Latest media releases

Kiron Open Higher Education is named EMEA's UBS Social Innovator 2016

London Media Releases EMEA Corporate Responsibility


London, 7 November 2016 – Kiron Open Higher Education, a Germany based social enterprise has been selected as the UBS Social Innovator 2016 from EMEA. Kiron Open Higher Education is a non-profit organization aiming to integrate refugees through higher education in their host countries. Kiron relies on an innovative combination of online and offline learning to provide accessible, sustainable, and cost-effective education to refugees.

The Final in London brought to a close the first four months of the UBS Social Innovators program in EMEA. The program was launched by UBS to find enterprises working on innovative solutions to society's most pressing challenges. Participants were required to have already developed proof of concept for their solution. A winner was nominated for each region (APAC, EMEA, Switzerland) from over 1,200 applicants from 96 countries.

"There is an evidently growing appetite amongst our clients and investors in general to support innovative solutions to important social issues. Through UBS Social Innovators, and our Community Affairs program, we are developing this growing market and assisting social enterprises achieve greater scale and impact," says Nick Wright, Managing Director, EMEA Community Affairs and Chair of the jury for EMEA.

Support for the UBS Social Innovator

In partnership with the non-profit organization Ashoka, UBS will help Kiron Open Higher Education market and develop their business idea as part of a tailored year-long Accelerator program designed to help them grow their impact. An additional aim is to make the enterprise more attractive to investors and thus facilitate the next stage of its development. The winner will also receive a cash grant of 40,000 USD and access to a global network of social investors.

Support for Finalists

Kiron Open Higher Education was named the UBS Social Innovator after being selected as one of four Finalists for the EMEA region. Due to the high calibre of applications, the remaining three Finalists: Enabling Enterprise, FoodCloud and Right to Succeed will also all benefit from entering a tailored Accelerator program in 2017 too.

Enabling Enterprise fills a fundamental gap in education, by ensuring all students develop enterprise skills, experience of the workplace and aspirations to succeed. It works in partnership with employers, including UBS, to make enterprise skill development a regular part of school life for students aged from 5-18.

FoodCloud enables businesses and charities within communities to coordinate surplus food donations, establishing meaningful relationships and ensuring no edible food goes to waste.

Right to Succeed has a mission to develop, pilot and scale collaborative solutions to educational inequality, where poverty meets education system failure. It has developed an evidence-led, collaborative approach to turning around failing secondary schools in low-income communities.

Selection procedure

The winner of UBS Social Innovators for EMEA was selected following an intensive, multistage process. In the first stage, 12 candidates were invited to a two-day Bootcamp where they benefited from the expertise of Ashoka, philanthropists from the global UBS network and specially selected UBS employees.

Four candidates qualified for the EMEA Final in London during the two-day Bootcamp. In a second stage, the candidates presented their ideas to a panel of judges made up of UBS senior management.

Detailed overview of the 12 shortlisted participants and the finalists:




+44-20-7568 9982