For a company of problem solvers and innovators, the dual “Supa-Market” and #Placemaker hackathon events in London provide a great opportunity for Accenture people to offer insights, advice and mentoring to 18- 24-year-olds to help them build their own businesses. Accenture’s Digital and Innovation teams in the U.K. joined other corporate sponsors in support of the Supa Academy's inaugural Supa-Market event, an initiative to teach young people entrepreneurial skills.
Supa-Market participants, many of whom were either full-time students responsible for their own living expenses or had a family income of less than £25,000 per year, operated their own “pop-up” retail stores over a two-day period. They sold a variety of retail goods while polishing their business ideas and sales pitches, with a chance at receiving financial support for future business endeavors.
In the backdrop of the Supa-Market 200-plus stalls, the #Placemaker hackathon leveraged technology and innovation to connect buildings, businesses and bodies. #Placemaker wove insights from Accenture’s research and market data with firsthand experience from real end-users, creating five working solutions designed to drive foot traffic—and, subsequently, business—to underutilized spaces around London. #Placemaker was staffed by volunteers from Accenture, the XDs (Experience Design Group) and Supa-Academy participants, who worked together in the cross-disciplinary teams.
Samad Masood, who leads Accenture’s Open Innovation program in the U.K., explained that the program actively works with and supports start-ups. “These kinds of initiatives are wonderful opportunities for us to use our expertise, contribute to the community and have some fun at the same time,” Masood said. “We’re a company full of problem solvers. Why not apply this skillset outside of our typical day jobs and create real ideas that can change lives?”
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