After winning 2 "Audit Innovation of the Year" awards by the International Accounting Bulletin in 2012 and 2013 and launching a cutting-edge executive education program, Mazars has been praised for its innovative efforts by its peers but these initiatives failed to reach and engage an important audience for the organization: Generation Y. As millennials represent approximately 80% of Mazars' professionals worldwide and will amount to 75% of the global workforce by 2025, listening and supporting young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas within and outside Mazars has become a priority for the firm.
“Entrepreneurship and talent development both mean a lot to us. First, because partners are entrepreneurs – collective entrepreneurs. Second, because we think that talent counts more than capital on the long term. All the start-uppers that are awarded today deserve our utmost respect, but above all they need a helping hand. That’s why, from our Open Innovation programmes to this MazarsforGood challenge, we are proud to stand next to them today, and go on serve them as they grow”, declares Philippe Castagnac, Mazars Chairman & CEO.
The #MazarsforGood Innovation Challenge has served as a bridge to transmit the firm's ethos around innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship to these future leaders around the world. This global competition was launched to reward innovative ideas from young aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs under 30 that can transform the way companies serve employees, society and business.
More than 75 teams competed in the 3 categories of the #MazarsforGood Innovation Challenge. The 3 winners won US$ 20,000 and will also get the chance to present their ventures during the Mazars’ internal annual conference in Brussels in December 2015.
- EasyGreen (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong) are the winners in the "For you, the Employee" category. Their innovative solution for stress relief and community building in the workplace through horticulture seduced the jury. The USD 20,000 prize money will allow them to invest in the development of their mobile app and upgrade their self-designed plant hanger which is already used by their first client: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
- Toilets for All (South Africa) has won in the "For Society" category. This social enterprise wants to provide a unique, all-in-one portable plastic eco-toilet design that is more durable, greener and healthier to use for impoverished families who do not have access to sanitary sewage disposal. Litter becomes a currency for the families to acquire these toilets and use them. Businesses can also use these toilets for advertising and education purposes as well as tax benefits from their investment in this social venture. They will use the prize money to create a prototype, develop future patents and manufacture an initial batch of 10 toilets for a pilot in Kayamandi and Lynedoch (Stellenbosch).
- Sheaply (France) has been declared the best venture in the "For Business" category. Call them the Uber of shipping as they set up a platform for crowd-shipping, putting people in touch with travelers in order to ship packages quickly at a lower cost than traditional suppliers. They will be able to scale their crowd-shipping business and increase their digital advertising budget to acquire more customers.
"With this Mazars initiative launched in January 2015, we were able to confront our project to the reality of the international market and grow Sheaply thanks to the different mentors’ feedbacks. #Mazarsforgood is an example to support innovation and entrepreneurship. "declares Hicham Zarrouky, Sheaply CEO and co-founder.
6 other finalists have also been rewarded for their hard work in the past months as 2nd place teams in each category get USD 2,000 each and 3rd place teams get USD 1,000 each.
The #MazarsforGood Innovation Challenge initiative has proved to be popular and appreciated by the public with participants coming from 19 different countries. The Mazars brand has reached more than 1 million people within the target audience through social networks with the global competition.
For more information about the winners of the #MazarsforGood Innovation Challenge, read our blog post on blogs.mazars.com/ideasforgood.