Knut Ove Børseth
Founder of Drive for life (Norway)
Can you briefly describe why you started the company?
I founded Drive for life in 2011 to engage troubled youth, otherwise at risk of dropping out of school, through an empowering team framework using adrenaline-filled sports where young participants get to choose their activities, set their own team rules and build a supporting peer-community. By providing a safe space for teenagers to experience a legal high, I succeeded in attracting hard to reach youth, while preventing them from seeking that thrill elsewhere. Drive for life’s programs seeks to promote renewed motivation and building vital life skills.
Can you briefly describe the primary purpose of your company and what social or environmental problems you seek to address?
The use of adrenaline-filled sport works as a gateway to the core of Drive for life’s programs: a robust community with teams at the centre, combined with a systemized methodology seeking to allow youth to become productive members of society. When entering a Drive for life program, each person gets introduced to a social network, a safe yet exploring space, with strict structures and pride. An approach seeking to prevent crime and other anti-social behaviour, while supporting the participants in school and preparing for a future where they stand stable at the centre, rather than on the outside of society.
Our main focus is preventing school drop-outs.
Can you describe how the two bottom lines are connected: how you manage to combine commercial income and social and/or environmental impact.
Our scaling model is based on selling our club concepts to local and regional municipalities in Norway. They are priced in order to sustain our activity, and our activity and scaling contributes to more social economic benefit as well as keeping us growing as an organization.
- We can report a social benefit of 300 Million NOK in 2015 (documented by DNV GL)
- 87% of our participants stay in school one year longer than the reference group: children in child-care services (documented by DNV GL)
Drive for life have always had international ambitions, and through becoming an Ashoka fellow in 2016 we can now hopefully realize these ambitions.
Our ambition is to scale our social solution to more countries around the world the next few years, where kids and youngsters «on the outside» can find belonging in a good team, and experience friendships based on common interests.