Olympism in Action Forum

What can I do next? How can I develop a new business idea? The Athlete365 Business Accelerator will help athletes find a response to these questions, supporting them to create and develop their post-career entrepreneurships.

Career transition for athletes can sometimes be a critical moment, as one’s sports career does not last forever and daily life after competition can change considerably. But this period can also offer new exciting challenges. Thanks to ideas and skills acquired during their sports career, such as leadership, perseverance, resilience and team spirit, elite athletes have an invaluable potential to become successful innovators and entrepreneurs.

Helping athletes and Olympians with dual careers and career transition opportunities, and empowering them to become entrepreneurs, is one of the main focuses of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today, 6 October, during the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires (Argentina), between the IOC and the Yunus Centre, chaired by Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2006.

In line with Recommendation 18 of Olympic Agenda 2020 and the IOC Athletes’ Commission Strategy, this MoU once again demonstrates the IOC’s commitment to supporting athletes and Olympians during their sporting and non-sporting career, and is a logical continuation of the investment made by Olympic Solidarity in athlete development worldwide.

The concept of this programme, developed in close collaboration with the World Olympians Association, will form the “Athlete365 Business Accelerator” and will provide excellent opportunities to athletes, through three main phases: Engagement, Incubation and Acceleration.

During the first stage, an online course on entrepreneurship will be available for free to all athletes around the world, accessible through the Athlete365 platform. Subsequently, during the incubation phase, selected athletes who have completed phase one will receive further knowledge and mentorship on entrepreneurship through two dedicated rounds of workshops that are delivered by experts and specialists in this field. Finally, in phase three, a number of athletes, selected on the basis of their project proposals, will receive dedicated and personalised coaching and mentorship for six months for the execution of their project.

IOC President Thomas Bach, Olympic champion in fencing, said: “Athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Games and we support them in many ways. The Athlete365 Business Accelerator is another important initiative by the IOC which aims to help athletes to build a second career besides their career in sport. The IOC wants to create new opportunities for athletes and we are delighted to offer this in partnership with Professor Muhammad Yunus and the Yunus Centre.”

“All humans are born entrepreneurs; we want to help the athletes to unleash this capacity. They have an exciting life ahead of them: they can become successful entrepreneurs for themselves; they can also create a social business and solve people’s problems. This is yet another chance for them to catch the attention of the entire world,” Professor Yunus said.

Since 2005, the IOC has put in place a programme dedicated to athletes’ career transition, named Athlete365 Career+. Delivered in cooperation with The Adecco Group, the programme provides educational resources and focuses on three main pillars: education, life skills and employment. It also offers career development, help in identifying existing skills, coaching and assistance in finding jobs and internships.

Athlete365 Career+ has already reached more than 35,000 athletes from over 185 countries.

More information about the programme can be found on Athlete365, while stories of five athletes who benefited from this programme can be read here.

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The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.4 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

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