Updated 27 May 2020

Recognition:  Student Ventures recognizes that while we strive for diversity amongst our gap year and accelerator experiential learners, this will not just happen magically.  Planning, attention, and action is needed in order to carry out our mission and realize our ultimate vision. To this end, we have created a strategic plan to address this opportunity.

Objective 1:

Create a Culture at Student Ventures Academy where diversity, equity inclusion initiatives are a priority.

  • Goal A: Build awareness, set policies, and encourage open discussion and feedback on diversity related issues. Maintain a posture of intolerance to racism, sexism, nationalism, and other “isms” that play to stereotypes and are meant to oppress people that belong to protected groups.
  • Goal B:  Require the respect of each participant towards another and an appreciate of everyone’s uniqueness.
  • Goal C:  Discourage in the use of stereotypes, labels, and myths associated with historic oppression of individuals based on their gender, gender, race, religion, geographic location, nationality, sexual orientation, political beliefs, disability, and socio-economic background.
  • Goal D: Encourage and respect everyone’s preference for ability or willingness to travel, to socially distance, and to shelter-in-place during and after the extended period of the Covid-19 period and beyond.
  • Goal E: Reveal the facts and data and encourage discussion around the effects and incidences of Covid-19 based on the jobs, residence status, careers, living conditions, and socio-economic status of individuals.
  • Goal F: Require all staff to volunteer for community efforts, including with organizations that address issues of equity or diversity, for a portion of their time. This might include volunteer service work, pro-bono, and so forth.
  • Goal G: Require student participants to spend at least 8 hours per quarterly session, or 32 hours per year, in community volunteering roles with the social organization or effort of their choice. Make available a list of options that are available to them in addition to their own potential self-generated organizations. Include organizations that deal with diversity and inclusion in this list.
  • Goal H:  Establish policies for the reporting and feedback of bullying and develop a culture of intolerance such behavior. Address the issue of bullying in the policies for students, employees, and contractors.
  • Goal I: Maintain social media and internet presences and associations that are free from discriminatory messages.
  • Goal J: Include literature and case studies that celebrates the benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the curriculum of our programs.
  • Goal K: Achieve a 4.0 or higher out of 5.0 for Net Promoter Score (NPS).  Measure the NPS using the data from student surveys taken post-experience. The survey will entail gauging the feeling of inclusion and equity, amongst other measurements.

Objective 2:

Recruit, hire, and train a diverse and global team of instructors, enrollment counselors, designers, and developers as the program grows.

  • Goal A:  Grow the Virtual Gap Year and Accelerator programs substantially so that recruitment of a diverse staff may be made possible.
  • Goal B:  Maintain a virtual program designs that will offer flexibility in working mode as a sound inclusion practice.
  • Goal C:  Encourage and hire “work-at-home” staff members, both PT and FT, who may have duties of care for others and thus require flexible work schedules.
  • Goal D: Include all team members in monthly virtual team meetings, changing time of day and day of week for such a conference call frequently to accommodate all in their schedules.
  • Goal E: Reach out and purposively recruit team members, including employees and contractors, from groups historically underrepresented in the realms of entrepreneurship and technology.
  • Goal F:  Participate in external organizations and efforts that seek to move the causes of diversity, inclusion, and equity forward. These efforts could include membership, focus groups, conferences, and similar.
  • Goal G: Achieve a NPS of 4.0 out of 5.0.  Administer surveys annually to staff and participants.

Objective 3:

Include a diverse set of individuals from around the globe as a part of the network of advisors, mentors, and virtual guests in the training of our entrepreneurial gap students.

  • Goal A: Leverage LinkedIn to reach out to at least 100 new unique individual business and technology leaders per year to gauge their interest in interacting and teaching young people.
  • Goal B:  Spend 4 hours per month reaching out to existing networks to identify and recruit unique individuals from around the globe and from different groups to gauge interest and get involved as guest speakers, advisors, and mentors.
  • Goal C:  Network, connect, and even partner with diverse groups that may help our team link to a more diverse pool of candidates for these roles of advisors, mentors, and guests.

Objective 4: 

Recruit a diverse, international group of students as participants:

  • Goal A:  Market our gap year and acceleration programs to potential students beyond North America, to all parts of the world including Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia.
  • Goal B:  Gain public relations exposure for our gap year and acceleration programs to potential students beyond North America, to all parts of the world including Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia.
  • Goal C:  Hold virtual events and conferences and invite and recruit students at various levels of “studenthood” throughout the globe.
  • Goal D: Highlight our international orientation and global student “success” stories through case studies.
  • Goal E: Execute an Action Research plan that will explore international technology entrepreneur development and publish the results in peer reviewed academic journals.
  • Goal F:  Conduct research on entrepreneurship and digital skills development for students.
  • Goal G:  Measure participant success and achievement using systems of merit and reward with symbols at each stage. Integrate digital badges using the Badgr.org platform for recognition of individual skill attainment, knowledge application and the delivery of required documents, presentations, and evidence of market reflexive activity.

Objective 5:

Offer opportunities for participation to diverse set students who may be economically challenged.

  • Goal A: Partner with external organizations with an interest in business, technology, and entrepreneurship development of future leaders through scholarship funding in order to fund future entrepreneurship experiences to enable economically challenged students to participate in the gap year and acceleration programs of the academy.
  • Goal B: Recruit high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and other philanthropists who may want to “give back” and support the development of economically challenged students in our programs, including gap years, accelerators, and others. 
  • Goal C: After gaining a social media following, develop and execute a crowdfunding campaign for raising of funds to support future scholarships for students in need of such for our Academy’s programs.
  • Goad D: Partner with Entrepreneurship Centers globally to share resources and construct gap year programs for current undergraduate, postgraduate, and professional students.

Objective 6:

Support the creation of social enterprises and socially minded business startups amongst our gap year participants that serve and accommodate diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Goal A:  Encourage new startups businesses that are borne in our programs to draft their own diversity, equity and inclusion visions, statements, and strategic plans.
  • Goal B: Teach sessions on B Corporations of B Labs and build an awareness of the potential for new organizations to become B certified as startups.
  • Goal C: Encourage diverse cofounding teams in the new organization creation, including those built globally through the programs and its new founded startups.