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Business as A Force for Good: The Ice Academy
We’ve teamed up with our friends at The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN)—a group of dedicated, pioneering social activists—to see how we could help them in getting people who arrived as refugees back into business AND figure out how to remove some of the barriers they face when entering the job market.
So, together, we started the Ice Academy programme, an innovative model which works with people to develop their business ideas along with entrepreneurship training, mentoring and part-time employment. The programme works with people to build some of the practicalities needed to start a business; like access to finance, networks and the tools needed to put their creative ideas into action. Ice Academy participants already have ingenuity, ideas and the experiences from their home countries, and the Ice Academy’s goal is to provide the tools, opportunities and resources to help them succeed here and across Europe. As of the 2020 Graduation, the Ice Academy has already supported 175 entrepreneurs in France, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom together with our partners TERN, PLACE and DELITELABS. Check out this video to learn more:
Everyone at some point needs to be given a chance, a leg up, a kickstart, and businesses have an incredible opportunity to help provide that. Whilst this is only one small step, we as a business hope this programme might be the foundation that people need in going on to fulfil their potential and help put their futures back in their own hands.
Fatma, Ice Academy Graduate 2018
"The combined experience of the employment and business components was beautiful. It helped me be more committed, find my rhythm and be more confident. Your mind switches back into the productive mode because you get to do it frequently. First, I doubted if I could commit but then when I did it really made a difference. The whole programme made me eager, flipped the switch. Even completing Ice Academy itself was a great achievement. It opened a mindset that was a bit dormant. You feel more empowered because now you have some real progress, you are empowered by information and education and you are putting it in practice."
-Chineze, Ice Academy Graduate 2018
Ice Academy Graduate Fund
Back in 2018 we launched a new flavour, Spice & All Things N’ice, as a way to try to further support entrepreneurial people who arrived here as refugees who have graduated from the Ice Academy programme. Proceeds contributed to a small cooperative grant fund owned and managed by the graduates themselves, meaning they decide themselves how to use the money for their businesses, working together to take back control of their futures.
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