OakNorth, the neobank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, and Founders4Schools, the award-winning ed-tech charity for teachers, today announce a new partnership to support 100,000 secondary school students (11-16 year-olds) – including 40,000 from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds – over the next three years.
The programme will provide secondary school students with mentorship and inspiration from university students who have chosen subjects that require maths. In return for their volunteering to mentor, the university students will have the opportunity to secure work experience and internships with OakNorth and other leading businesses from across the Founders4Schools’ network in critical sectors such as green/climate science, fintech, life sciences, data science/AI, therapeutic care services, hospitality/tourism, and creative/performing arts.
There’s a direct link between equipping our younger generation with skills in emerging key sectors and economic growth, as pointed out in a recent report, Full Scale, from the Social Market Foundation, commissioned by OakNorth.
The new partnership will be one of the flagship programmes of OakNorth’s 1+1% philanthropic commitment, where OakNorth donates 1% of its annual group profits and 1% of its workforce’s time (two working days per year) to supporting charitable causes and socially minded enterprises around the world. Founders4Schools will utilize its online platforms and networks to connect disadvantaged school students with university mentors, who in turn will gain work placement opportunities with some of the UK’s most successful growth companies.
Sherry Coutu CBE, Co-founder & Chair of Founders4Schools and Author of the Scaleup Report on UK Economic Growth, commented: “I’m incredibly excited to launch this flagship programme with OakNorth based on a singular vision: to ensure that every young individual, regardless of background, is inspired by first hand career insights in entrepreneurship and STEM. Our collaboration builds on the F4S Maths initiatives and OakNorth’s Mentoring initiatives, both proven to elevate student confidence and problem-solving. We’re not merely prepping young people for jobs – we’re crafting enhanced career pathways that benefit both their future and the UK’s economic growth.”
Rishi Khosla, co-founder and CEO of OakNorth, continued: “From a young age, I was always interested in maths and computer science, and fortunately benefitted from parents, teachers, and family friends who helped encourage me in these subjects. I studied Economics for my undergraduate degree at university and Finance and Accounting for my masters, and mentorship played a huge role in helping me choose these subjects and ultimately where to study them. We want to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators by providing them with the mentorship and career opportunities needed to help them break down barriers and shape a brighter future for themselves and their communities.”