his strong connection to the Junior Achievement network and the people who have a similar background in entrepreneurship. In his view, technology has made it possible to be local in global company. His company UserTribe serves countries across the globe, and having people work for the company locally would not be possible without technology. "But technology has also created more distance between business and their customers", he added, "and as a society we have a responsibility to bridge this gap and bring in the human perspective".

Boris Kolev, serial entrepreneur, said the COVID-19 context has made technology even more central in education. Looking ahead, empowering teachers as well as students with technology and digital tools to develop their entrepreneurship skills will make a huge difference.

Jānis acknowledged that there is still huge room for digital transformation for Junior Achievement's education programmes. In Latvia, 2020 has been a turning point for entrepreneurship education opportunities and more students will be reached than ever before!

Victoria Mbabazi explained about the role of technology in her food industry start-up, Kitchen Station. "It is about how you can bring modern technology into a sector, and in Uganda this is still starting. But the margin of growth is huge for those companies that do decide to use technology".

Johan H. Andresen concluded by saying he wishes the word "entrepreneurship" comes into the curricula of teachers' education, which would help them have an understanding of the tools and opportunities that lie within entrepreneurship education. This makes a difference not only to successful JA alumni, but also to those young people who have not found their way yet and can boost their motivation and potential through entrepreneurial skills. 

In case you missed it, watch the full webinar here!

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