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Winners of the Futuremakers Award 2021 announced

on 29 Nov 2021
Standard Chartered Foundation and KIZ Sinnova award extraordinary and inspiring entrepreneurs

Frankfurt, 29 November 2021 – The winners of the “Helden*innen der Krise” Futuremakers Award 2021 were recognised on Friday November 26, 2021 for their exceptional, inspiring work over the past year. The award is part of the joint Futuremakers Entrepreneurship Programme of the Standard Chartered Foundation (SCF) and KIZ Sinnova gGmbH Offenbach (KIZ). The winners receive a cash prize of 2,000 euros each, provided by SCF, and an individual coaching package. The coaching is carried out by experts from the KIZ network.

A jury of representatives from KIZ and Standard Chartered Bank selected the winners from over 50 entrepreneurs in four categories: “Female Role Models”, “Social Impact”, “Visual Impairment” and “Adaptability”. The winners are:

Marisa Kleinmann from Nuremberg with “Finanzmama” in the category “Female Role Models”, who helps women and especially mothers to become more financially independent, self-determined and financially strong through lectures and her eight-week online course.

Julian Ackerknecht from Langen and his project Abenteuerwelt in the category “Social Impact”. Abenteuerwelt helps children and families to get ideas and inspiration for a more mindful and sustainable life in nature with an innovative and nature-based educational programme.

Bianka Mandrella from the greater Cologne area was awarded in the category “Visual Impairment”. She has continued to hold on to her mobile massage practice blindtouch despite the lockdown and restrictions for body-related services and has drawn strength and motivation from her visual impairment in a difficult time.

Two award winners were chosen in the category “Adaptability”:

Britta Werner from Frankfurt, who as a self-employed musician not only quickly converted a large part of her offer to online formats, but also still had the courage to offer new unconventional modules that have great potential even beyond the crisis.

Miriam Hohmann from Wiesloch, who since the start of the Coronavirus crisis has used her expertise as a designer and conceptioner to support small businesses and self-employed people free of charge to continue to be visible to customers.

Dirk Luenzer, Managing Director at KIZ SINNOVA gGmbH, commented on the Futuremakers programme: “I am immensely pleased with what we have set up together with the Standard Chartered Foundation and Standard Chartered Bank in Frankfurt this year as part of the Futuremakers programme. In addition to the award and its fantastic winners, I am particularly proud of our “Futuremakers Women Training”, which will continue in early 2022 to support women entrepreneurs in building their business while engaging in a strong network – not least through the support of the Bank’s  mentors.”

Heinz Hilger, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank AG, added: “We were delighted that so many exceptional entrepreneurs and self-employed people applied for the “Helden*innen der Krise” Futuremakers Award 2021. Hearing their stories and seeing how they have tackled important social issues with innovative ideas and how they have continued to tackle the challenges we currently face with a lot of courage and energy  is impressive and inspiring . I am also proud that Standard Chartered’s commitment to this programme has galvanised our employees across Frankfurt to share their time in meaningful ways.  Many employees volunteer as mentors within the framework of the “Futuremakers Women Training” and pass on their skills and expertise to young female entrepreneurs.”

Note for the editors

Short description of the four categories

Female role models – Award for women who have taken the plunge into self-employment and thereby inspire and encourage other women to realise their careers and become financially independent – with or without children.

Social impact – Award for entrepreneurs who uncover and address a social problem. Their company adds value to society/environment and wants to achieve social impact.

Visually Impaired – Award for visually impaired entrepreneurs who have set up their own business and, despite their visual impairment, go their own way and raise awareness of the issue.

Adaptability – Award for entrepreneurs who have seen opportunities for themselves and their business in the crisis and have reinvented themselves as a result. This category is looking for inspiring examples that give others courage and confidence that there is an opportunity in every difficult phase.

Information on the award winners and the jury’s statement of reasons

Female role models: Marisa Kleinmann, Nuremberg –

Sector: Financial education & personal development for women

With “Finanzmama”, Marisa Kleinmann wants to inspire and motivate women, especially mothers, to tackle their own finances, to talk about money and to start building up their assets. In addition to lectures in educational institutions and at online congresses, she offers an eight-week online course that supports women on their way to financial independence by defining financial goals and developing individual financial strategies. Marisa Kleinmann’s vision to help women become more financially independent, self-determined and financially strong and her own inspiring example convinced the jury. She is an entrepreneur who supports women/mothers with topics that unfortunately still show deficits for many: Financial independence, retirement planning and a good understanding of their own finances.

Social impact: Julian Ackerknecht, Langen –

Sector: Education and environmental protection

With his company Abenteuerwelt, Julian Ackerknecht wants to strengthen children for a sustainable future through nature-based educational programmes and motivate them to think and act in a sustainable way. He develops innovative educational modules for children and families that enable them to experience a wide range of sustainable development issues, for example as forest treasure hunters, forest detectives or water protectors. Abenteuerwelt was born from a statement his son made when a toy broke: “Dad, it broke, but that’s not a problem. We’ll just buy it new!” The jury was impressed by Julian Ackerknecht’s concept of breaking down big, societal problems to a smaller level and helping children and families get ideas and inspiration for a more mindful and sustainable life in nature. Teaching children to act responsibly in their everyday lives and imparting knowledge about sustainable development is a great responsibility for parents but also for society.

Visual impairment: Bianka Mandrella, Greater Cologne –

Branch: Health

Bianka Mandrella offers mobile massages in the Cologne area with her company blindtouch and helps people to feel better and fitter. Due to the restrictions of the corona crisis on services close to the body, she lost all her orders and had to build up a small customer base again. Her visual impairment even encourages Bianka Mandrella in what she does, as she believes that you can do anything, even if you have a limitation. This statement and the fact that she did not see the pandemic with countless lockdowns as a reason to give up, but to keep going, was decisive for the jury in choosing her. It is impressive to see how she drew strength from her visual impairment in a difficult time and how her motivation flows from doing something good for other people through massage and relaxation. Bianka Mandrella is an example for others to trust in themselves and their abilities.

Adaptability: Britta Werner, Frankfurt –

Sector: Art and culture – Music and events

Britta Werner is a wedding singer, event musician and piano and singing teacher. In order to be able to continue working as a self-employed musician during the lockdown, she had to quickly adapt to the new circumstances and build up her digital offering, which includes live stream concerts on YouTube and digital live concerts for clients, as well as piano and singing lessons via Skype and Zoom. Britta Werner has also developed the digital workshop concept “mindful music”, which combines singing lessons with mindfulness methods such as meditation, breathing exercises and affirmations. For the jury, Britta Werner is an example of a self-employed person who has not only converted a large part of her offer to online formats, but has also had the courage to offer new unconventional modules, such as mindful music, which combine mindfulness with singing and will certainly help many people to be more balanced and relaxed in everyday life – in the crisis and beyond.

Adaptability: Miriam Hohmann, Wiesloch –

Sector: Brand and design agency

Since 2013, Miriam Hohmann has been supporting small businesses and medium-sized companies as well as start-ups to become strong brands as a designer and conceptualiser. The Corona crisis has led to clients reducing their marketing expenditure or cancelling it altogether, and as a result many projects and clients have also fallen away. In order to support small, owner-operated businesses and retailers in their public image during the crisis, she and her video team launched the Regioversum initiative, which created videos for local businesses and provided a platform for them to be visible during the lockdown. At the same time, she has supported many small businesses in expanding their online presence, but has also helped in the traditional way by distributing flyers to draw attention to the situation. The jury was particularly impressed by the fact that Miriam Hohmann focused her energy and strength on helping other solo self-employed people not to lose their foothold in a difficult crisis. She used her own expertise to make companies visible in the crisis and to continue to draw attention to their difficult situation – all free of charge.

About the Standard Chartered Foundation

The Standard Chartered Foundation (SCF) is a charitable organisation that tackles inequality by promoting greater economic inclusion for disadvantaged young people, particularly girls, young women and people with visual impairments, through programmes focused on education, employability, entrepreneurship and eye health.

Established in 2019, SCF is a registered charity in England and Wales (charity number 1184946) and is the lead delivery partner for Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, a global initiative to tackle inequality. Futuremakers includes projects that support economic recovery for communities impacted by COVID-19.