The in-kind support of an SME from Norway turns the math competition for children and young people, organized by an NGO, in the biggest national education competition in the country.
The youth organization
Pangealekene (Pange games) is an NGO from Norway which works at national level to promote math and science competences among young people from first grade to high school through a national math competition, but also through science fairs and games in schools and youth clubs.
The business partner, the SME
Sense Solutions is an SME which provides design and IT solutions, established in Oslo, Norway.
How the cooperation started
Pangealekene worked with Sense Solutions since the establishment process of the organization, getting the support in preparing the digital and web infrastructure of their national math competition and also in creating their website.
The collaboration for Pangea Konkuranse (Pangea competition) started in 2014 and continued every year since then. The math competition targets school students from all over Norway from first grade to tenth grade. The aim of the project is to promote math and science education, and increase interest in math among young people through engaging and competitive activities at national level.
Every year, sense supported the project in-kind by creating and maintaining its web and IT infrastructure that makes the competition accessible to all the schools and youth clubs in every corner of the country. The value of the service is more than one million NOK (over 100.000 EUR).
How the SME supported the NGO
Sense Solutions has provided all design, web and IT services for the biggest event of the organization, national Pangea math competition. In this frame, the company has designed, hosted and launched the website of the organization. Moreover, the company has created an online system where the teachers and youth workers all over Norway can sign up their students for the competition and upload their results, and get online help from the organization’s volunteers. In addition, the system ensures automation and comparatively visualization of the results of the first step of the competition, in which the organization provides to teachers a test with analytical math questions at different levels and the teachers function as local correspondents of the competition, make their student take the test, upload their answers to the system to help the organization to decide the qualifying students from all over the country for the final event of the competition in Oslo.
When Pangea started the initiative as a non-formal volunteer event back in 2014, they contacted Sense Solutions to share the idea and buy help in designing a webpage and some poster designs. Through a personal contact, they managed to meet the owner of the company. After exchange of several emails, they managed to arrange a face-to-face meeting to pitch their ideas. When the company owner and his shareholder heard the idea, they offered to be IT and communication sponsor of the event before the organization even asked about it. Since the collaboration has started, they have kept the good collaboration growing. The organization also invited the company owner to the advisory committee of the event. This way, they have built a good communication channel about every step of the event. The company later on took the responsibility of training the volunteers about using the IT system.
Impact and benefits
One unique feature of the cooperation was how it turned into a different direction as surprising the owner of the company loved the idea and this self-commitment to the project made them involved in many essential parts of the event.
Pangelekene has not offered much back to the company at the beginning than a fulfilling ownership feeling for the people at the company and ensuring they became the part of the development of the event. As an addition the company used their logo on every paper, platform of the event and this created an additional publicity for them.
The organization’s smart move to involve the main owner in the advisory committee was a very strategic move for both sides. It was very wise to keep his personal support (thanks to his engineering background) for the cause and maximize his personal involvement beyond the company’s support. Sense Solutions has moreover helped Pangealekene to find the right contacts and self-initiated improvements of the system they have created.
In the end, the competition concept was exported to some other countries and the collaboration which was started in Norway had also an impact on other countries as the company gave away the right of using the system in other countries as well.
What makes the cooperation a successful one?
We consider the collaboration was a full success for several reasons. Sense Solutions was the less benefiting side of the collaboration and they did not have a pragmatic approach of helping already. On the other hand, they got chance to reach to many schools and youth clubs all over the country, to a large database of teachers and students – up to 100.000 participants every year. The biggest benefit was of course for the youth organization.
They had at the very beginning intention to get some discount for their website design, but the cooperation has evolved into a really strategic collaboration and helped the event and organization growing very fast. The value of the service they got for free from Sense Solutions was a big pushing factor for both the event and the organization development. In two years, the event has turned into the biggest national education competition in the country thanks to a system which eased accessibility. This is a case study that shows how companies can be involved and how they can actually contribute to completely transform a youth organization, supporting it to grow where it did not imagine before.