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GEMS Education and 8billionideas forge strategic partnership to enhance entrepreneurial skills among students

Teaching staff also set to benefit from professional development modules and coaching 

Dubai, July 04, 2023: GEMS Education and 8billionideas have joined hands in a three-year strategic partnership. The aim is to provide GEMS students with access to dynamic real-world careers and entrepreneurship programmes across the GEMS network in the UAE and Qatar. 

8billionideas, a UK-based education technology company, equips young people with diverse transferable skills in entrepreneurship, which it says will support them in their future endeavours. The company’s educational content focusses on four key areas: entrepreneurship, career education, skills for the future, and performance and wellbeing. 

This strategic collaboration, which began in early 2022, has now been formalised through a long-term agreement. As part of this partnership, GEMS teachers will receive support in the form of personal development modules and in-person coaching from David Harkin and the 8billionideas team.  

Dino Varkey, Group Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Education says, “This strategic partnership strikes at the heart of two core pillars of GEMS Education – innovative education delivery and preparing our learners for the future. I’m delighted to officially welcome 8billionideas into the GEMS ecosystem, as I’m convinced that these programmes will offer our students and staff access to exciting, fresh, and valuable content and experiences.” 

During the 2022-23 academic year, eight GEMS schools and some 25,000 students were engaging with 8billionideas. The new strategic partnership aims to extend this impact to more than 100,000 GEMS students in the next academic year, with ambitions to further expand the year after. 

David Harkin, CEO and Co-founder of 8billionideas says, “Our work in the next academic year will impact over 100,000 students in many different ways as we continue to dive into the world of entrepreneurship, career education, skills for the future, and performance and wellbeing – something both GEMS and 8billionideas believe is no longer extra, but critical to every child. Roll on what will be a game-changing period in education!” 

GEMS schools in the UAE and Qatar have already integrated 8billionideas’ programmes into their teaching approach. Through the partnership with 8billionideas, every GEMS school will have the autonomy to weave 8billionideas programmes into their existing curriculum to create age-appropriate and customised programmes suitable for their school.  

Maryssa O’Connor, Senior Vice President – Education and Principal/CEO of GEMS Wellington International School says, “Parents across the GEMS network continue to emphasise the importance of preparing students for life, and we are listening and responding. The necessary agility required to ensure students are well prepared for university and the workplace is a challenge for schools, and one that cannot be met purely through a regular curriculum offering. Embedding focused and active opportunities for students to explore skills and attributes, experiences, and collaborations is crucial for our students.” 

By helping senior students gain apprenticeships, internships, and even start a business, the partnership with 8billionideas will also help advance the work of GEMS For Life with its mission to support students both while at school and long after graduation. 

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