Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) hosted a two-day event at the United Nations, 25-26 June 2019, focused on inspiring, educating and connecting business leaders to promote sustainable business practices.
EASTVILLE, VIRGINIA – Sara Baldwin had the privilege of attending the International Entrepreneurial Summit at the UN on June 25 and 26, 2019. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a global, peer-to-peer network with 192 chapters worldwide, hosted a two-day International Entrepreneurial Summit at the United Nations. Baldwin has been a member of EO for over 14 years.
Entrepreneurial leaders gathered to discuss and plan for the integration of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their businesses and personal lives. The SDG’s consist of 17 goals and 169 targets to eradicate poverty, reverse inequality and halt climate change by 2030.
EO Southeast VA was represented at the Summit by Baldwin and two other members from her chapter. They were among more than 180 entrepreneurs and business leaders interacting in substantive panel discussions to formulate concrete actions that business leaders can implement to tackle issues surrounding the following four SDGs:
- SDG 4 ̶ Quality Education
- SDG 5 ̶ Gender Equality
- SDG 6 ̶ Clean Water and Sanitation
- SDG 8 ̶ Decent Work and Economic Growth
“It was an honor to represent EO Southeast VA and Local Scoop at the International Entrepreneurial Summit at the United Nations,” said Baldwin. “In my years as an EO member, I’ve seen how strongly EO encourages the vital role entrepreneurs play in driving positive change. I’m excited by the opportunity to engage with the SDGs to lead substantive change both in our local community and around the world.”
Sara was on the floor of the United Nations during the panel discussion and was one of the signatories of the Outcomes Declaration, delineating 14 concrete actions that entrepreneurs can take to further the UN SDGs locally.
“As a signatory of the Outcomes Declaration, I will adopt these actions in my own company, and I encourage other local businesses and organizations to do the same. Together, we can address these sustainable development challenges and help to make the world a better place,” Baldwin continued.
The specific outcomes generated by EO participants during the International Entrepreneurial Summit include:
- Develop a children’s educational program to engage member kids in social impact and teach the significance of the SDGs.
- Partner with Model UN organizations for programming, and ultimately host a global gamified competition among member kids.
- Increase business participation with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), with a goal of achieving a minimum 20 percent UNGC engagement among member companies within 12 months.
- Designate a Social Impact Day to celebrate social impact on one day globally, including education on ROI to businesses, key executive involvement and community action.
- Support more women in leadership: in the local and national community, in civic leadership, in local and global businesses, and on the boards of private and public companies.
- Create a gender equality certification program specifying equality in recruitment and selection during promotions, clear parental leave policies, safe environments for women, equal compensation, and equal opportunity to board positions.
- Commit to holding your company accountable for using no single-use plastic.
- Create and support a competition for companies to fund a sustainable water supply for 5,000 people in water-stressed areas of the world.
- Use B-Corp B-Lab Assessment to aggregate data and measure company impact.
By hosting the International Entrepreneurial Summit, EO aims to create momentum addressing the SDG’s by forming a network of connections that will empower business leaders to contribute in solving pressing global challenges—starting locally in Southeast Virginia.
EO is an avid supporter of the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda: In September 2017, EO members pledged support for the UN SDGs during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, recognizing the importance of solving real-world problems through sustainable business practices. In May 2018, former EO Global Chair Brian Brault was a keynote speaker at the UN’s International Council for Small Business and Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, where he signed a declaration emphasizing the importance of entrepreneurship in driving positive change by addressing sustainable development challenges.
The engaging line-up of speakers for the International Entrepreneurial Summit included H.E. Dr. Michal Mlynar, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Slovakia to the UN; Dr. Derrek Kayongo, Global Soap Project; Andrew Wilson, ICC; Shamina Singh, Mastercard; Joshua Williams, Ashoka; Rosemarie “Bubu” Andres, EO Global Chair; and Warren Rustand, Dean of the EO Leadership Academy.
Sara Baldwin founded New Ravenna, the largest mosaic studio in North America, in 1991. A serial entrepreneur, after selling New Ravenna in September of 2017, she founded Local Scoop as a way of giving back and celebrating local creative endeavors, potentially everywhere.