Swedbank and Society

As of May 2017, the University of Tartu and Swedbank are participating in the cooperation project “Customer Insights: Development of Advanced Private Segment Analytics at Swedbank”, with a budget of 335,000 euros, which is partly funded by the “Smart Specialisation” project by the European Union Structural Funds. The objective of the project is to implement research inventions in business and enrich company data by means of machine learning methods. The project will see the drafting of new and more efficient algorithms for providing more personalised recommendations to clients.

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We are glad to welcome you at Swedbank's page of social participation!

Being a market leader in Estonia carries both a great responsibility and a good opportunity to support and take active part in these initiatives that are evidence based and make a real impact in our society.

For that reason Swedbank Estonia has chosen three specific focus areas where our help is beneficial and also needed the most. Therefore, we have decided to foster financial and digital literacy, entrepreneurship and development of sustainable society. We understand that sometimes our skills and knowledge can benefit more than money could. Thus all Swedbank Estonia employees have two paid days off each year for professional and team volunteering.

From here you can find a brief overview of the initiatives we have founded and are proudly taking part of.

General education

Education is priceless. The ability to read, write, discuss ideas and calculate gives us something that no one can take away – our knowledge. Data from the Ministry of Education (2016) shows that 11% of people aged 18-24 have low education levels and are not in education. According to some institutions (EHIS), this number could reach 20%. That is too much. This is why we have been contributing to improving education in Estonia for a long time now. We continuously support the Youth to School (Noored Kooli) initiative and the Tartu University Science School, thereby helping to get students more interested in hard sciences.

Back to School

In 2006, Swedbank and the Good Deed Foundation (Heateo SA) founded the Youth to School 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 believe in the Youth to School mission and goals wholeheartedly.

Learn more: www.nooredkooli.ee.

Cooperation with the Tartu University Science School

Since 2019, we have been working with the Tartu University Science School on bringing the exciting world of hard sciences to has many students in Estonia as possible. We support the development and activities of various workshops so that youngsters living in smaller settlements in Estonia would also be able to take part in interesting science experiments. Swedbankers too help current young folk understand how knowledge acquired in hard science classes is implemented to complete daily work tasks in the private sector. This helps ensure that more and more young people choose to study hard sciences in university, thereby also alleviating the shortage of teachers and experts of these fields in Estonia.

Higher education and science

The success of a state and its society is founded on excellent higher education and investments into science. The contribution of companies is crucial as it helps shape the content of higher education to meet the needs of the society. This is why we cooperate with the largest universities in Estonia, both with regard to improving the quality of higher education and financing research.

Sharing private sector experiences in higher education

We understand the importance of making sure that knowledge and experience from the private sector also reaches higher education. This is how the material taught in universities can be adapted to meet the needs of the labour market, ensuring that students are better prepared for life after graduation. We contribute to the work of various school staff councils, provide feedback in the development process of curricula and participate by way of organising workshops and giving lectures.

Diverse cooperation projects

The cooperation of academics and the business world in an important prerequisite for economic success. This is why we work on numerous joint projects with students, scientists and lecturers. Our most extensive cooperation project in the science field so far has been Applied research in smart specialisation growth areas. We have an office at the Delta Centre of the Tartu University (Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation) and a representation space at the TalTech Innovation and Business Centre Mektory.

Financial literacy

These days financial literacy is just as vital as writing, calculating, dressing oneself and having basic communication skills. Financial literacy is a combination of knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, which ensure that one makes smart decisions regarding their financial matters. Financial literacy encompasses family budget planning, basic knowledge of investing and responsible behaviour with money.

Institute for Finances

However, various studies have shown that there is a discrepancy between the theoretic knowledge that Estonians possess and their actual behaviour. Although the majority of people have acquired key principles of daily money matters and planning, oftentimes, they do not follow those principles in their daily errands concerning finances. This is why we find it important to educate our clients and share knowledge, experience and skills concerning financial wisdom, both during school lessons and via the Institute for Finances.

The Institute for Finances was established in 2010 to provide independent information and practical advice. It aims to support people in making economic decisions, offer insight on managing finances and promote financial literacy in Estonia.

Savings journal

In order to further promote financial wisdom and share practical advice on money matters, we have created a Facebook group Savings journal (Kogumispäevik). The aim of the FB group is to provide a community of people who wish to learn more about handling their finances – how to save money, how to find additional income sources, how to get started with investing and improve the financial well-being of their family! You too can start saving and join the FB group HERE.

You can also check out our Savings journal podcast, where we meet up with various interesting guests to discuss financial wisdom topics and practical tips on how to improve your family’s financial situation.

Back to School

The objective of 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, be it parents, alumni or someone else capable of enriching the lessons of current students and sharing 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 have signed up and regularly visit students at schools to share their knowledge on money and digital matters, and give necessary career advice. We have currently reached 86% of schools in Estonia. You can share your experiences and knowhow of your profession or hobbies – be it financial analysis or winter swimming. Learn more on how to inspire Estonia’s future talents: www.tagasikooli.ee.

Fostering of entrepreneurship

We believe that the secret of a successful country lies in educated and entrepreneurial-minded people. To do our part in promoting entrepreneurship, we support start-up entrepreneurs in making their first prototypes so that they can build businesses out of ideas. We also strive to get young people more interested in social entrepreneurship and help organise the best business festival in the Baltics – sTARTUp Day.

Prototron

It is difficult to imagine a world without computers or lamps. But even those things were mere ideas once and required prototypes for changing the world. In order to continue giving life to excellent ideas, we joined forces with Tallinn University of Technology and Technopol in 2012 and created Estonia’s first prototyping fund Prototron. Prototron provides financial support to entrepreneurs for making their first functional product sample – the prototype. Prototron has already helped several innovative companies – Lingvist, coModule, Sprayprinter, Qminder and Lumebot among them. More than 3,200 ideas have been submitted to Prototron’s application rounds so far and 74 projects have received financing in the extent of over 900,000 euros. Prototron teams have raised over 18 million euros as follow-up investments and created more than 100 new jobs in Estonia. Pretty cool, huh? We think so.

Draft up your idea and learn more: www.prototron.ee

sTARTUp Day

We like passionate people who are willing to do what it takes to bring their ideas into reality. Founders of sTARTUp Day are living and breathing example of this – in 2016 they laid foundations for the biggest business festival in the Baltics. Located in Tartu – the city of good thoughts – the festival brings together over 4000 startupers, CEOs, investors, university students, specialists and enthusiasts from all over the world to innovate, pitch and discuss topics of business, start-up companies, innovation and future technologies. We are happy and proud to have been die-hard fans and the gold sponsors of sTARTUp Day from the very start. And to top it off – we are among the co-organisers of the festival as of 2019!

You are welcome to join at: www.startupday.ee.

Changemakers Academy

In 2019, we joined the organisers of Changemakers Academy to get the young people in Estonia fired up about social entrepreneurship. Every year, about 120 students from across Estonia take part in the programme to work together and create marketing plans to social enterprises. Participation in the programme provides youngsters an invaluable opportunity to practice team work, gain knowledge about entrepreneurship and bring their ideas to life – all this is elevated by getting to contribute to solving a social problem. The programme also helps to integrate students who don’t share a common first language.

Join here: www.changemakers.ee.

Sustainable society

We want the environment around us to be balanced and our people healthy. In this light, we see the importance of promoting charity culture and have created the donation environment “I Love to Help” to support charity organisations who work on improving life in Estonia in various fields. Often, the knowledge and skills of our people can be even more valuable than just providing financial support. This is why Swedbank employees get two paid days off each year to volunteer by themselves or as a team and thereby give back to the community by contributing time and experiences.

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 MERKO and the national energy company Eesti Energia and launched the network of Estonian Health Tracks in 2005. Since then we have renovated and built more 117 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.

www.terviserajad.ee

Sport Grants for the Youth

In order to improve sports in Estonia, in addition to aiding the development of sports tracks, we have also decided to help support sports opportunities aimed at young people in Estonia and the creation of better training options for them. As of 2016, we have annually offered the chance to apply for funding to organise physical activity and sports programmes for the youth. All organisations who strive towards improving children’s and youngsters’ exercise habits and sport options are welcome to apply, as are their existing and new programmes or initiatives. The call for proposals is open every spring and financing decisions are made by a committee, which consists of members of the Swedbank Sports Club, by the end of May. Join up and get your blood pumping!

The Good Deed Foundation

The Good Deed Foundation helps high-impact social initiatives to become active organisations and social enterprises. The foundation supports spreading social innovation in Estonia and increasing knowledge about strategic philanthropy in the private sector. In cooperation with the Good Deed Foundation, we are the only bank in Estonia to offer philanthropy consultations to our private banking clients, helping them with any single donation, managing an NGO or starting a new foundation.

www.heategu.ee

Donation environment “I love to help”

In 2008, Swedbank and the Good Deed Foundation joined forces to launch a donating environment, 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 your donation will reach those in need. Donating is simple – just pick a project that’s close to your heart and donate money, Swedbank’s reward points or time.

Learn more: www.armastanaidata.ee.

Donating Our Time network

"Let’s donate time" is a charity network that brings together active, ambitious and innovative enterprises who understand the importance of contributing to their communities by way of volunteering. The potential of teams lies in diversity – collectives are made up of people with various skills, knowledge and activity levels; together these people can find solutions to problems, provide advice and support in situations where it is needed the most.

As of 2015, Swedbank employees have carried out good deed across Estonia every summer. Among other projects, Swedbankers have participated in clean-up events, opened charity cafés, worked with youngsters, pensioners and our four-legged friends. We do over a hundred good deeds every summer, involving more than 1,100 bank employees.

Learn more: www.annetameaega.ee.