Frequently Asked Questions
Unusual Pioneers is a global platform for corporate social intrapreneurs to scale,exchange and elevate social intrapreneurship in their parent companies.
We provide solid tools, insights and guidance for scaling impact and gaining influence. Together with Yunus Social Business, Porticus, and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, sister organisation of the World Economic Forum, Unusual Pioneers was created to support Corporate Social Intrapreneurs in transforming our economy into a force for good.
A Social Intrapreneur is an entrepreneurial employee in a corporate organization who develops a profitable new product, service, or business model that creates value for society and/or planet. Social intrapreneurs help their employers meet sustainability commitments and create value for customers and communities in ways that are built to last.
We see two general approaches to social intrapreneurship, and intrapreneurs across either category are welcome to apply:
All applicants must submit an online application, followed by interviews with the program team. We are looking for intrapreneurs that meet the following criteria:
Unusual Pioneers is supported by 15 globally leading sector organizations, founded as a joint programme by Yunus Social Business, Porticus, and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, sister organisation of the World Economic Forum.
Yunus Social Business is an organization harnessing the power of business to end poverty through social business — a model pioneered by our co-founder, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus. YSB has supported or invested in over 1,800 social entrepreneurs worldwide to build meaningful social businesses in agriculture, health, education, mobility, clean water, and energy. We also accelerate the transformation of corporations into net ‘people and planet’ positive businesses by applying their core competencies to some of the greatest human challenges.
Unusual Pioneers is supported by the following sector-leading organizations:
The program curriculum is built around four pillars: implementation of initiatives, personal development &leadership skills, organizational readiness, and (public) advocacy. At the end of the program, participants leave with tangible skills and industry insights they need to scale their initiative, but also an increased capacity to innovate, lead, and navigate their organization.
We work with each intrapreneur to set and work towards specific goals for the program duration based on exactly where they are with their initiative, where they most need to grow, but each intrapreneur can expect to come out with the following:
Each intrapreneur is supported by mentors from the social sector and industry. The curriculum content is primarily delivered through one-on-one sessions with our 100+ topic mentors with deep knowledge in specific curriculum topics. Peer mentoring with fellow intrapreneurs will help build strong connections in the cohort and create long-lasting relationships.
The price of the ‘Full Growth Journey’ is 38.000 € (net of VAT). The price of the ‘Customised Growth Journey’ is between 10.000 - 23.000 € (net of VAT, depending on the chosen set of topics). Scholarships can be granted to intrapreneurs with demonstrated impact-focus in developing markets and a clear intention to drive their parent company’s transformation.
The Executive Circle is a C-level Circle and an integral part of the Unusual Pioneers Program. Within the Executive Circle, board members of the corporate social intrapreneurship initiative participating in the 9 month Unusual Pioneers Program have the opportunity to exchange in an exclusive closed group of peers. The objectives of the circle are threefold:
The Executive Circle is designed for members of the Executive Board of the companies of participating social intrapreneurs. As the objective is to support the acceleration of the social intrapreneurship initiative and the transformation of the participating companies, ideally the CEO her-/himself becomes a member of the Executive Circle. However, the company also can also participate within the Executive Circle with a different executive board member. The participating board member should be part of the global executive board. If the social intrapreneurship initiative is located in a regional unit, a regional executive board member is also welcomed in addition.
There is a continuous exchange between the social intrapreneur and “her/his” Executive Circle member, since one of the pivotal points of the Unusual Pioneers Program is to generate more top management attention for the social intrapreneur’s initiative. The exchange will include informal exchanges, access to resources and creation of visibility.
Furthermore, there will also be the opportunity for unusual pioneers to exchange with executive circle members from other companies mostly in an informal context. However, a limited number of initiatives will also be presented during the Executive Circle meetings.