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  1. 1. Project: GIVE A MAN A FISHING ROD - Nordea Business School “From Idea toInvestor”Category: CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY&RESPONSABILITYSummaryNordea Latvia had been supporting its customers facing financial difficulties since thebeginning of theeconomic crisis. Based on the lessons learnt in “School of Opportunities 2009” forunemployedpersons, Nordea decided to focus the support for starting entrepreneurs on the smalland medium-sized(SME) segment in 2010.The challenge was to create a unique and remarkably different educationalprogramme that wouldmotivate, encourage, and equip the „would-be-entrepreneurs‟ with businessknowledge and skills.Together with 14 leading business consultation companies, Nordea Business School“From Idea toInvestor” was created. The 6 month programme consisted of 15 lectures, workshops,mentoring, andcoaching sessions, all free of charge for participants. The school attracted up to 2,000applications andthere were more than 10 persons per seat contest to 150 participant places. Theprogramme will end inMay 2011 and the goal is at least 10 new businesses established.
  2. 2. The programme also reached the comms and business objectives. The Schoolgenerated positive mediacoverage with more than 50 media articles, including TV and radio, and a targetaudience of more than100,000 people was reached. Nordea continued to increase its reputation in thedimensions of safe andstable; open and honest; a successful and growing bank. As for business – thenumber of net customersin the SME segment increased 50% in 2010.SituationThe Latvian government acknowledged: small and medium-sized entrepreneurship isvital to thecountry‟s recovery from the economic crisis.The Latvian population in turn has the highest motivation towards entrepreneurshipamong EUcountries. Nevertheless, the rate of successful companies is remarkably lower(Eurobarometer). 73%respondents admit “a wish to be an entrepreneur”, but only 6% writes a business plan(Nordea, 2010).The main barriers: lack of skills, a business idea, and motivation; fear of failure.Nordea has been supporting its customers facing financial difficulties since thebeginning of theeconomic crisis, organising activities for the unemployed. The focus for 2010 is afacilitation of newSME business.ObjectivesThe goal:1) Increased Nordea reputation as a reliable and safe partner; 2) Increased customerawareness of
  3. 3. Nordea as a partner in the SME segmentTarget audiences:Existing/potential customers,Opinion leaders in entrepreneurshipand business,Mass media.The objectives:- Create the Nordea Business School andattract partners for the programme content;- Attract at least 100 applicants and 50 participants;~ 10 new enterprises established;~ 40 media publications about the project;~a target audience of 50,000 people reached.Research:- Situation analysis about existing entrepreneurship support programmes,- Stakeholders interviewed (business consulting and training companies),- Online questionnaire (>5,000 respondents).StrategyThe strategy was to create a unique educational programme: Nordea BusinessSchool that wouldremarkably differ from existing entrepreneurship support instruments.The goal of Nordea Business School was to give to would-be-entrepreneurs “a fishingrod, not a fish”or to give them inspiration, encouragement, business knowledge, and skills.Thus, the potential entrepreneur would be:1) fully equipped to be able to start their own business,2) able to apply for financial grants or loans;
  4. 4. 30 able to spend the funds the most wisely.Nordea invited 14 leading business consultant and training companies to voluntarilyjoin theprogramme. All of them agreed to provide lecturers, coaches, and mentors free ofcharge.Nordea Business School “From an Idea to an Investor” was created as a two-stepprogrammeconsisting of 15 lectures, workshops, individual mentoring, and coaching sessionscovering subjects oncreativity, psychology of entrepreneurs, marketing, accounting, team creating, branddevelopment,sales and exports, etc.ExecutionThe project planning started in the summer of 2010 and will end in May 2011.The communication activities were planned throughout the entire project:1) Raise of Interest (Oct. 2010-Nov. 2011)Objectives: to attract possible participants to apply for the first round of the NordeaBusiness School; to strengthen Nordea‟s reputation as a safe and reliable partner.Messages: survey results on “would-be-entrepreneurs”; launch of Nordea BusinessSchool.2) Share of Know-How (Dec-Jan 2011)Objectives: to attract participants to apply for the second round; to strengthen theimage ofNordea and project partners as experts in the SME segment.Messages: Investors opinion about the first round applications: the quality of theproposedbusiness ideas, experience, and knowledge of “would-be-entrepreneurs”.3) Success Stories (May 2011)
  5. 5. Objectives: to prove the effectiveness of the Nordea Business School; strengthen thereputation of Nordea as a partner in the SME segment.Messages: Success stories on new businesses.Communication channels: events, media relations, direct communication,, ResultsInput or Project results:- Free of charge programme of 15 lectures (estimated worth ~1,000 LVL per person)- 2,000 applications in 2 rounds (on average more than 10 persons per seat contestand 20times more applicants than expected)> 150 participants.Estimated results at the end (May 2011):~20 complete business plans submitted~15 participants to participate in “Speed Dating with an Investor”~50 participants to receive the certificate.Output or Communication results:> 50 positive/neutral media items> a target audience of 100,000people reached through free of charge programmepartners‟direct communication channels.Outcome or Business results:Increased Nordea reputation in dimensions:Safe, stable (25%, Jan 2010 to 43%, Jan 2011)Open, honest (15%, Jan 2010 to 20%, Jan 2011)
  6. 6. Successful, growing (25%, Jan 2010 to 33%, Jan 2011)Business - the number of net customers in the SME segment increased 50% in 2010.Name of the links• Nordea Business School official page (Description, program, lecturers, onlinelectures)šana+un+labdariba/Biznesa+skola/1435942.html• Nordea Business School Facebook page -• Video: Launch of Nordea Business School, Nov 1 2010 -• Photos: Launch of Nordea Business school, Jan 18, 2011 -• Video: Interview with Head of SME Nordea Ms Kristine Lomanovska in LatvianNationalprogramme I, Jan 18, 2011 -