2014 MPP alumna Freda von der Decken and team wins €40,000 prize for social start-up MUTacademy

Alumna Freda von der Decken receiving the “Act for Impact” prize. © Social Entrepreneurship Akademie

Social Entrepreneurship Akademie awards annual Act for Impact prize for education and integration projects.

Hertie School alumna Freda von der Decken and her team of social entrepreneurs have won a 40,000-euro prize from the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie to set up a new social start-up, the MUTacademy (courage academy).

The MUTacademy aims to motivate children in Germany’s Hauptschulen, who generally go on to pursue vocational training, to master their school exit exams. The idea is to offer camps in which children are given motivational support and can discover their own strengths.

“We are speechless, utterly overwhelmed and very, very happy,” said von der Decken when the prize was announced. “This time, our courage was tested, rather than our students’.”

Besides financial support, the “Act for Impact” prize includes support from the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie, which will help the start-up get off the ground and accompany the entrepreneurs in their first year of business.

The prize has been awarded for the last five years to start-ups with innovative ideas in education and integration.

Freda von der Decken earned her Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School in 2014 and went on to participate in Germany’s Teach First programme for two years. Teach First is a non-profit organisation that engages recent graduates from a wide variety of academic backgrounds to work as “Fellows” in educational institutions for a limited time.