That’s what the DO School’s Entrepreneurship for Good Program: The Future of Work Challenge is all about. Posed by H&M Germany, the Challenge invites twenty young entrepreneurs to spend ten weeks on campus in Berlin. After that, they move on to implement their own ventures in their home countries over the course of the next 10 months.
Even the biggest change begins with small steps. This challenge starts by finding ways to empower employees across 400 different locations in Germany to make a positive impact on business and also on society at large. It is also geared towards enabling them to measure it, too.
And that’s where you come in. H&M Germany and the DO School challenge fellows to devise amazing new formats for employees in the fashion sector to set targets for themselves and their teams. In addition, they will find concrete, measurable ways for them to track their impact.
In particular, fellows will be asked to identify new areas in big companies that aren’t already covered by employee satisfaction surveys; create an amazing solution that is easily scalable and transferable, i.e. to other companies; and empower individual and structural change by making its effect measurable.
The ten week incubation phase of the program which takes place in Berlin, consists of three labs: The Challenge Lab, Media Lab and Venture Lab. The Challenge Lab enables Fellows to create a concrete service, product, or campaign as an answer to the group Challenge, in this case, empowering the employees of H&M Germany.
The purpose of the Challenge Lab is to teach fellows how to turn an idea into action. In addition to this, all learning and experiences gained in Challenge Lab can be applied to developing and implementing the Fellows’ individual venture ideas.
The goal of Media Lab is to enable Fellows to communicate about their ventures in a professional manner. Media Lab sessions help them to develop a strong brand and communication strategy. The Media Lab starts with a session on storytelling, which lays the foundation for the Lab by focussing on the universal nature of storytelling and how it can help start-ups to communicate their mission.
Subsequent sessions on communication strategy and social media allow all Fellows to create communication plans and tools for their own ventures. Another component of Media Lab is Video production, which offers the Fellows the chance to learn the basics of producing short documentaries. Overall, Media Lab enables Fellows to harness the power of communication, technology, and available tools to market their ideas and increase the impact of their social venture.
Finally, the Venture Lab is a skill and value-based start-up course that supports Fellows in developing and implementing their individual social ventures throughout their Fellowship year.
During the Incubation Phase, Fellows go through the Dream, Focus and Plan stages of the DO School method.
Venture Lab I combines interactive skill and value workshops on topics like inspiration and creativity, budgeting and fundraising, as well as entrepreneurship or communication and respect. Individual coaching sessions complement the experience and assure a transfer to Fellows’ individual ventures. At the end of the Incubation Phase, all Fellows have turned their venture ideas into viable start-up plans that are ready for the real world. They pitch those plans to the public before going home.
During the Implementation Phase, Fellows participate in Venture Lab II online and receive one-on-one coaching and mentoring, guiding them through the Do phase of the DO School method. During this phase, Venture Lab II conveys knowledge and skills that are relevant to get a venture off the ground successfully.
All learning is hands-on and Fellows continuously turn their ideas into action while participating in the online program, which covers topics like legal issues, financial management, and sustainability and growth. Having learned and experienced the DO School method during the Incubation Phase, Fellows can also utilize this learning experience to create change in their communities.
Eligible fellows are between the ages of 21 and 31 upon the start of the program and have a background in the fields of human resources, psychology, intrapreneurship, happiness experts, organizational development or UX design. Since the Business for Good Program is conducted in English, the DO School requires applicants to apply in English and to have a good working knowledge of the language.
Applications are due by 11 February 2016, however, it is strongly encouraged that you apply early. Admission is based on merit alone with a tuition fee of EUR 1,000. If you cannot cover the program cost you are eligible to receive financial aid. For more information, please visit The DO School and best of luck if you choose to apply.