(3BL Media) Paris, France - September 10, 2012 - Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and Ashoka France today announced that Accenture and the Accenture Foundations have awarded Ashoka a grant of US$962,000 to help thousands of underprivileged people gain the job readiness and entrepreneurial skills they need to enter the workforce.
The three-year grant will help support more than 17,000 people across Europe join the job market. It is part of Accenture’s Skills to Succeed
initiative, which is equipping 250,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business.
With the grant, Ashoka will identify four Ashoka Social Entrepreneurs specializing in employment and employability in France, Spain, Poland and Belgium. They will receive financing and pro bono consulting support from Accenture to rapidly expand and make their businesses sustainable, which should create approximately 7,200 jobs.
“Supporting Ashoka helps bring to life Accenture’s commitment to building skills,” said Adrian Lajtha, chief leadership officer at Accenture. "We share Ashoka’s commitment to making a significant, lasting impact on the long-term economic vitality and resilience of individuals, families and communities around the world.”
The grant and pro bono support will also help 10,000 young people in France improve their employability prospects through the Ashoka Youth Venture (YV)program and an interactive online learning platform. The YV program builds awareness, understanding and motivation that support employment and business startup prospects for young people. In the next year, YV will select, train and support more than 200 role models to provide young people with the opportunity to develop critical life skills by starting and leading their own community-minded club, organization or business that creates a positive impact.
“Young people in Europe face strong barriers to employment, and we remain committed to breaking those down,” said Arnaud Mourot, Director of Ashoka Europe. “Working with Accenture, we can provide the skills necessary for thousands of young people to find lasting employment or build their own businesses.”
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 249,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. Through its Skills to Succeed
corporate citizenship focus, Accenture is committed to equipping 250,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business. The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011. Its home page is www.accenture.com
Ashoka was founded to invest in social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions that are sustainable and replicable, both nationally and globally. The organization was recognized in the top 25 “Responsibility Pioneers”2 that are changing the world. Ashoka does not accept funding from government entities which provides Ashoka with long term stability and total political independence. Ashoka employs more than 250 staff, has established programs in over 70 countries and supports the work of nearly 3000 Social Entrepreneurs. Ashoka started in Europe in 2005 and with around 300 social entrepreneurs in total they now have presence in almost all European countries.
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