2021 Olympic Solidarity programme for Entrepreneurship

the 2021 edition of the Olympic Solidarity programme for Entrepreneurship is now available for all athletes and Olympians in three languages (English, French and Spanish) and in a new format adapted to the current situation.

Last year Olympic Solidarity supported 31 Olympians through the three programme phases and 11 Olympians developed their businesses. You can view their stories through this link and in this video Eligio Cervantes (MEX) explains in detail his entrepreneurial journey and his resulting successful business.

As a reminder, the objective of this programme is to provide athletes and Olympians with a basic understanding of entrepreneurship and what it takes to start a business – from the initial idea, to developing a business plan, to assessing their financial position. This collaboration between the IOC and the Yunus Sports Hub (YSH – chaired by Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2006) empowers and trains athletes, especially Olympians, to become entrepreneurs through the following phases: 

  • Phase 1: Engagement, online bootcamp (available to all athletes)
  • Phase 2: Incubation workshops and mentorship (for all athletes having completed stage 1)
  • Phase 3: Acceleration (personalised coaching and mentorship for a limited number of Olympians selected from stage 2) 

Phase 1: Online Bootcamp

All athletes interested in becoming entrepreneurs are invited to benefit from a 2-day online bootcamp (free of charge) delivered by YSH experts in their region language, including a presentation of Athlete365 Business Accelerator and the entrepreneurial journey. This free bootcamp offers content related to entrepreneurship and provides key tools for the launch of a business. Athletes and Olympians can register here before the deadline of Tuesday 4 May 12pm CET.

Olympic Solidarity encourages your NOC to invite your athletes and Olympians to attend the online bootcamp offered in their region. In addition to the knowledge shared, the completion of this phase is mandatory to benefit from the 2nd phase of the project. Download this toolkit to help promote this excellent opportunity through your NOC social media channels and NOC website. Our colleague and Olympian Jeremy Dodson is happy to assist with editorial and/or additional image requests as well as with further promotional material. Please remember to also encourage female participation in your communication !

Phase 2: Incubation

During a second phase called “incubation”, athletes who have completed phase one (the online bootcamp) are eligible to apply to participate in a 6-week global online workshop (free of charge) delivered by experts and specialists in this field in order to receive further knowledge and mentorship on entrepreneurship. With the goal to produce athlete business plans and ideas, the courses will be offered through the IOC platform Athlete365, paired with a weekly activity given by YSH local experts for each region and language.

The online weekly workshops will be organised on all five continents end May – June 2021 and further information will be provided nearer the time.

Phase 3: Acceleration

Finally, in phase three “acceleration”, a limited number of Olympians, selected on the basis of their project proposals, will receive dedicated and personalised coaching and mentorship for six months, happening September 2021-February 2022, for the implementation of their project and launching of their business. If Olympians from your NOC reach the accelerated mentoring “third” stage, we invite your NOC to apply on RELAY – in due time – for the financial support in order to allow your Olympians to receive support from a local mentor in local language for this final phase.

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