To develop the leadership and project skills of emerging leaders by funding, mentoring and networking young eco-entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific region who are tackling sustainability challenges in their communities.
Our partnership began with LRQA's support in Japan for our climate and sustainability programme in 2009, providing training and expertise to the young leaders on the programme. Out of this cooperation, LRQA and the British Council developed, designed and delivered E-idea in 2010-11, an innovative competition and project that funded, supported and mentored young eco-entrepreneurs aged 18-35 in Japan. In 2012, E-idea expanded from Jame to seven Asia-Pacific countries.
The competition was open to start-up ventures as well as “step-up” expansions of existing eco-centred projects. To win, projects had to clearly address some of the biggest environmental challenges facing local and urban communities. These included areas such as waste reduction and efficiency, transport and travel, energy reduction, water efficiency and sustainable design.
The competition engaged, empowered and encouraged the winners as they brought their ideas to fruition by providing funding to the successful eco-entrepreneurs project as well as expert technical, business, marketing and networking support.
Our partnership expanded since its successful launch in Japan in 2011 to seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region for 2011-13 including Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. We built a regional network of 40 eco-entrepreneurs that are sharing innovation and best practices.
The support provided by LRQA and British Council for the Asia-Pacific E-idea in 2011-12 enabled the E-idealists to date to: leverage a further £500,000 from funders; gain recognition, awards and in-kind contributions from corporate, government and civil sectors; access extensive print, broadcast, and social media coverage reaching over 100 million people; and engage face-to face with government ministers, senior officials and experts in the field for the promotion of their projects.
In addition, LRQA staff contributed their own specialist expertise by getting involved as mentors and trainers to help the E-idealists develop their project management skills and sustainability knowledge, which provided a unique learning opportunity for all involved.
As Mike James, the Global Managing Director of LQRA said “[E-idea] is a great example of a commercial company and a public organisation working together for the greater good.”
Simon Batters, LRQA Project Director E-idea, Vice President Business Development LRQA Asia: “The latest work on E-idea across seven Asia countries has been the most significant [partnership programme] to date. LRQA has recognised the British Council's expertise in managing complex programs across many diverse cultures whilst engaging with our teams in a totally transparent, professional and friendly way.”