Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
I co-founded a social initiative at my school in grade 7. I led this organization for 7 years until graduation and was awarded the Max-Born-Medal for "outstanding achievements in shaping school life". The initiative won the 3rd prize of the "Children for a better world" award (IKEA foundation). The social initiative called "Schüler Service für Senioren" (= "Pupils for the Elderly") consisted of 40-50 pupils who dedicated their free time to assisting elderly people of our hometown in daily activities like grocery shopping, shoveling snow etc. My task as the head of this organization was to receive the requests, select suitable students according to their preferred activities and local proximity and follow-up after the job was done. The biggest learning for me, that helps me with Building Pioneers, is that it is worth to continue doing what you consider meaningful, even in times of difficulties, even in times that are less "glamorous". The Schüler Service für Senioren still exists today, 16 years after its foundation and has made many pupils familiar with the idea of voluntary work early in their lives.
Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?
Building Pioneers runs the current pilot project in partnership with a local organization that has financed more than 1400 houses over the past 2 years. We greatly benefitted from their local infrastructure, e.g. import license for machinery, and their financial contribution to the project (50/50 share of costs).
Our German donor is an experienced social impact investor and offers good guidelines while leaving us the freedom to run Building Pioneers the way we consider best.
We won the Social Impact Start scholarship, a social start-up incubator program. The mentoring, network and other support helped us in the crucial phase from the raw idea to the start of the pilot project.
In many questions related to the start-up, leadership skills, etc. I seek support from my mentor, who is a successful serial entrepreneur and VC. He became my mentor in 2012 within the Bavarian Elite Academy scholarship and joined me on my bumpy road from graduation to founding Building Pioneers and moving to Bangladesh.