Nestlé continues key engagement with Youth Entrepreneurship Platform

A major drive from Nestlé engaging with the next generation of employees across its activities has continued with the launch of its Youth Entrepreneurship Platform (YEP), writes Neill Barston.

The venture was launched with a special online event attended by Confectionery Production yesterday, offering encouragement to budding business talents – including those with enterprises across confectionery, snacks and bakery product innovations.

It comes as the business this month expanded its Nestlé Needs YOU campaign, which aims to reach a total of 500,000 young people by 2025 in the US, through delivering jobs and major skills building opportunities.

Under its latest online initiative released this week,  digital platform project, young innovators will have access to new knowledge and skills learning opportunities, spanning  food science and technology to the development of products and services – including regenerative agriculture and sustainable packaging.

As Nestlé acknowledged, the present generation of under 25s is among the best-ever educated, yet many younger business people have been held back with their start-up opportunities impacted by a lack of access to finance or wider support services in setting up their enterprises.

In terms of its direct assistance, the food giant explained that its YEP platform brings together all its existing innovation initiatives and programs in one place.

It gives young innovators access to The Nestlé Entrepreneurship Academy plus dedicated programs to grow knowledge, learn new skills and gain experience. It also offers customised content and resources from specific geographies.

Stefan Palzer (below), Nestlé CTO, offered an opening address to potential candidates using the platform, offering encouragement to budding entrepreneurs who will form the future of the multi-billion food and drink sector.

He said: “At Nestlé we work with startups, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers to drive innovation, bring good ideas to market fast and provide nutritious, sustainable and affordable products for a growing world population.”

“Our new digital platform supports young people to bring great ideas to life across the food value chain, shaping the future of food!”

Key programs available on Nestlé’s Youth Entrepreneurship Platform include:

Nestlé R+D Accelerator: entrepreneurs can apply for challenges at one of Nestlé’s 12 Accelerators across the world, to focus on developing disruptive food and beverage innovations and bringing them to market in six months.

As the company noted, participants can work together with Nestlé’s R&D experts from around the world, such as food technologists, nutritionists, regulatory and food safety experts, designers and packaging experts. Each team also receives hands-on support from dedicated innovation coaches and mentoring from Nestlé’s senior management.

Major youth challenges
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), two out of every five young people are either unemployed or have a job that keeps them in poverty.

For this reason, Nestlé launched Nestlé Needs YOUth in 2013. The company’s Global Youth Initiative helps young people gain the skills they need to thrive in tomorrow’s workplaces. Around the world, it has benefited more than 4 million young people across the three pillars, employability, agripreneurship and entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurship can be a positive choice, a means of unlocking innovation, skills and energy to drive economic and social progress. Through the new platform, Nestlé is encouraging this, and is investing in early-stage companies and helping young entrepreneurs to put their ideas into practice.

“Young entrepreneurs need guidance, support, and above all, opportunities and platforms where their voices can be heard and their ideas realised. This includes building their knowledge and skills, testing their ideas in real-life situations, getting feedback from their audiences and receiving support to take their concept to the next level” said Laurent Freixe, Nestlé’s CEO for Latin America and founder of the Nestlé Needs YOUth initiative.

“The Nestlé Youth Entrepreneurship Platform will help equip them with the skills, experience and mindset they need to kick-start their idea and business.”

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