“It’s our goal as a foundation to support this entrepreneurial spirit and encourage more people to start their own business. This is how the startups of tomorrow are created.”
The combined fundraising efforts of the Berlin-headquartered German Children and Youth Foundation (Deutsche Kinder- und Jugendstiftung) and Companisto for Schülerfirmen, aims to provide more than 5,000 children and adolescents children at 520 schools with opportunities to engage with concepts surrounding entrepreneurship and give them new life outlooks through its Fachnetzwerk Schülerfirmen (Network of School Companies). The DKJS, which celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2014 and is sponsored by Daniela Schadt, a journalist and the life-partner of Germany’s Federal President Joachim Gauck, seeks to send a message that an affinity toward entrepreneurship, self-reliance, and having good ideas are all personal attributes that can be learned.
To support DKJS’ school companies, Companisto is providing its fundraising campaign on a pro bono-basis. Companists who donate 200 Euro or more will receive a donation receipt. To date, just over ten donors have added themselves to the list, raising over 2,014€. Money from the donation drive will will help support the needs of both students and faculty members on-site at the schools. From price setting to staffing their operations with the right employees – children and adolescents will have a chance to work in real companies and will deal with the same challenges that full-fledged businesses regularly face. The foundation is dependent upon the generosity of the crowd in order to realize these goals.
Through the educational format of school companies, children and adolescents learn skills that will serve them now and throughout their entire lives. They learn creativity and how to take on responsibility and solve problems together as a team. Together with the Companists, the DKJS seeks to use the donated funds from this crowdfunding campaign to help empower more students to get involved in student companies. The number of entrepreneurs in Germany has almost decreased by half over the last 15 years, according to the campaign, with only a third of individually-run commercial enterprises started by women (IfM Bonn, 2016).
In the program, students learn both self-reliance and how to successfully implement their business ideas. From handling cash to managing sales and distribution, the students are responsible for the business operations of their school companies. School companies help impart much more than business knowledge. They also help foster feelings of self-confidence and independence. For some students, this awakened sense of initiative and entrepreneurship may one day invoke the desire to start a business. Three featured companies are Theos Backstube, BerlinBees and Best Coaching. For more detailed information about the campaign and the German Children and Youth Foundation’s mission, please click here. 24 days remain on the campaign.
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