Springboard Workshops 2021

Here's to a great year of Springboards!

Big thanks to all participants, facillitators and mentors!

We have been to: Kristiansand, Trondheim, Oslo, Asker&Bærum, Tromsø, Molde, Stavanger and Bergen.

Entrepreneur Founder Changemaker Driver Doer

What is Springboard

Springboard addresses the difficulties that people of immigrant background face in Norway particularly as they relate to securing employment or growing their own businesses.

Springboard empowers immigrants, especially women, with the tools they need to start their own businesses. The primary goal of this project is to provide professional training through detailed courses and mentorship for immigrants to secure the skills and knowledge they need to improve their lives and start sustainable businesses.

Training will be provided across  via in-person  and digital courses on vital topics and information needed to successfully start and grow a business (i.e. making a business plan, business strategy, accounting, marketing and branding, technology tools to grow your business) and/or find work. The in-person courses will take place in six Norwegian cities.

*There are no costs involved in participating in the program.

Why Springboard?

People of immigrant backgrounds encounter varying degrees of discrimination on the grounds such as gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual preference or socio-economic position. In Norway today, many immigrants (women and men alike) believe that they are unlikely to secure skilled work regardless of their academic attainment and professional experience. They often attribute this to their race, ethnicity, religion, language barrier and the perception of being “the other” or foreign.

This belief continues to be the trend and has now become the status quo, as newly arrived immigrant people learn that their opportunities are limited. For those able to secure employment, they are often employed in low-skilled jobs.  With Springboard, we plan to challenge societal limitations that have been internalised by people in our target group, and chart a new way forward, together.

What We Do

The primary goals of this project are to amplify the voices of immigrants on the economic, social and professional challenges they face, and, to provide a training platform for business skills acquisition and entrepreneurship.  This project seeks to not only highlight existing problems but also find actionable solutions by engaging with stakeholders across social and economic sectors. Through this series of events, we aim to facilitate competence development, business understanding and strengthened self-esteem for immigrant people in cities across Norway.

With Springboard, we aim to amplify the conversation on professional empowerment for our target group, whilst creating a platform for visibility, job opportunities, and socio-economic progress for  immigrant and minority groups in Norway. In so doing, we hope to break barriers, create networks and enable employment opportunities that will empower.



  1. Identify & engage with all stakeholders
  2. Open applications in each city for interested participants to join program
  3. Map out ecosystem & collect relevant data 
  4. Launch program in each city & execute on measurable goals


  1. Host Springboard Launch Seminar (in each city) with community thought-leaders & stakeholders
  2. Run masterclasses over a defined number of days
  3. Facilitate relevant skill acquisition & networking sessions
  4. Connect participants to mentors & extended network 


  1. A minimum of 30% of participants establish sustainable companies
  2. New professional networks, business skills,  job  opportunities for participants
  3. Continued support & mentorship for participants
  4. Complete a data driven report to map impact, experience & best practices
A black and white photo features Founder Chisom speaking in a classroom to a group of individuals.
Primary photo is five women (including Founder Chisom) posing for the photo with their arms around each other.
large full room of audience members at a conference.
large full room of audience members at a conference.
two women on stage at a speaking engagement facing the audiencev



18 – 65 years of age, and identify as being an immigrant, a member of a minority group, or a repat.


Have an interest in starting your own company and may already have a business idea.


Self-starter, energetic, ambitious and eager to improve your professional and personal life.



Over 16 hours of learning that includes business skills acquisition, branding, marketing and networking.


Courses on relevant topics that include Business Strategy, Digital Marketing, Financial & Legal requirements that is accessible 24/7.


Increase your network & opportunities. Learn from experts & experienced entrepreneurs.


In a small conference room, three women engage in a meeting. One white and one black woman with notepads sit together on one side of the table facing one black woman with box twists with her laptop open.


We will hold in-person workshops in cities across Norway throughout the year. The Springboard workshop will provide skills and tools needed to accelerate your business acumen and grow your business. Selected participants will receive tailored feedback on their ideas and projects. They will also learn from industry experts and entrepreneurs who will share  tools and best practices.

In a small conference room, a black woman is speaking on a cell phone with two laptops and a notepad open.


The digital platform will provide various multi-media resources full of video courses, documents and tools to assist your entrepreneurial journey. Participants of the on-site workshops will also join the digital platform to access additional resources and continue learning and improving their skills from the comfort of their homes.

This platform is free and open (with registration) to everyone and members of our target groups across Norwegian towns, cities and communes.  

More information will bes sent out to participants and published on our social media.










Viken - Akershus

Viken - Buskerud

Viken - Østfold




Asker & Bærum




A Big Thanks to our Amazing Panelists, Mentors & Facilitators

Chisom picture

Chisom Udeze

Founder, Diversify & Mettle Consult
Economist, with expertise in Entrepreneurship, Business Strategy, Monetisation & Growth

Leïla Rezzouk Rossow

Founder, Papillon Bergen & Co-Founder of Support not Protect
Project Partner, Panelist & Workshop Facilitator

Ejiro Elizabeth Iluore

Founder, Inter-Nationals
Panelist & Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Finance

Fungi Ottemöller

Associate Professor, University of Bergen
Panelist & Workshop Facilitator

Sarah Przedpelska

Program Director, Catalysts
Panelist & Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Project Design, Management, and Research

Rahwa Yohannes

Founder, Manifold
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Project Design and Execution

Nikol Mard

Founder, Network for Work
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Communication and Networking

Sarifa Moola-Nernæs

Consultant, Bjørnefjorden Kommune
Panelist & Workshop Facilitator

Iva Ogrizović

Program Director, Diversify
Springboard Project Management

Kim-Andre Nikolaisen

Kim-Andre Nikolaisen

Founder, TechUp
Mentor & Course Facilitator with expertise in Website Development, SME Accounting & Digitalisation

Jenny Berstad

Director of Partnerships, Diversify
Multi-city Project Facilitation

Jelena Boljević

Project Manager, Diversify
Multi-city Project Manager

Ateh Atabong

Ateh Atabong

Founder, SAWA Foods
Mentor & Workshop Facilitator, with expertise in Business Idea Generation, Validation & Design Thinking

Ampy Heiman

Community Manager, Diversify
Events & Community Director, Brand Execution

Carl-Johan Sylvan

IT Consultant, Netlight Consulting
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Agile Methods, Customer Focus, Build-Measure-Learn & MVP

Dora Poni Loro

Social Worker, Bergen Kommune
Panelist with expertise in Project Startup and Management

Rianne Vogels

Founder, Startup Consultancy & Adjunct lecturer in Entrepreneurship, BI
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Business idea Creation & Validation, Business & Revenue Models, Fundraising & Investment

Ons Priotti

Organisational Psychologist & Speaker's Coach
Panelist & Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Design-Thinking and Research & Analysis

Latifa Anda

CEO, Lelo-Development
Panelist & Workshop Facilitator with expertise in International Business, Marketing, Innovation Management & Branding

Kenny Kaluiji

Founder @ Decarbonify
Panelist & Experience Sharing with expertise in Sustainability & Circular Economy

Rozalin Aliramaei

Founder, Elenovations
Panelist with expertise in Electrical & Telecommunication Engineering, Bio-electrical Research & Development

Hyacinth Walters-Olsen

CEO, Fotobaren AS
Workshop facilitator with expertise in Business Development, Corporate Partnerships and Strategy

Randi Mannsåker

Speaker, Coach and Intercultural Trainer at the Stavanger Chamber of Commerce
Workshop facilitator with expertise in Project Management, Intercultural Competencies

Kay Kgaogelo Olorunju

Founder, Living Seeds
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Business and Personal Development

Patricia Mendez

Founder of Salsitas AS and Seeds of Norway
Panelist and Experience Sharing

Guillem Cheung Montano

Geologist and Founder of Guillem Cheung Photography
Panelist and Experience Sharing

Maria Amelie

Entrepreneur and Founder of Startup Migrants

Vanessa Kamara

Senior Associate, Ernst & Young
Experience Sharing

Ka Man Mak

Founder, The Oslo Desk
Experience Sharing

Raja Skogland

CEO, TheFactory Academy
Experience Sharing

Erik Falk Hansen

Chief Talent Sourcer, Avantgarde Search
Panelist with expertise in job opportunities and career development.

Gilbert K. Adarkwah

Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, BI
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Strategy, Product and Pricing, and Investments Policy

Ali Zareiee

Founder, Adapt360 and The Mars Society Scandinavia
Experience Sharing

Faraaz Ali

Communications Director, Founder Institute
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Communications and Business Development

Anna Yevseyeva

Founder, ENK på 1-2-3
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in operations management and accounting.

Dr. David L. Sam

Professor of Cross-cultural Psychology, University of Bergen
Experience Sharing

Lasse B. Lien

Professor of Strategy, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Business Strategy, Growth and Management

Kathleen Offman Mathisen

CHRO and Internal Communications, Grieg Seafood ASA
Panelist with expertise in HR Consulting, Crisis Management, International Project Management and Business Development

Irene Kinunda Afriyie

Consultant, Fargespill; Public Speaker
Panelist with expertise in Research, Public Speaking and Teaching, with focus on diversity and leadership

Åshild Aarø

Community Manager, StartupLab Bergen
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Sustainable Innovation and Design Thinking

Kristoffer Bondehagen

Performance Marketing Specialist, AG&
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Digital Marketing and Communications

Barbara Salopek

Founder and CEO, VINCO Innovation Consulting
Workshop Facilitator with expertise in Innovation and Business Development

Paula Ironside

Founder of Hunter and Florence; Visual Designer at Huma
Workshop Facilitator

Marius Jones

Researcher at NHH, Public Speaker, and Podcaster
Workshop Facilitator

Aditi Jajal-Newey

Founder of Flow Concepts

Adriana Ruiz

Adviser, Agder fylkeskommune on the project Likestilt Arbeidsliv

Dalmar Shirwac

Works in rehabilitation, member of Kristiansand City Council, Chairman of the Borad of FIDA

Robertha Höglund

Head of Intellectual Property, Elkem ASA

Terje Klungland

CEO & CoFounder CoWorx AS
Panelist and Workshop Facilitator

Trond Martin Backer

CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, Kristiansand region

Patricia Hartmann

Project Manager, Agder fylkeskommune
Panelist and Workshop Facilitator

Vår Lund

CEO at LundConsult AS
Workshop Facilitator

Clare Jortveit

Senior adviser at University of Agder
Workshop Facilitator

Mengesha Yemane

MA student in Global Development and Social Planning at the University of Vest Agder
Experience Sharing

Sona Shyamsukha

Co-founder of PenguinUp
Experience Sharing

Vaibhav Bhutoria

Co-founder of PenguinUp
Experience Sharing

Lisa Whitehead

Consultant at Enkindled Vision
Workshop Facilitator

Sheila Eik

Co-founder of Corn Design
Experience Sharing

Stine Sofie Grindheim

CEO of Dealflow

Hiwa Målen

Senior Advisor at the Research and Innovation Department at University of Bergen

Max Gordienok

Founder of Goscore
Experience Sharing

Lelian Dam-Rimarachin

Founder of Intipakucha
Experience Sharing

Maria Shishova

Co-founder of Roots & Fruits Norway
Experience Sharing

Ove Sjøstrøm

Ove Sjøstrøm

Specialist Manager at Apriil
Workshop Facilitator

Torbjørn Jensen

Torbjørn Jensen

Senior Advisor at Azets
Workshop Facilitator

Erik Meyer-Lampe

Erik Meyer-Lampe

Advokat/Special Counsel at SANDS
Workshop Facilitator

And to our Funders & Supporters!

Chisom Udeze

Founder of Diversify, Diversify Consult, HerSpace & The Annual

Chisom is an Economist, a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Strategist, and a 3 times founder of impact driven companies. She has over 14 years of experience working with organizations like the European Commission, The United Nations, ExxonMobil and The Economist Group. Chisom is analytical and a data enthusiast. She is passionate about interrogating the cross-sectoral relationship between society’s inhabitants, resources, production, technology, distribution and output. She efficiently and effectively unlocks complex systems, interprets data, forecasts socio-economic trends and conducts research.

Having lived and worked in 7 countries across 3 continents, she is highly adaptable to different circumstances and people, and thrives in uncertain environments.

As the founder of Diversify and Diversify Consult, Chisom and her team work with companies, institutions, governments and civil society to develop sustainable DEIB strategies and embed measurable diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace and society. In addition, in 2022, Diversify launched the Diversify Nordics Summit, the largest conference in the Nordics that gathers cross-sectoral stakeholders to amplify DEIB in the Nordics and beyond.

In 2020, she founded HerSpace, a diverse and inclusive co-creation community for all genders, with particular focus on women and non-binary people. In 2022, HerSpace launched HerTech, Women in Tech incubator, for women-led companies, with a focus on the inclusion of diverse founders. 

Chisom is a thought-leader in DEIB and a passionate advocate for mental health and wellness. She writes often on DEIB and justice related topics, some of her work is published on Forbes.

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