UNITAR Division for Prosperity will hold the first in-person workshop in Japan for Great Ideas Space: Entrepreneurship for Public Health and COVID-19 Recovery in Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon. The programme trains entrepreneurs and founders of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) so they have greater knowledge, skills and networks to develop and run business projects that address challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and contribute to building a resilient health sector in their communities.
This programme has three phases and combines both online and in-person learning. It was launched in September 2022 with 189 participants from Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon.
During the first phase, participants learned about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, innovation and public health. 122 participants who completed the first phase continued to the second phase, in which they built leadership skills and learned about challenges and opportunities in digital health and healthcare innovations.
The first two phases were run virtually through the microlearning platform and interactive portals, where participants engaged with their peers and coaches.
For the third and last phase of the programme, “Great Ideas Space 2022: VentureLab”, 20 entrepreneurs (10 from Egypt, six from Iraq and four from Lebanon) will undergo online mentoring sessions and join in-person study tours and workshops in Japan. In this final phase, the participants will further develop practical skills and attitudes so they can validate and operationalize the business models for their start-ups.
To be invited to Japan, top performers from the online training were also assessed based on the submitted video pitches to show business models to operationalize their startups.
The 10-day trip to Japan will start with a study tour at Shibuya QWS, an entrepreneurship and innovation hub. It will be followed by a courtesy visit to the Embassy of Iraq in Tokyo. The training programme will also include cultural immersion through study tours around Tokyo and Hiroshima. Participants will learn about Hiroshima’s post-war reconstruction – a story of resilience and prosperity, hear from a hibakusha (atomic bombing survivor), and explore Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
In the workshop, to be held mostly in Higashi-Hiroshima, the entrepreneurs will take part in extensive mentoring and training on the following:
- Appraisal of personal leadership style, personal motivations, reflections on leading enterprises, a profile of successful entrepreneurs
- Product-solution fit, iteration, exercises in running high fidelity/MVP experiments, metrics and unit economics
- Market strategies: outbound and inbound marketing, communications strategy, marketing tools and techniques for the health care and public health sector
- Japan’s economic development, public health, and innovation
- Investor readiness: start-up valuation, financial modelling, how investors assess start-ups, the venture team
In the end, participants will pitch the business models and plans they developed over the programme and get feedback from their peers and a panel of mentors and coaches.
UNITAR, with financial backing from the Government and the People of Japan, supports young entrepreneurs and founders of MSMEs through social innovation and entrepreneurship training. The training helps young entrepreneurs find opportunities, create jobs and improve the healthcare system in their own countries.