Mellby Gård in society
STRONG SOCIAL COMMITMENT
Mellby Gård has always had a strong commitment to society. This is expressed, for example, through statements regarding what we consider important for Swedish business, Swedish tax policy or Swedish education. In other instances, it may involve quite different, more mundane things.
“One of the principal objectives of our philanthropic activities is that they should act, in some way, as a catalyst for success”, says Mellby Gård’s CEO, Johan Andersson. “Seeing companies progress from promising to leading. Achieving new, groundbreaking research results. Seeing smaller sports clubs achieve unexpected successes. And, perhaps most importantly, seeing children in exposed parts of the world gain circumstances for a better life and opportunities to fulfil their dreams.”
“First and foremost, we continue to support activities that are linked to Mellby Gård, to our companies or to our family’s priorities. These mainly involve entrepreneurship, research and education. We aim to gradually focus on fewer, but larger, undertakings. This allows us to take a more active role in projects, improving the conditions for success.”
Each year, Mellby Gård aims to earmark approximately two percent of its consolidated profit for various types of support, usually about SEK 20 million a year.
In 2018/2019, Mellby Gård supported Ung Företagsamhet (Young Enterprise), Lärargalan (Teachers’ Gala) and Hjärnfonden (Swedish Brain Foundation) – these three projects are presented in greater detail below. In addition to these, we have contributed in many other areas, including several research projects, a PhD thesis project at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp, a PhD thesis project on the Swedish Free School Reform, the Blekingska Nationen student association in Lund, the FC Rosengård women’s football club in Malmö, Global Child Forum, Hungerprojektet (Hunger Project), Project Playground, the Research Institute of Industrial Economics, the Trelleborgs FF football club and the Wilhelm Foundation.
Ung Företagsamhet (Young Enterprise) is a politically independent, non-profit educational organization providing children and young people with opportunities to train and develop their creativity, business skills and enterprise. This is achieved through teaching materials, teacher guides, programmes of continued education, scholarship opportunities, international exchanges and inspiration for teachers, pupils and school administrators.
Ung Företagsamhet is present throughout Sweden with a national secretariat and 24 regional associations. The organization supports students and teachers with more than 100 dedicated employees, all with a broad expertise in enterprise.
Since 1980, upper-secondary students have been trained in business skills through the UF Enterprise programme and, since 2010, there are also activities at elementary schools. The organization is financed through public funds and support from the business community.
“In a positive and concrete manner, Ung Företagsamhet stimulates enterprise at a young age, efforts that are in line with our family’s views. Ung Företagsamhet also has a clear link to our holding in AcadeMedia”, says Johan Andersson.
The Lärargalan teachers’ gala is Sweden’s biggest gala for teachers – an evening celebrating Sweden’s foremost teachers, as voted for by the country’s students. The concept for the gala derived from the lack of recognition for teachers. Former student Beata Kull sought to highlight the importance of the teaching profession and help raise its status. In just a couple of years, student nominations have risen from 700 to 30,000.
Beata is grateful for the help she received from her teachers during her time at school. They helped her reach her full potential in achieving her ambitions. With Lärargalan, she seeks to repay this support and foreground good role models.Lärargalan affords Sweden’s students a unique opportunity to demonstrate what they appreciate at school, providing recipes for successful teaching.
“Through Lärargalan, Mellby Gård aims to support the vital teaching profession and raise its status”, says Johan Andersson. “Lärargalan also has a direct link to our holding in AcadeMedia.”
SWEDISH HEART FOUNDATION
More than one in three Swedes will suffer from a brain disease at some point in their lives. Conditions include stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, migraine, depression, addiction or anorexia. The number of people with dementia is rising sharply, with a quarter of a million Swedes estimated to be affected by 2050.
Many believe that diseases of the brain mostly affect the elderly. In fact, one child in ten born in Sweden has some form of brain diagnosis. Every school class includes children with autism, ADHD or dyslexia. The proportion of young people between 16 and 24 years of age stating that they suffer from mental illness and depression has tripled in 20 years.
The Brain Foundation supports research on the whole brain. Our knowledge of the brain remains limited and many brain conditions are considered taboo. Brain research is essential in obtaining effective new treatments. The Brain Foundation is the only organization supporting research and information about the brain as a whole – healthy and stricken brains alike.
“The brain is an area of research requiring additional resources and the Brain Foundation supports research on conditions about which we currently know rather little”, says Johan Andersson. “There is also a link to diagnoses in this area within the family.”