Veon expands 'Make Your Mark' emerging markets initiative

Monday 19 June 2017 | 10:57 CET | News
Telecommunications giant Veon, as Vimpelcom is now called, announced that it has partnered with young entrepreneurs in emerging markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Algeria and Russia in the past year via its  ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign. First launched in 2014, the ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign is active in all of the company’s 13 markets and aims to empower young people in pursuing digital entrepreneurship via the development of local digital start-up ecosystems. The company’s newly-released 2016 corporate responsibility report reveals that last year a total of 9,397 young people attended entrepreneurship education events, 7,394 benefited from computer equipment donated by the company, 5,870 enrolled in sponsored literacy programmes and 2,018 participated in accelerators and incubators.

In Russia, Veon subsidiary Beeline partnered with Google and mobile developers Apps4 to organise Angelhack, the largest hackathon in the world. The series of events brought together 50,000 developers from over 30 countries to produce mobile solutions for key world issues. The company’s Eurasia Mobile Challenge also saw over 1,000 startups participating from countries such as Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

In Bangladesh, Veon’s local Banglalink unit teamed up with the government in 2016 to launch the country’s first information and communication technology incubator under a public private partnership and Veon’s Pakistan subsidiary Jazz is running an award-winning programme which addresses widespread female illiteracy in the rural Khyber Pakhtunkhwa community. 

In Italy, the group’s subsidiary Wind is collaborating with LUISS University and venture capital fund L-Venture to set up the LUISS Enlabs accelerator programme, while in Algeria a startup called Dalil launched an object recognition and navigation system for visually impaired people and won Veon subsidiary Djezzy’s digital entrepreneurship challenge. The Dalil prototype is now being refined in partnership with the Association of Blind in Constantine.

Veon’s CR report also highlights the role digital services can play in addressing humanitarian issues, from initiatives to improve agricultural services to offerings that allow people in remote areas without access to basic financial services to transfer money via their mobile phone.

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