Monday, 28 February 2022 - PwC Belgium and tech ecosystem MolenGeek today announce their structural partnership. The Molenbeek initiative will be able to count on PwC’s expertise to help it grow in a structured and sustainable way. Thanks to this collaboration MolenGeek and PwC aim to create a positive impact in society by equipping people with the skills they’ll need in the future labour market of the digital age.
MolenGeek’s a community initiative that aims to make technology accessible to everyone and to create professional opportunities for people who’re not familiar with the digital world. Since its launch in 2015, MolenGeek has developed several types of services, including entrepreneurial events, training and a business incubator. The initiative, which started in Molenbeek, has now expanded to Charleroi with Charlewood, to Antwerp with Borgerhub and will soon open in Laeken with a specific focus on artificial intelligence. This Belgian initiative’s growing at the Belgian level as well as internationally with ecosystems in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, in the Netherlands, and Padua in Italy.
Ibrahim Ouassari, Co-Founder and General Partner of MolenGeek says: “This collaboration with PwC comes at the right time. MolenGeek's an initiative that started as a group of friends doing something in our spare time and now it's growing into an initiative that's expanding into many different aspects. We're working with schools, we're making funding available to start-ups, we're setting up programmes to upskill people, and many other things. In order to create a favourable environment for digitalisation in Belgium, it's imperative to address several aspects in parallel. To achieve this, we need to be accompanied, advised and supported to make the best choices. Thanks to PwC's expertise, we’ll maximise the impact we can make on our society.”
A diverse and digital workforce
The partnership involves PwC helping MolenGeek with an assessment of its governance model and current financial plan. PwC’ll provide legal and fiscal advice and support MolenGeek’s elearning platform, MoLearning, to make sure it’s performant in a secure way. PwC’s collaboration with MolenGeek fits with its broader ambition to empower younger generations and support them in becoming essential players in tomorrow’s economy. With the skills gap continuing to widen and being one of society's most important challenges, digital skills are already a ‘must-have’ for the jobs of today - and tomorrow. It’ll be key to look at talent through a different lens, also for PwC as people are at the core of its business. With this partnership, MolenGeek supports PwC in embracing this new vision and laying the foundations to prepare PwC's clients and its own people for the future by getting a mutual understanding of the skills firms like PwC need and adapt training to fit.
Axel Smits, Chairman at PwC Belgium, said: “MolenGeek’s such an important and positive project and one that makes a real impact for society. Digital innovation is key to creating the foundations for an inclusive society for our younger generations. We’re very happy to support the great initiative that MolenGeek is; the value it adds for our own people, the broader communities and the potential of MolenGeek to play a part in helping our country retain its competitive position in the world by boosting digital skills. We’re proud that our collaboration will help give MolenGeek another push to facilitate entrepreneurship and in turn empower a new diverse digital workforce - one equipped to face the challenges of the future.”