UN accelerated action for response and recovery during and post the COVID-19 crisis

3 years ago

Massimo Mercuri



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Our idea is an online social and educational initiative that collects knowledge from small business entrepreneurs globally to help small business entrepreneurs locally. It is also digital a resource of educational materials that allow students to prepare for the new economy post-COVID19.

The nexus between the two is the delivery of interactive educational experiences, where digital content is augmented by the real-time, live conversation of programs whre the student is involved in solving or helping in the situation of the interviewed entrepreneur. All done remotely with minimal infrastructure. Volunteers perform interviews where the entrepreneurs or self-employes professionals, from various parts of the world and occupations, share how the crisis has affected them and what their market looks like now. The digital propagation gives them a forum to share their stories, provide a source of inspiration to entrepreneurs, give access to role models, ideas, ways to adapt and how to overcome the chalenges.

Here the official page of the United Nations where the initiative is registered as SDG accelerated action for response and recovery during and post the COVID-19 crisis: 

We called it the Lockdown Economy and it consists of 1) the interviews with entrepreneurs affected by the lockdown, curated, propagated and archived on multiple digital channels; and 2) Real-time and recorded field research observations with educational purpose, for entrepreneurship students worldwide.

The interviews are aimed at addressing the social impact of the COVID19 crisis, they cover a list of questions such as the nature and history of the small entrepreneur; the state of the activities before, during and after lockdown; key challenges brought about by the quarantine and social distancing; what did the business owner try to overcome them; what lessons did she or he take out from this experience; what is the way forward. It is a source of ideas for SMEs no matter what stage of business they are in because they learn from examples from around the world of what can be done to prevent, react and recover from the crisis. The volunteers perform the interviews live streaming on digital channels, then transcribe and curate the content for further propagation and dissemination.

The educational part of the initiative is the Academy. The interviews give us real time observation on the field, from the point of view on the main actor in the scene. The volunteers extract insights from the interviews to use them as educational content. The deliverable is two possible ways: one way is to maintain a digital archive with open access to concrete cases, integrating lessons from multiple countries on several continents, providing a real case-based overview of how one can proceed in entrepreneurship in the world post-COVID19; the other way is to design educational programs based on real case studies from the field.

Volunteers from different world regions make this material inclusive and propagated across various geographies, to provide additional regional context to the series and make it accessible to different levels of education and age groups. The initiative is already onboarding volunteers from several countries.

 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Social Innovation
 Education and Training
 Sociology and Economic Research
 Urban Innovative Actions
 Social and Welfare

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