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Lockdown Economy

The Lockdown Economy initiative consists of 1) the interview series with entrepreneurs affected by the lockdown; and 2) the Academy which provides real-time education materials about entrepreneurship during the lockdown to students worldwide.
The interview series is prepared by the coordinator of the initiative on the side of the Think Tank AlterContacts, Julia Skupchenko. The interviews cover questions such as the nature and history of the business; the state of business before, during and after lockdown; key challenges brought about by the quarantine and social distancing; what did the business owner try to overcome them; what lessons did she or he take out from this experience; what is the way forward. It is a real source of inspiration for SMEs no matter what stage of business they are in. They learn from examples from around the world of what can be done. European Commission report on SMEs highlights the key role of entrepreneurial education and training that enhances business knowledge and skills in overcoming the pandemic.
The second part of the initiative is the Academy. The Lockdown Economy gives us unique educational materials and access to concrete cases which could be used along with Harvard, KPMG, McKinsey and other business cases. By integrating lessons from multiple countries on several continents, we provide a comprehensive overview of how one can proceed in entrepreneurship in the new world. Joined by our partner universities we are designing educational programs that are based on real case studies from the lockdown. We have the ambition to publish our online courses on EdX where millions of students worldwide will get access to them. We expect these materials to be distributed across various geographies, different levels of education and age groups.

Expected impact

The Lockdown Economy is a social-educational international initiative. It is a series of interviews where entrepreneurs from various parts of the world and occupations share how the lockdown has affected them and what their market looks like now. The objective is to give them a forum to speak, provide a source of inspiration to entrepreneurs, give access to role models, ideas, ways to adapt and how to overcome the crisis of COVID-19. It is a powerful resource of educational materials. It allows students to prepare for the new economy.



Goal 4
4.4 - By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
4.7 - By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
Goal 5
5.1 - End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
5.5 - Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
5.b - Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
Goal 8
8.3 - Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
8.6 - By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training
8.9 - By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
Goal 9
9.1 - Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
9.3 - Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets
9.a - Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States
9.c - Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020
Goal 10
10.2 - By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
10.3 - Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard
Goal 17
17.6 - Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism
17.7 - Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed
Capacity-Building -
17.9 - Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation
17.16 - Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
In-kind contribution
5 experts of the Think Tank AlterContacts collaborating on the MBA course of the Anahuac Mayab University
In-kind contribution
Four volunteers for promotion and translation
In-kind contribution
One free one-year subscription to streaming services from StreamYard
Staff / Technical expertise
One university professor to help craft the course and run the pilot
Staff / Technical expertise
One university professor to help craft the course and run the second prototype
In-kind contribution
Over 10 volunteers for interviewing, marketing, and tech support
In-kind contribution
Over 50 volunteers for interviewing and transcribing
In-kind contribution
Participation of over 50 entrepreneurs in the Lockdown Economy interviews
Staff / Technical expertise
Two full-time staff for conducting interviews, post-production, reporting results, technical assistance, promotion
In-kind contribution
Various partners on cross-promotion
Basic information
Start: 01 June, 2020
Completion: 31 December, 2022
Think Tank AlterContacts (Civil society organization)
Think Tank AlterContacts, Anahuac Mayab University, Universidad Tecnológica del Poniente, Epoka University, BusinessGreenHouse.org, Corporación Universitaria del Caribe, Pontifical Bolivarian University (Columbia), "Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati (Romania), Erasmus University Rotterdam, EADA Business School, Sustainability and Resilience Institute New Zealand, MenuMe Restaurant Guide, and partners
Initiative focused on COVID-19 pandemic response, prevention and recovery efforts
Geographical coverage
Asia and Pacific
Latin America and the Caribbean
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficiaries
Entrepreneurs, SMEs and students of business studies
Contact information
Julia Skupchenko, Founder, julia@altercontacts.org, +31623345472
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
United Nations