Today, we would like you to "meet" our founder Jochen Berger. Thanks to him, we can guarantee that 1:1 of the donations go to the project.
Learn more about his entrepreneurial spirit and his motivation for EFK.
Entrepreneurs for Knowledge initiative helps companies to get involved in school development projects. Can you briefly describe what this exactly means?
Our approach is to invest in education by building schools for underprivileged children around the world. With our Foundation-as-a-Service concept, we offer a kind of total package for companies and private donors: a selection of good, high-impact school projects, as well as project management, long-term monitoring, and support with PR and communication measures. Many people and companies would like to get actively involved, but it can be challenging to find the right project to donate to. EFK simplifies these efforts and tries to facilitate a direct win-win situation for project donors and school projects worldwide. We have now been able to build or renovate 26 schools through corporate and private donations, giving thousands of children better access to education. Since all administrative costs are covered, we can guarantee that every euro goes directly to the projects - because our motivation is: to give as many children as possible a chance for quality education.
When you talk to companies, what prevents them from being socially responsible? We were able to identify three significant barriers: a too-large, non-transparent selection of aid options, a lack of trust in what ultimately happens with a donation, and a lack of prioritization or too much time required within the company. This is precisely where we want to start and make "doing good" as efficient and straightforward as possible.
Do you see a change in the values of companies?
Both the teams' values are represented internally, and the company's values want to show to the outside world. There is more pressure from both employees and society for companies to be socially and environmentally engaged. People are now striving much more for meaningful activities, which raises the big question of "What do we stand for as a company?
How did you come to find the topic of "school construction" for yourself?
Years ago, I stumbled across an organization in a magazine that built schools in Myanmar. That appealed to me directly, and I started supporting several projects at that time. The topic grabbed my family and me, and I wanted to continue on the one hand and, on the other hand, also make it possible for others to have this experience. A quality school building has a considerable impact on generations of students' educational opportunities, and the need for financial support is enormous. At the same time, a school building is also very tangible and allows you to see directly what happens with a donation.
You are a successful entrepreneur - do you think this spirit is needed to drive charitable projects forward?
To some extent, I would say yes. I built EFK together with a small team with a background in development cooperation. We have tried to combine the best of both worlds - entrepreneurship and innovation with a focus on impactful projects and sustainable collaboration with people in different countries around the world. I think this creates a lot of confidence that donations are really being used efficiently and wisely.
What is your wish for the future?
For EFK, I would, of course wish that our network continues to grow and that many people really recognize the support of school projects as a win-win situation. There are still far too many children who cannot go to school at all - or are taught in half-ruined buildings. When used directly, even small donations can make a big difference.