The Ice Academy is an entrepreneur training program that started in 2017 with a pilot of just 8 refugee entrepreneurs. The programme is now running in the UK, Germany, and The Netherlands, and that first small group has already expanded into dozens of talented, driven, idea-making entrepreneurs!
2. Chunks & Swirls from around the world
6.3 million refugees have been forced to flee Syria due to the war, 2.6 million from Afghanistan. But refugees don’t just come from these countries, and the Ice Academy is open to all with refugee status, regardless of a person’s native country or their reason for needing to seek safety in Europe.
In our 2018 program, we had people from 21 different nationalities apply for 30 spaces in the UK alone. Ice Academy is a diverse group of people, each bringing to the table a mix of cultures, experiences and exciting business ideas.
3. Food unites
There’s a lot of foodie entrepreneurs who’ve been through the Ice Academy. From Syrian honey makers, to fried Yemeni doughnut entrepreneurs, to purveyors of Uzbekistani Plov rice, they have one delicious thing in common—they’re all euphorically edible businesses!
4. Better Together
At Ben & Jerry’s we’re Ice Cream experts. We know we’re the best when it comes to mixing delicious chunks and swirls with the creamiest ice cream to create the world’s most euphoric concoctions.
We also know we’re not experts in delivering business training to refugee entrepreneurs. And that’s where our incredible partners come in. In the UK, The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network, are the experts who provide the snazzy business training and ensure the entrepreneurs get the necessary skilled support. Big thumbs up for team work!
5. It’s not all about business
Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, and after the Ice Academy some people will decide starting a business isn’t right for them. And that’s as good news as if they decide they’re going to be the next Steve Jobs!
Having had the opportunity to explore and develop a business idea, some people will be at a stage where they want to start their business straight away, others will continue to develop their business idea with our fantastic partner support, and some will decide they’re more suited to employment or further education.
The Ice Academy is all about giving people the opportunity to make informed decisions about their futures, and we’re proud to say that people will always be at the heart of the Ice Academy.
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