Aon Launches Entrepreneurs Program for Women-Led Businesses

July 10, 2014

A bulletin from Aon’s London headquarters notes that as “part of its global strategy to empower human and economic possibility for clients, colleagues and communities,” it is launching its “Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) program” in partnership with Springboard 2000 Enterprises Inc., an entrepreneurial expert network dedicated to supporting high-growth, women-led businesses.”

Aon described its goal with the initiative is to help “women-led startups build and establish their companies in the business community, the EIR program will serve as a platform for Aon and Springboard to leverage their networks and business expertise to empower female entrepreneurs in the risk and human resources industries.

“Aon and Springboard have selected two entrepreneurs from the Springboard community and will provide them with direct and ongoing access to business support and solutions for a one-year period.

“For 2014, Aon and Springboard have chosen Australia-based Switch Automation, a provider of building automation and energy management solutions and Canada-based Plum.io, a human resources solution that seeks to improve a company’s hiring efficiency, to participate in the EIR program.

“Switch Automation CEO, Deborah Noller, will be mentored by Kevin Kalinich, Aon Risk Solutions’ global practice leader – cyber insurance. Plum.io CEO and Co-Founder, Caitlin MacGregor, will be mentored by Beatrice Grech-Cumbo, Aon Hewitt partner and talent practice leader. Both companies will be partnered with their respective mentors for a year-long period.”

Greg Besio, Aon’s executive VP and chief human resources officer said: “As a professional services firm committed to empowering results for clients, Aon’s global network of talent and resources ranging from consulting and strategy expertise to marketing support can help a startup company move up the ladder of success.

“By combining resources with Springboard’s expansive network of startup organizations, our Entrepreneurs in Residence program can truly have an impact for up and coming companies. Aon is committed to supporting diversity in the workforce and strengthening the global economy, so we are truly excited about the possibilities that this program holds for the future.”

Deborah Noller, CEO of Switch Automation described her company’s excitement “to be part of this initiative and to leverage the breadth and experience of Aon to assist Switch in our global growth strategy. Aon is seeking EIR companies that have a strong alignment with their own business and Switch fits very neatly. Both companies see the potential to deliver business opportunities to each other so it is a mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship.”

“Labor is one of the largest expenses an organization faces and Aon and Plum.io are dedicated to deploying the most effective people management tools,” said Caitlin MacGregor, CEO of Plum.io. “Our engagement with Aon is a boon to our organizations as we work together to test new technologies for online pre-employment screening for large and small enterprises to ensure the right candidates are hired and productivity boosted.”

Nichole Barnes Marshall, Aon’s global head of diversity and inclusion, said the company’s “commitment to inclusion is not limited to our colleagues. It also includes our clients and communities that we serve. The EIR program is an extension of our passion for enabling inclusiveness in the workplace and the marketplace, and we are thrilled that our partnership with Springboard enables more women to not only survive but thrive in their growing businesses.”

Source: Aon plc

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