About the program
The Apprenticeship Challenge is an edition of our Entrepreneurship for Good Program. With its learning-by-doing approach, this program gives you the opportunity to learn innovation and implementation skills by working on a real-life innovation Challenge (here: The Apprenticeship Challenge) during 10 weeks in campus, in this case in Sinal do Vale (50 kilometers from the center of Rio de Janeiro). During the second phase of the program, you’ll go back home to launch your venture with support from your DO School mentors and peers.
So how does the Entrepreneurship for Good Program work?
The first Phase of the Program lasts 10 weeks and takes place in Sinal do Vale, a unique biodiversity space in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil outside Rio de Janeiro. You and 19 Fellows from all over the globe will attend the following courses:
Challenge Lab: You’ll be co-creating a hands-on result for the Apprenticeship Challenge while learning and applying the DO School Method.
Venture Lab: Using the DO School Method, you’ll refine your venture idea and get it ready for implementation.
Media Lab: You’ll learn storytelling skills to generate support and publicity for your idea.
For more details, please download our Courses Description PDF below.
Over the course of the next 10 months, you’ll be implementing your venture in your home country – using the skills you learnt in the Incubation Phase. Thanks to the DO School’s online platform, you’ll be able to get advice and feedback from your mentors, the DO School program team and your peers. In addition, you can pick up and share new skills along the way.
Westerwelle Foundation, Sinal do Vale and the DO School challenge you to develop innovative ways to promote apprenticeships or vocational training to reduce global youth unemployment and create a sustainable future. The solution that you will co-create with the other 19 Fellows during the Challenge Lab should help enable local businesses to train young people on the job, focusing on the importance of continuous skill-based training. The project should be scalable and adaptable to any country.
Why does it matter?
Global youth unemployment and the education-to-employment gap are two facets of one of the most pressing problems of our time. In light of the high unemployment rates among university graduates, it is clear that secondary and tertiary education models alone cannot provide the answer. Add to this the fact that the half-life of many professional skills is 2.5 – 5 years and it becomes clear that we need a new skill-based model for continuous on-the-job learning, for example apprenticeships, which in countries like Germany have proven themselves to be effective drivers of employability. Take for example the innovation in new skills and job profiles created in the field of the green economy. We believe that an individual economic perspective is highly relevant for a solid democratic development on the long term.
This Apprenticeship Challenge is right for you if:
1) You have an idea for a social impact venture and are ready to commit 10 demanding, high-energy weeks in Brazil to work on the Challenge and develop your venture further, and also want to dedicate the following 10 months at home to bringing your idea to life.
2) You have proven skills and expertise in the following areas and would love to contribute these so as to create an actionable and amazing Challenge result: Education and training, HR, project management, international development, sustainability, etc. Or you might have other skills or expertise that you believe will bring a unique and fresh perspective to the solution of the Challenge.
3) Your knowledge of English is good enough to participate in a program entirely conducted in English.
We offer inclusive educational opportunities for talented young adults regardless of their socioeconomic or educational background. If you feel that you have the right skills and motivation, and a venture which might be either in planning phase, an emerging start-up or a growing organization, we encourage you to apply no matter whether you are a university student, a graduate or have no higher education at all.
The Westerwelle Foundation for International Understanding was established by Dr Guido Westerwelle, former German Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Ralph Dommermuth, CEO and Founder of United Internet AG. Based on its firm belief in the correlation of economic success and democratic participation, the Foundation wants to enable young adults to realize their potential and to gain economic independence. Therefore, the Foundation engages in the promotion of entrepreneurship and vocational training.
Sinal do Vale is a vibrant living laboratory for the transition to a resilient future and a 400-acre campus in nature where emerging leaders can learn, teach and evolve their inner and outer skills as change-makers. Nestled in the richly biodiverse and highly threatened Atlantic Rainforest, just 50 km outside of Rio de Janeiro, SINAL is home to an organic farm, a reforestation and community resilience project, and an event, education and retreat center. SINAL serves as a host and catalyst for people, ideas and place-based projects determined to make a difference in complex, changing times.
For more information click "Further official information" below.