Fawaka Entrepreneurship School offers impact entrepreneurship programs to empower children, regardless of their background or neighborhood, to make a positive difference through entrepreneurship. 

“How can we give younger generations the tools to build a more sustainable and inclusive society, to do things better than previous generations? This question that helped shape our mission is to introduce all children in the Netherlands to sustainable entrepreneurship in a fun and friendly way,” says Thiëmo Heilbron, Fawaka’s founding director.

At As-Soeffah, the first school to join the project on the 8th of March, Fawaka will help the kids develop fictitious fairtrade chocolate brands and products upcycled from discarded materials. And the AUAS will examine the effects of impact entrepreneurship education on the career perspectives of these children. 

“This project is a major step forward. It will help us better understand which knowledge and skills children are or are not (yet) learning in our programs, and will help us deliver even more quality and positive impact,” adds Thiëmo. 

The Entrepreneurship Program of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) will provide insight into how participation in Fawaka’s programs helps children develop (more) affinity and skills for impact entrepreneurship. When asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’, will children also say “impact entrepreneur” in addition such as ‘pilot’ or ‘athlete’, for instance?

“It’s never too early to start learning about impact entrepreneurship”, says Maarten Hogenstijn, senior social entrepreneurship researcher and research project leader. 

“At the AUAS, we are increasingly focusing on education about social and sustainable entrepreneurship through programs such as our minor Entrepreneurship for Society. The goal is to develop continuous pathways for young people to learn how to engage in society in an entrepreneurial way”, Maarten adds. 

This education-focused research project is part of the Transition pillar of Amsterdam Impact’s 2019-2022 programme. Talented people of any age are increasingly committed to tackling societal challenges – through social enterprises, socially responsible businesses, and at a neighbourhood level. Amsterdam Impact wants to support such talent in developing impact entrepreneurship skills, particularly from a young age, and to exchange knowledge on this topic with other ecosystems around the world. 

“The current range of (impact) entrepreneurship courses for children and young people up to the age of 18 is rather limited. Through initiatives such as our collaboration with Fawaka and the AUAS, we want to close this gap and bring impact entrepreneurship skills into the curriculum of primary and secondary schools”, says Ellen Oetelmans, Amsterdam Impact’s Program Manager. 

“I am very happy that Amsterdam Impact sees the value of starting with the young generation, our future”, Thiëmo concludes.