Telecommunications giant Telefónica, the company behind the O2 network in the UK, has announced a number of initiatives to develop entrepreneurship in Europe by 2015. Its plans were revealed by the company’s Chief Operating Officer during the World Economic Forum in Switzerland today.
Full details of the company’s announcement are below.
Telefónica states bold 2015 targets to boost positive change in Europe
- Telefónica joins EC Commissioner Neelie Kroes 'Grand Coalition' to boost digital skills, innovation and entrepreneurship
- José María Álvarez-Pallete pledges 1,000 start-up companies in Europe by 2015
- Telefónica announces largest-ever global survey of Millennial adults (ages 18-30)
- London named as host of Campus Party Europe – world’s biggest technology festival
Telefónica today unveiled sweeping 2015 ambitions to combat unemployment and close the digital skills deficit in Europe, reinforcing the company's long-standing commitment to social change and economic recovery in the region.
Among its 2015 targets, Telefónica pledged to create more than 1,000 start-up companies through its Wayra Academies in Europe; build a Telefónica Think Big community of more than 300,000 young people working to build a more entrepreneurial Europe; enrol 50,000 students in Think Big School, teaching digital literacy such as coding and robotics; and transition 5,000 young people and graduates from education into the workplace via its Talentum programme.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Telefónica Chief Operating Officer José María Álvarez-Pallete said: "We believe the technology industry can and should play a part in addressing issues in the society in which they operate. In Europe, Telefónica is promoting a spirit of entrepreneurialism particularly among young people to contribute to a positive change in the region.”
Álvarez-Pallete added: "The transition to a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy is accelerating, but skills shortages and gaps are negatively impacting growth, competitiveness, innovation and employment in Europe. We believe that Commissioner Neelie Kroes' Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs is a very helpful catalyst to help European recovery. The private sector has a critical role to play and we will be working actively to build a real momentum across Europe".
Álvarez-Pallete announced that Telefónica is working towards bringing the world's largest festival of technology – Campus Party Europe – to London in September 2013, gathering more than 10,000 of the brightest young minds from around Europe to share digital skills, explore new innovations and encourage entrepreneurship.
Telefónica also announced at Davos that it has commissioned the most comprehensive global survey of Millennial adults ever conducted – with a view to gaining a deeper insight into the hopes, fears and expectations for the future of 12,000 adults aged 18–30 from 27 countries.
In just 12 months, Telefónica has proactively encouraged innovation and entrepreneurialism in Europe through a number of successful initiatives, including:
- Launching five start-up academies in Europe, providing intense incubation and support for over 60 young digital businesses
- Training and mentoring 4,180 young people to start their own social projects, with a further 65,000 young people actively participating in these projects
- Starting a program teaching digital skills, with 1,000 young people taking part so far
- Becoming the main delivery partner of Campus Party – Europe’s biggest open technology festival, attracting 10,000 people to Berlin to share and explore the new frontiers of digital technology
- Recruiting 1,400 interns, apprentices and graduates into our own business
With 100 million customers – representing roughly 20 per cent of Europe’s population – and 57,000 employees in six countries, Telefónica is one of the largest digital companies in Europe. In its role as a leading European ‘digital citizen’, Telefónica is strongly committed to regaining the Bloc’s leadership in technology and innovation. To this end, Telefónica has created innovation hubs across the region to encourage entrepreneurial spirit. Key to this has been Telefónica Think Big – an umbrella initiative which includes the start-up accelerator, Wayra; Telefónica’s graduate scheme Talentum; and the Start Up Europe project in partnership with the Lisbon Council.