For equal opportunities and against poverty: MAN supporting social start-ups in the transportation and logistics sector


MAN supporting transport sector start-ups, which are responding to the challenges of global population growth and urbanisation with new ideas.

  • MAN employees to use their expertise to support the start-ups with the development of their business model.
  • MAN working with the Yunus Social Business initiative of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, which promotes innovative start-ups with a social focus, as part of the programme.
  • Start-ups from MAN’s core markets in Europe, India and South Africa have until 1 October to apply for MAN’s partner programme via impact.man.eu.

MAN Truck & Bus is committing itself to supporting social start-ups with new ideas for transportation within the context of global urbanisation and population growth. The aim of this collaboration with the Yunus Social Business initiative of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, is to support the start-ups in developing their idea into an economically viable enterprise. MAN employees will use their expertise to support the start-ups with this within a network of mentors. MAN also provides the start-ups with the infrastructure for continuous exchange with one another and with further examples of best practice. Start-ups from MAN’s core markets in Europe, India and South Africa have until 1 October 2017 to apply for the six-month programme via impact.man.eu.

Current estimates suggest that between nine and eleven billion people will be living in cities by 2050. Over 90% of the projected urban growth will occur in developing countries and emerging economies. This poses huge challenges, particularly for the transportation of people and goods. In addition, there is a need to provide rural areas in developing countries and emerging economies, many of which remain undeveloped, with essential infrastructure. The poorest people in the world already spend around 8% of their income on transportation, as opposed to 4% in industrialised countries. With a view to equal opportunities, this means that existing systems therefore need to be radically revamped, new approaches devised and developed further to meet these specific needs.

In line with this basic concept, MAN is starting the “MAN Impact Accelerator” with the Yunus Social Business initiative, with the Munich-based truck manufacturer supporting the innovative concepts of start-ups and making its mentors and infrastructure available, as well as granting access to its global network. The idea of the Accelerator involves a structured, curriculum-based support programme with workshops, mentoring and coaching. MAN’s approach to this is to motivate its own employees to use their own specialist expertise to support social enterprise projects as mentors. To make efficient use of best practice experiences, the participating start-ups will also visit other companies and mentors in Munich, Mumbai, Cape Town and San Francisco over the course of six months. Conversely, supporting the start-ups gives MAN the chance to become acquainted with new forms of collaboration with various players and to develop from it new methods and approaches for its own work.

“We are convinced that the concept of social start-ups is the right way to effectively improve the lives of many poorer people. The main point of this is to support clever ideas for social enterprise in such a way that they become economically viable in and of themselves and make a profit. 100% of these profits are fed back into the start-up. MAN’s aim is to support the partner start-ups up to this point, thereby promoting socially sustainable projects in the transportation sector,” explains Joachim Drees, chairman of the executive board of MAN Truck & Bus, referring to the idea behind MAN’s commitment to the project. Saki Stimoniaris, Chairman of the General Works Council at MAN, emphasises the significance of the initiative from the point of view of employees: “Those of us who work at MAN support the company’s social commitment wholeheartedly – be it local, national or international. We are confident that many exciting ideas will come to fruition along the way.”

The project, designed to last six months, starts with the launch of the website impact.man.eu, via which social start-ups from MAN’s core markets in Europe, India and South Africa can apply with immediate effect. During the selection process, the strength of the founding team and the added social value of the start-up idea will be taken into consideration, as well as the business model and any successes already achieved. Based on that, the “MAN Impact Accelerator” will award a prize to the ten best ideas as part of a “Selection Day” in Munich and begin the Accelerator Programme with these in January 2018.

About Yunus Social Business

Yunus Social Business, founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammed Yunus, has carried out almost 20 Accelerator Programmes in the past. The start-ups in the MAN Accelerator Programme are now benefitting from the expertise and core community of over 300 renowned international mentors that has resulted from it. At the same time, the programme grants access to a global network of so-called “Impact Investors” - investment funds for enterprises with a social focus.

Website imact.man.eu