Markus Gander

Organization: 
Infoklick.ch
Year founded: 
1998
Country: 
Switzerland
Website: 

Infoklick is Switzerland’s largest online information portal for young people, helping them solve the problems of their generation.

Focus: Children and Youth
Geographic Area of Impact: Switzerland
Model: Hybrid Non-Profit
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 200,000 (2010)
Annual Budget: US$ 2.8 million (2010)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 89%
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Switzerland, 2006

Background
In most societies, particularly in Switzerland, young people only receive attention if they are in trouble, have committed a crime, are involved with drugs or unemployed. The majority of programmes are directed at these offending groups, however many young people have immense creativity and resources that are under-utilized. Infoklick offers support to children and youth that have an initiative or idea that might contribute positively to society. Often a simple impulse, mentor, meeting room or small start-up financial contribution is all that is required to help an initiative blossom and succeed.

Innovation and Activities
Infoklick is the largest online portal for information concerning youth in Switzerland, answering more than 40,000 questions submitted by young people using its website. It links youth with similar ideas or issues and creates a network of engaged groups.

Currently, more than 20,000 young people are actively involved in projects at Infoklick.ch, receiving financial resources and support they need to convert their ideas into reality. Their projects focus on youth participation, respect and tolerance, youth and media, intergenerational issues and the integration of immigrants. One project entitled "buntkicktgut", is a street soccer league that integrates young immigrants. Another, Tink.ch is a magazine created by young people for young people, covering topics that are under-represented in the general media. The “Jugend mit Wirkung” project encourages active participation by youth in communal political matters, and is represented in all districts of Switzerland.

Infoklick is mainly financed through projects administered for public entities, foundations or other donors, with membership fees and private donations covering a small part of the budget. The portal has introduced Club Ramoneur, allowing companies to be featured on the website and act as sponsors of particular projects. Infoklick offers a youth card through local communities that offers access to various events and activities; the communities and institutions providing the offers pay a fee for this service.

Infoklick has also created a centre for children and youth activities in Moosseedorf, close to Bern, where it offers meeting space and rooms for seminars. In 2009, it established new branches in Lucerne, St Gall, Lausanne, Bellinzona and Basel in Switzerland, and in Munich, Germany.

The Entrepreneur
Markus Gander studied music and sociology in Bern, Switzerland. Working with troubled teenagers as a youth worker in Moosseedorf, he and two colleagues started Infoklick to help young people engage in society by providing them with information and support. Gander also co-founded a Swiss network for youth development, conceptualized the Moosseedorf centre to host a range of youth organizations throughout Switzerland, and is actively engaged in a range of spin-off projects that originated with Infoklick.