Nestlé’s major drive to engage with the next generation of employees across its businesses continued with the launch of its Youth Entrepreneurship Platform (YEP), writes Neill Barston.
The business launched with a special online event attended by Confectionery Production yesterday, offering encouragement to budding business talent – including those with businesses in confectionery, snacks and baked goods innovations .
This comes as the company this month expanded its Nestlé Needs YOU campaign, which aims to reach a total of 500,000 young people by 2025 in the United States, providing jobs and significant development opportunities for young people. skills.
As part of its latest online initiative released this week, the Digital Platform Project, young innovators will have access to new opportunities to learn knowledge and skills, ranging from food science and technology to development. of products and services – including regenerative agriculture and sustainable packaging.
As Nestlé has recognised, the current under-25 generation is among the best educated ever, but many young entrepreneurs have been held back by their start-up opportunities affected by a lack of access to finance or broader support services for setting up their businesses. .
In terms of direct support, the food giant explained that its YEP platform brings together all of its existing innovation initiatives and programs in one place.
It gives young innovators access to the Nestlé Entrepreneurship Academy as well as dedicated programs to develop their knowledge, acquire new skills and gain experience. It also offers personalized content and resources from specific geographies.
Stefan Palzer (below), Nestlé CTO, gave a keynote address to potential candidates using the platform, offering encouragement to aspiring entrepreneurs who will shape the future of the multi-billion food and beverage industry.
He said: “At Nestlé, we work with startups, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers to drive innovation, bring great ideas to market quickly and deliver nutritious, sustainable and affordable products to a growing global population. .
“Our new digital platform helps young people bring big ideas to life across the food value chain, shaping the future of food!”
Key programs available on the Nestlé Youth Entrepreneurship Platform include:
Nestlé R+D Accelerator: Entrepreneurs can apply for challenges in one of Nestlé’s 12 accelerators around the world, to focus on developing disruptive food and beverage innovations and bringing them to market in six month.
As the company said, attendees can work with Nestlé R&D experts from around the world, such as food technologists, nutritionists, food safety and regulatory experts, designers and packaging experts. Each team also receives hands-on support from dedicated innovation coaches and mentorship from senior Nestlé management.
The great challenges of youth
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), two out of five young people are unemployed or have a job that keeps them in poverty.
That’s why Nestlé launched Nestlé Needs YOUth in 2013. The company’s Global Youth Initiative helps young people gain the skills they need to thrive in the workplaces of tomorrow. Around the world, it has benefited more than 4 million young people through the three pillars, employability, agripreneurship and entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship can be a positive choice, a way to unleash innovation, skills and energy to drive economic and social progress. Through the new platform, Nestlé encourages this, invests in start-ups and helps young entrepreneurs put their ideas into practice.
“Young entrepreneurs need guidance, support and above all opportunities and platforms where their voices can be heard and their ideas realized. This includes developing their knowledge and skills, testing their ideas in real-life situations, getting feedback from their audience and receiving support to take their concept to the next level,” said Laurent Freixe, CEO of Nestlé. for Latin America and founder of Nestlé Needs YOUth. initiative.
“The Nestlé Youth Entrepreneurship Platform will help them gain the skills, experience and mindset they need to launch their idea and business.”