Smart’s program gets int’l nod
Telco included in Fortune magazine’s ‘Change the World’ list
When engineer Angelique Caritan was still a college student in Mindanao, she underwent a technology training conducted for free by engineers of mobile leader Smart Communications.
The training provided her with practical knowledge of the telecommunications industry, which complemented the theories she had learned in school.
“Because of that training, my industry knowledge widened and I became confident when I was applying for a job,” she said.
Caritan was eventually hired by Smart. There she joined dozens of Smart engineers sharing their knowledge and experiences with engineering and information technology students, under the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (Sweep).
Because of this program, Smart was recently cited by international business magazine Fortune as one of 50 companies that have “changed the world.”
The annual rankings aim to showcase the power of companies to improve the human condition by making an important social or environmental impact through their business strategy and operations.
Smart, the only Philippine company and the only telco on the 2016 list, joined the ranks of global business giants like GlaxoSmithKline, Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Unilever.
Launched in 2003, Sweep aims to help schools produce industry-ready graduates and future technology entrepreneurs. Under the program, Smart provides schools with up-to-date telecommunications equipment, as well as hands-on trainings, seminars, and internships. Smart also sits in annual curriculum reviews to provide inputs on industry trends, helping schools ensure that their course offerings are relevant.
To date, more than 30,000 teachers and students from all over the Philippines have directly benefited from trainings organized by Smart. About 1,000 students from partner-schools have been hired into Smart’s technology group.
In 2004, Smart launched the Sweep Innovation and Excellence Awards, a competition encouraging students to create mobile and digital innovations that will help solve common problems.
Student teams whose entries are deemed to have market potential are offered seed funding, mentoring, and the runway to convert their school projects into actual commercial products. Schools of teams that make it to the finals, in turn, receive grants that they use to set up Innovations Centers.
“We thank our partner-schools for working hand in hand with us to provide quality engineering and IT education to Filipino students. We hope that by doing so, we are encouraging and equipping them to create innovations that will improve the lives of our countrymen,” said Smart Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.
In assembling the “Change the World” list, Fortune partnered with consulting firm FSG, global organization platform Shared Value Initiative, and Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter to solicit and assess nominations.
A team of journalists from Fortune then conducted an investigation of each candidate. The final 50 were selected and ranked by Fortune editors.
The nominees were vetted and judged based on the following criteria – measurable social impact, business results, and degree of innovation.
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