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Unique initiative to increase diversity in the business sector

Talent exists everywhere, but opportunities do not. The F1RST program, led by Daniel Sachs Foundation and the Stockholm School of Economics together with several key figures in the business community, strives to increase diversity in business schools and in the business sector.


F1RST is a unique collaboration between universities, the business community and civil society, with the intention of matching talent with opportunities and creating new career paths for young people whose experience and background is underrepresented in the business sector’s top management positions. F1RST will guide these disadvantaged young individuals on their way to a successful career in business and finance through support, networking and inspiring activities.    

“I still remember what it was like growing up, with great ambitions but without any role models and a personal network. That path ahead is a lot more challenging. It’s great to see how we can inspire and make a difference for our younger talent in society when we all come together: academia, social institutions, schools and the business community. It’s a unique concept. It’s essentially about people and creating meaningful meetings that inspire”, says Sabinor Haas Lönnroth, Program Manager at F1RST.    

Unique contacts in the business world

F1RST offers participants free access to a talent network, with unique contacts in the financial sector as well as at SSE, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm) and Stockholm University. F1RST organizes meetings between students and mentors in the business sector who inspire and inform them of future career opportunities. The participants will also learn practical skills such as how to apply to universities, build networks and eventually also how to apply for jobs. The participants will also work closely with civil society and attend workshops on various topics such as self-leadership and networking.  

Daniel Sachs Foundation and SSE are behind the initiative:

“We believe that F1RST will contribute to a society that embraces everyone’s full potential. We are excited about the unique opportunity to collaborate with universities, the financial sector and civil society”, explains Secretary General of DSF, Paul Alarcon.

Increase motivation and opportunities

Many companies from the financial sector have supported the initiative from the start, including SEB, Triton, EY, Klarna, EQT, Swedbank, Nordea, Goldman Sachs, Kinnevik, P Capital Partners and af Jochnick Foundation.

“We contribute to a more dynamic business community by broadening the recruitment process to SSE and other institutes and universities that educate our future leaders. This initiative is particularly important for the sector to be able to attract future talent. We know that increased diversity leads to a more interesting, multi-faceted and competitive business sector. Contributing to a working environment that reflects society is something that we consider exceptionally stimulating and meaningful”, adds Lars Strannegård, President of SSE.

High schools have also expressed a great interest in F1RST. The initial trial period includes five schools and almost 300 participating students. The goal is to grow gradually after the test period. 

“We believe that F1RST will improve our students’ motivation and increase their chances of reaching a higher level of education. In addition to improving and inspiring their understanding and knowledge of the available forms of higher education, we also hope that the long-term effect will be to enhance their network in the business world, a network they normally would not have had access to, states Assistant Principal at the Västerholm School, Camilla Tenggren.

For more information, please contact:

Sabinor Haas Lönnroth                                    
Program Manager, F1RST                               
Tel: +46 707 30 69 55                                                         
Email: sabinor.haas.lonnroth@hhs.se                          

About Daniel Sachs Foundation

The Daniel Sachs Foundation (DSF) is a global foundation established in 2010 whose mission is to revitalize democracy for the 21st Century and promote open and inclusive societies. We catalyze systems change by developing projects and organizations in the space between civil society, public institutions and business, including the Apolitical Academy, Multitudes and Höj Rösten/Raise Your Voice. 

About the Stockholm School of Economics

SSE is the leading business school in Scandinavia and in the Baltic region and is well renowned in Sweden as well as internationally. Our first-class research is the foundation in our education that include Bachelor-, Master- and PhD programs. We also provide an MBA program and a wide selection of Executive Education programs.

Our programs are developed together with the research- and business sector so that our students may reach top management positions in companies and institutions.

SSE is accredited by the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) assuring that both education and research hold the highest standard on an international level. SSE is also the only Swedish member of CEMS and PIM. These programs cooperate between top ranked business schools around the world which contributes to the high quality of education that SSE is known for. 

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