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Going to School creates design-driven stories to teach young people 21st Century entrepreneurial skills at school, online and on TV.

Going to School Fund

location_on India
We design and deliver stories to enable young people to take on and solve the biggest problems of our time. Most of our stories feature young women hero entrepreneurs doing new kinds of work, running garbage companies, making leaf plates to replace plastic, designing, installing and servicing solar panels on rooftops.
We’ve built an organization on the premise that stories can inspire the poorest young people on the planet to become the heroes we need for the time we’re in.

HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.
Key figures

Innovation Overview

12 - 18
Age Group
500 000
Updated on August 9th, 2022
about the innovation

We know that stories can make children believe so strongly in possibility that they can dare to change their lives.

What we do.

Our flagship project, ‘Be! an Entrepreneur’ also called ‘Be! Schools’, is a series of 75 stories, games and weekly action projects that have been teaching 300,000 young people age 12-15 in 1,000 Government Secondary Schools in Bihar 21st Century Design-Thinking Entrepreneurial skills at school.

Since 2012 we’ve worked in 1,000-3,000 Government Secondary Schools in Bihar. 150,000 of the young people we reach are girls. 2/3 of our stories feature girl heroes and young women entrepreneurs taking on India’s biggest problems and solving them through grit, determination, design and the spirit of problem-solving sustainable enterprise.

To design Be! an Entrepreneur, we began with research. We asked young people face to face through focus group discussions and interactive design tools, Who are your heroes? What problems would you solve if you could right now and when you are 18? We designed tools to map the entrepreneurial skills that children have and use in their lives. Then, we travelled across 10 states in India to listen to young people about what they really want to change in their lives. We mapped 150 sustainable enterprises that solved multiple problems, in search of the entry point for young people from low-income groups. Fusing two research streams together, we wrote, designed and prototyped stories that introduced young people to new heroes: entrepreneurs.

Why we do it

When we began we knew that there would be 200 million young people under 30 and out of work in India by next year: 2020. This is the largest young unemployment crisis the world has ever seen. While millions of young people struggle to stay in school, 50% will drop out without the skills they need to get a job or create a job. And girls, young women are even more adversely affected. Even if they stay in school they are not learning the skills they need to start an enterprise or make it through a critical job interview. We want to make secondary education relevant to employment so that young people stay in school and learn the skills they need to get a job, create a job and move out of poverty. 

What’s now?

Get a Plan, is our current project, built on the success of Be! an Entrepreneur. We’re designing 30 new graphic novels that are in-depth, 25-45 pages of illustrations of how to start the enterprise, the skills you need, all wrapped up in an adventure narrative. Each story comes with a business plan, cash-flow, branding guidelines and where you can access capital to get started. They are complex, but early testing shows young people like the level of detail and also the pragmatism of what can go wrong. A new MOU with the Government of Bihar gives us critical access to Grade 9 - 12 in 1,000 schools for the next five years reaching 500,000 young people every year. The core KPI is, after five years, how many young people transitioned from school to equitable work of their choice. 

Meanwhile, in the city of Mumbai, we’re designing and launching The Children’s Scrappy News Service a news talk game-show format to enable children across 1,200 schools and on national television to make the city a place to play and take on Climate Change.


Achievements & Awards

August 2016
HCL Grant Winner
August 2016
100 Pipers True Legends Awards
August 2015
Wall Street Journal Award for Financial Literacy Radio in the education category
August 2015
Winner of the Dasra Giving Circle on ‘Keeping Girls in Secondary School’
August 2014
Indian of the year award to the CEO
August 2013
One of the top four organizations in the Google impact challenge
August 2012
ICICI Foundation & CNBC - TV18 Inclusive India Awards under ‘Elementary Education Emerging NGO’
August 2012
CITI Bank Award for Be! Fund
August 2010
Lisa Heydlauff becomes a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum
August 2009
Lisa Heydlauff becomes a TED India Fellow
August 2004
Lisa Heydlauff becomes an Ashoka Fellow

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