Empowering future entrepreneurs
Worldwide around 400 million students do not have access to secondary education. Often access to school depends largely on socioeconomic background rather than merit. Despite talent, motivation and the ambition to create positive change, millions of young people miss out on secondary education, mostly for financial reasons, and with it a chance to contribute significantly to their country’s further development.
Aiducation International provides students with merit-based scholarships and invites alumni to attend regular workshops. Building on Aiducation’s workshop formats and with funding from the Swiss Re Foundation, Swiss Re developed the Swiss Re Start Up Academy, a one-week intensive course staffed by Swiss Re employee volunteers where students can learn the skills needed to found their own businesses or to apply successfully for jobs. After the course, the volunteers help students stay focused on their projects through remote mentoring.
Together with Aiducation, the Swiss Re Foundation also launched the Start Up Fund, which allows Swiss Re staff as well as external parties to donate directly to an Aiducation-administered fund that invests in Kenyan start-up projects.
GOALS AND EXPECTED IMPACT
Four to six Swiss Re Start Up Academies are run each year, each with 40 to 50 students. In 2014-2016, participants developed business plans for a total of 65 start-ups. Many of them later put their business ideas into practice, and 11 of their start-ups are already up and running. In 2017 a total of six Swiss Re Start Up Academies were offered in Kenya and the Philippines.