We make up a part of the economic bloodstream by helping to create new opportunities. We also help to create new opportunities by supporting socially important initiatives. Swedbank Estonia works with various societal initiatives which contribute to positive impact in areas of prioritized sustainable development goals. Our three focus areas are fostering education/financial literacy, entrepreneurship and development of sustainable society. We understand that sometimes our skills and knowledge can benefit more than money could. Therefore, all Swedbank Estonia employees have each year two paid days off for professional and team volunteering.
Education: Back to School
The objective of Tagasi Kooli (Back to School) is to bring more real-life experience to schools and strengthen cooperation between schools and the rest of the society. We aim to get more active people involved in education to share knowledge that cannot be found in textbooks. We have been a strategic partner and a true fan of Back to School initiative since 2012. Our employees regularly visit students at schools to share their knowledge on money and digital matters, and give necessary career advice.
Education: Teach For All Estonia
In 2006, Swedbank and the Good Deed Foundation founded the Noored Kooli (Teach for All Estonia) programme so that every child in Estonia would be able to get a great education. Every year we pick up to 50 capable and active people from various spheres of life to join the programme and offer them a unique challenge. For two years, participants of the programme will teach in schools across Estonia, where they have a chance to directly impact the development of each of their students. The participants will simultaneously be attending a teaching and leadership course, which helps them become outstanding leaders both in classrooms as well as in the society. With the skills and knowledge acquired from this experience in schools, participants will be able to lead all kinds of undertakings successfully.
We realized that there’s a financing gap in the tech-ideas implementation – there are many good ideas but not enough support to build their first functional prototypes. In 2012 we launched Estonia’s first equity free prototyping fund together with Tallinn Technical University and Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol. Having two application rounds per year we receive hundreds of applications every year and have funded more than 80 projects with more than 1MEUR. Prototron alumni includes such key players as Lingvist, coModule, Sprayprinter, Qminder, Lumebot etc. In addition, Swedbank Estonia’s employees assess applications and mentor the companies.
Sustainable Society: Health Tracks
Remember the feeling you get after a brisk jog in the woods, the clarity and energy it brings? We do and we want more and more people in Estonia to have the opportunity to exercise for free whenever they feel like it. This is why we joined forces with construction company Merko and the national energy company Eesti Energia and launched the network of Estonian Health Tracks in 2005. By now there are more than 120 natural trails, totalling over 1100 km in length. Many of these tracks have lighting so that it is possible to jog from sunset to sunrise – because health tracks, unlike sports clubs, are always open.
Time and money donation
In 2008, Swedbank and the Good Deed Foundation joined forces to launch a donating environment „I love to help“, which has grown into Estonia’s biggest platform for donations. The aim of the donation environment is to promote charity culture in Estonia by bringing reliable initiatives and influential charity organisations together onto a single platform, where donators can learn more about and support the projects and initiatives. All organisations included in the environment are strong and reliable – this ensures that donations will reach those in need. The portal has mediated donations in total of 2.8 MEUR.
Swedbank Estonia employees have two paid days off for professional and team volunteering which usually takes place in summer. Since 2016 together with the Estonian Employers’ Confederation we invite employers across Estonia to join the charity initiative “Let’s donate time” and give their employees one paid day off per year, so that the employees could use it for doing good. This is a simple and flexible model for starting a charity in an enterprise or for adding to the already existing responsible actions.