Appenzell, June 15, 2021 – Since 2018 Swiss21.org has provided small businesses with a free overall solution for office administration. Within a short time, Swiss21 has become one of the market leaders in this field. Today, almost 40,000 Swiss small businesses and organisations rely on Swiss21. To support not only small businesses with digitalisation and automation, Swiss21 is now introducing a new strategy in education to promote entrepreneurial thinking and action at an early stage.
Entrepreneurial thinking and action as skills for the future
In Switzerland, SMEs make up more than 99% of companies and provide two-thirds of jobs. According to Halter and Kammerlander 2019, every third SME fails to find a succession solution. While Switzerland has a very good ecosystem for entrepreneurship, there is currently no systematic anchoring of the topic in school education. Promoting entrepreneurship at an early age is therefore an important consideration not only for students but for Switzerland as a country. This is where the various elements of the new Swiss21 initiative will have an impact. Students should learn at an early age how to manage a company financially, i.e., to understand accounting and related goals, and acquire other entrepreneurial skills. As an ERP software package, Swiss21 maps the most important functions of a company, from accounting and human resources to marketing and sales, including e-commerce. In addition, as a digital ecosystem, Swiss21 brings students closer to the world of IT, applications, and the ever-important understanding of interfaces. After all, Swiss21 is based on established solutions for SMEs and is coordinated by means of APIs. This means that Swiss21 is not a solution developed exclusively for small businesses but is based on SME-capable software that grows with the company or in sub-areas as an ERP, depending on the company’s growth path.
Swiss21’s strategy for entrepreneurial education in Swiss schools is currently based on three pillars:
- Teaching aids: STR teachware GmbH has created a pilot teaching aid “Focus on Accounting” in cooperation with Swiss21. This enables students to learn accounting skills in a practice-oriented way. Accounting is much more than just transactions and records. It provides information for business decisions with reference to the national economy and our legal system. Thus, accounting should be taught in a practical and holistic way.
- Schools: Numerous schools, such as the Burggraben Cantonal School in St. Gallen, are starting various teaching blocks in connection with Swiss21.org in the new school year. Since Swiss21 is free of charge, the solutions are also ideal for schools to solve tasks in accounting or business administration in a cross-competence and practice-oriented way.
- Partnerships: Swiss21 is a partner of the SVWR Symposium, the symposium of the Swiss Association of Teachers of Economics and Law and supports the association and its members in further education with established tools that are very useful in teaching. Another partnership is with YES, Young Enterprise Switzerland, the independent non-profit organisation for practice-oriented business education in Switzerland. Students explore the interplay between the economy, society, and the environment. In the YES Company Programme, students between the ages of 16 and 20 set up and run a mini company during a school year and experience what it means to be an entrepreneur. The students in the Company Programme use the Swiss21 software package to run their businesses.
Walter Regli, Managing Director of Swiss21.org, on the additional digitisation push that Swiss21 is aiming to achieve with these education projects: “Swiss21 already supports many companies in the digitalisation and automation of their business processes. If we can contribute to even more digitalisation and entrepreneurship in Switzerland with our educational partnerships, we are even more pleased. Students should be introduced to companies, strategy and leadership at an early age. With Swiss21, we want to make Switzerland more digital in the 21st century. And more entrepreneurial – and from our point of view, that can start at an early age.”
Urs Saxer, Managing Director of STR teachware, on teaching contemporary accounting today:
“In a world where receipts are scanned and automatically posted, there is still a need for the basic understanding of debits and credits in double-entry bookkeeping. But accounting education needs to change fundamentally. With Swiss21, digitalised business processes can be taught in a hands-on and practice-oriented manner. Through integrated case studies in Swiss21, students learn how the interaction of sub-ledgers (accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll) and the general ledger really works. And with the automated connection to the Webshop module, customer relationship management (CRM) can be truly experienced in class at the same time.”
Ueli Albrecht, a teacher of economics at the Kantonsschule am Burggraben in St. Gallen, found just the right solution for his upper secondary school lessons with Swiss21: “I have been searching for a platform-based, practical and easy-to-use accounting application for a long time.”
“Swiss21 is ideal for our participants in the Company Programme. It is intuitive, simple and enormously simplifies accounting for the young entrepreneurs”, is how Johanna Lauber, Head of Communications at YES, sums up the advantages of Swiss21.
Swiss21 is sustainably free of charge
Use platform is free of charge for up to 2’100 contacts, 2’100 online shop articles and 2’100 documents per year. This ensures that no costs are incurred in a start-up phase and for smaller organisations, even in the longer term. The participating software companies have committed themselves to maintaining free, long-term use. If a user exceeds these limits, CHF 21 per month will be charged for up to 5,000 documents per year, 5,000 articles or 5,000 contacts. A change to another system is possible and the data can be exported. A modular expansion of the applications is also possible and thus permits a scalable and customisable overall system at a manageable cost.
About Swiss21.org AG
Swiss21.org helps Swiss start-ups and SMEs to digitalize their business processes. With a package of free business software from the Cloud. Since 2018 Swiss21.org has provided small businesses with a free overall solution for office administration. The aim is to promote the digitisation of SMEs and thus of the Swiss economy. Swiss21 offers a completely integrated software package for offers and invoicing, automated accounting with bank connections, payroll accounting, time and service recording, an online shop and checkout, various payment solutions and comprehensive customer and contact management/CRM to automate marketing and sales processes. The Swiss21 ecosystem can be expanded and individualized with various connections and modules. Swiss21 is modularly scalable and grows with small businesses or start-ups.