Natalia Melnyk wins 2019 Think Tank Shark Tank Europe competition


Nataliya Melnyk of Bendukidze Free Market Center has won the 2019 Think Tank Shark Tank—Europe competition for her pitch to create an educational course for middle school students. Generously sponsored by the Smith Family Foundation, the regional Think Tank Shark Tank competitions award $10,000 in seed funding to the winner.

ENVY: Economics at School is based on the “Economics in 31 Hours” textbook developed by the Lithuanian Free Market Institute. Teachers and middle school students will have access to a comprehensive, modern, and innovative economics textbook and teacher’s manual. By promoting economics education in middle school, BFMC plans to reach more than 500,000 school children a year.

“Bendukidze Free Market Center's Economics at School: ENVY is an educational project aimed at introducing an enjoyable, innovative, visual and youth-minded approach to economics education in Ukraine,” said Melnyk. “By transforming the way economics is taught in middle school we are looking to help rear the students into freedom-loving, self-sufficient and critical thinking individuals, build up resistance to illiberal and populist tendencies and break away from our Soviet past.”

Melnyk competed against Michael Iakovidis of Greek Liberties Monitor in Greece and Dmytro Lyvch of EasyBusiness in Ukraine. The judges were Atlas Network board members Nikolaos Monoyios and Kathryn Washburn, along with Generation Y Group’s Anastasios Spanidis.