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Mary Kay Challenges Global Youth to Address SDG 14: Life Below Water in Third Annual Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship World Series of Innovation Challenge

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Mary Kay Inc., a leading corporate advocate of women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, announces its third annual World Series of Innovation (WSI) challenge in partnership with Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). The global competition invites young people ages 13-24 to put their critical thinking skills to the test and get involved in solving some of the biggest challenges humanity faces today to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship an international nonprofit organization providing entrepreneurship training and educational programs to middle and high school students, college students, and adults (Graphic: Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship)

Mary Kay’s WSI challenge kicks off September 15 in conjunction with World Clean Up Day. The Mary Kay challenge encourages young entrepreneurs to submit innovative solutions to address UN SDG 14: Life Below Water. Specifically, students are challenged to design a solution to further the conservation and/or protection of the world’s marine ecosystems and coastal communities.

“All life on Earth began in and depends on our oceans. Water is the most valuable resource on our planet, and it’s essential that we not only respect it, but do our part to protect it,” said Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operating Officer for Mary Kay Inc. “The next generation of global thinkers and leaders are already addressing these critical areas of concern and spearheading conservation efforts. We are excited to see how the world’s youth can help to advance ecosystems and biodiversity conservation globally.”

In its first year partnering with the NFTE World Series of Innovation in 2020, Mary Kay sponsored a WSI challenge for UN SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. Young entrepreneurs were encouraged to design a product, service or initiative that promoted the reuse or upcycling of textiles. In 2021, Mary Kay sponsored its second WSI challenge to address UN SDG 5: Gender Equality. Students were tasked with developing programs to promote workplace equality and ensure equal access to economic opportunity for women and girls.

“Mary Kay Global Oceans Conservations Challenge dares our young WSI competitors to think big about water quality,” said Dr. J.D. LaRock, President and CEO of NFTE. “In classrooms, students learn that water is fundamental to a healthy ecosystem. Through experiences like WSI, however, they become empowered to sustain that resource. They can ideate ways to look after marine life, safeguard oceans, secure affordable access to clean drinking water, protect water resources from pollution, address overconsumption, or otherwise help preserve our ecosystem for generations to come. That’s powerful.”

NFTE is a global educational non-profit focused on bringing the power of entrepreneurship to low-income communities. Since its founding more than 35 years ago, NFTE has trained thousands of teachers and educated well over a million young people worldwide. Every fall, NFTE launches a new set of challenges for the WSI competition and invites corporate sponsors to address the UN SDGs. The 2022 NFTE World Series of Innovation is presented by Citi Foundation and features challenges sponsored by Mary Kay Inc., MetLife Foundation, Mastercard, Bank of the West, Link, Maxar, Ernst & Young, LLP (EY), ServiceNow and Zuora. The top three winners will be announced in early 2023.

For more information on the World Series of Innovation and all challenges, visit https://innovation.nfte.com/.

About Mary Kay

One of the original glass ceiling breakers, Mary Kay Ash founded her dream beauty company in 1963 with one goal: enriching women’s lives. That dream has blossomed into a multibillion-dollar company with millions of independent sales force members in nearly 40 countries. As an entrepreneurship development company, Mary Kay is committed to empowering women on their journey through education, mentorship, advocacy, networking, and innovation. Mary Kay is dedicated to investing in the science behind beauty and manufacturing cutting-edge skincare, color cosmetics, nutritional supplements, and fragrances. Mary Kay believes in enriching lives today for a sustainable tomorrow, partnering with organizations from around the world focusing on promoting business excellence, supporting cancer research, advancing gender equality, protecting survivors from domestic abuse, beautifying our communities, and encouraging children to follow their dreams. Learn more at marykayglobal.com, find us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, or follow us on Twitter.

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Contact information

Mary Kay Inc. Corporate Communications
marykay.com/newsroom
972.687.5332 or media@mkcorp.com

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