Agreement with Livensa Living to award accommodation grants to EADA students
EADA has signed a collaboration agreement with Livensa Living, one of the largest student housing operators in Spain and Portugal, with 19 student residences currently operating in the main university cities on the peninsula. As a result of the agreement, Livensa will award an accommodation grant for an academic year to one EADA student.
The first awardee is 25-year-old Maureen Mkhulisi from Namibia, who is also the first recipient of the Larson-Torras scholarship, aimed at fostering young female entrepreneurship in Africa. This scholarship enabled Maureen to start the EADA International Master in Management in October, which will provide her with the knowledge and competencies needed to develop her social entrepreneurship project in Namibia. The scholarship, which was set up by EADA professor Lluís Torras and his wife, aims to provide training opportunities to talented women who lack resources. It forms part of the scholarship fund, The EADA Fund For Positive Impact, which guarantees access to training for different collectives.
The signing of the agreement took place last month at the EADA Campus 1 Aragó in the presence of Susana Bleier, Secretary of the EADA Board of Trustees and member of the Scholarship Committee, Jordi Díaz, Dean of EADA, Rosa Salvadó, EADA’s Director of Marketing, Communication and Fundraising, Ana Pacheco, Coordinator of Alumni & Partnerships as well as representatives from Livensa Living, Eva Pigem, Barcelona Cluster Manager, and Juan Luis Díaz, Marketing Director for Spain and Portugal.
This meeting was an excellent opportunity to discover that Livensa Living and EADA have many shared values. According to Juan Luis Díaz, “the company is committed to female talent, as demonstrated by a workforce made up of 60% women and a female majority in its steering committee”. He also highlighted the company’s commitment to equal opportunities, multiculturalism and sustainability.
As Eva Pigem explained, Livensa Living provides added value with its Student Life Programme, which is based around four main concepts: “Physical and mental wellbeing of the residents; sustainability, with areas designed for recycling, reuse and locally sourced products; activities that foster networking and connections with students from other cities and countries as well as solidarity, with talks and meetings focused on current challenges and specific actions that benefit the local community”.
Juan Luis Díaz also described the students’ unique experience in their residence facilities, which is “characterised by inspiring and dynamic surroundings, with access to fully equipped facilities for private and communal living, ensuring both safety and wellbeing”. Livensa Living student housing includes a library, terrace, cinema or multimedia room, gym, communal kitchen, games area, laundry room, bicycle parking spaces and in many cases, a swimming pool. “Our goal is that our residents get the maximum benefit from these facilities and all the activities we organise, so that they can grow, connect, learn from others and above all, create memorable experiences and lifelong friendships”.
Maureen Mkhulisi is awarded the first Larson-Torras scholarship
This agreement between EADA and Livensa Living was also a great opportunity to talk to Maureen Mkhulisi, whose arrival in Barcelona marks her first time abroad. She applied for the EADA Larson-Torras scholarship through the South African branch of the Ashoka organisation, which is a leading global community of over 4,000 social entrepreneurs in 90 countries. Her goal was clear from the start: “become a changemaker in my country, boost progress and social innovation and inspire and empower others, especially female entrepreneurs to push for change and make a difference”. According to Maureen, “this scholarship represents everything I live for and aspire to”.
According to Rosa Salvadó, EADA’s Director of Marketing, Communication and Fundraising, “the current economic, social and environmental challenges show the need to redefine the social and productive model, as well as economic profit, which is why we need responsible leaders like Maureen, who generate impact with their decisions in their communities and contribute to a better, fairer world with greater sustainability and equal opportunities”.
In 2017, while studying for a Bachelor in Accounting & Finance at the University of Namibia, Maureen co-founded the start-up Namtutors, an online platform that connects students with specialist tutors from different disciplines to help them study and not abandon their studies. “The students not only receive tuition but can also connect with other students which enables them to grow together. This platform is also very useful for those who cannot attend school due to a lack of public transport, and those who wish to connect with students from other countries”.
The EADA Master in Management will enable her to boost her leadership skills in order to consolidate her business project and generate the positive impact she is aiming for in Namibia. The programme specialisation in technology management will also help her to boost the technological aspects of the platform to offer accessibility to students from all over the world.