11 July 2014News

Aon launches innovation program for women-led businesses

Aon plc has announced the launch of its Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) program in partnership with Springboard 2000 Enterprises Inc.

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.

Springboard 2000, an entrepreneurial expert network dedicated to supporting high-growth, women-led businesses, has teamed up with Aon to launch the program as part of its global strategy to empower human and economic possibility for clients, colleagues and communities.

With a goal of helping women-led start-ups build and establish their companies in the business community, 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 for 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.

“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 start-up company move up the ladder of success.” says Greg Besio, Aon’s executive vice president and chief human resources officer.

“We are extremely excited to be part of this initiative and to leverage the breadth and experience of Aon to assist Switch in our global growth strategy,” says Deborah Noller, CEO of Switch Automation. “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.”

Caitlin MacGregor, CEO of Plum.io. comments: "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."

Aon’s global head of diversity and inclusion, Nichole Barnes Marshall, adds: “Aon’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.”