A primary focus of the AKO Foundation is to support initiatives and projects that improve education. These include global and local organisations advancing education across a range of areas such as schools in low-income communities, health and well-being and university research.


Teach First

Teach First is a UK charity whose mission is to end educational inequality.  A fundamental part of their work is the recruitment, training and support of new teachers to work in schools serving low-income communities across England and Wales.

Their success in inspiring the country’s best graduates and career changers to choose to work in these schools has been remarkable; Teach First is now the largest graduate recruiter in the United Kingdom, recruiting over 1400 new teachers a year, and is rated the fourth most prestigious graduate recruiter in the UK by The Times.

The Foundation has made several grants to Teach First, allowing them to significantly expand their work in Primary and Early Years settings, to fund a pioneering programme to train dedicated Careers Leaders for schools in low-income communities, and more recently to pilot an initiative providing week-long paid work experience placements for pupils at a range of organisations.

If you are interested in getting involved or would like more information on the work experience initiative, please click here.

Please click here to read about the transformational impact of the Foundation’s support for Teach First. 

Teach First

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation’s (“JOFF”) mission is to shape the health and well-being of current and future generations and contribute to a happier, healthier world by providing better access to food education.

We believe that Jamie’s standing and long-term commitment mean he is uniquely placed to influence children’s health and nutrition through his work with opinion leaders. For this reason, the AKO Foundation has made grants to support several JOFF initiatives including The Kitchen Garden Project, Food Revolution Day, the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation Global Ambassador Programme, Workplace and university cooking programmes, and The Food Education Learning Landscape.

Please click here for details of a comprehensive review of the state of food education and food culture in primary and secondary schools in England that was commissioned by the AKO Foundation and undertaken by JOFF and expert partners. The full report is available here.

Jamie Oliver Kitchen Garden Project


Ark is a UK charity which seeks to transform children’s lives by providing a great education.

Its 36 UK schools are in areas of economic deprivation and have a history of educational underachievement. Ark seeks to change this by setting high academic and behavioural expectations, providing more time for learning and improving the quality of teaching.

Ark’s schools achieve great results and the Foundation’s grant unlocked additional matched funding of twice the grant amount. In addition, several AKO Capital partners now act as governors at Ark schools.



Stromme Foundation

The Stromme Foundation (“Stromme”) is a rights-based development organisation with the vision of a world free from poverty and is widely recognised for its educational work in third world countries. The Foundation has supported Stromme since 2014 across a number of programmes including educational work in West Africa, the SAMVAD programme in Nepal, Dream Myanmar, and their annual Corporate Social Responsibility Conference. Recently the Foundation made its major donations to Stromme as part of an annual match funding campaign which resulted in the most successful such fundraising in its history.

Stromme Foundation


The Mosvold-Martinus Trust

The Mosvold-Martinus Trust (“MM Trust”) is a charitable establishment created by the Mosvold Group with a focus on improving the lives of underprivileged young people in Sri Lanka.  With funding from AKO Foundation they have launched the “AKO Scholarship Program in Sri Lanka” which provides scholarships to allow students from underprivileged backgrounds to pursue higher education at university or through vocational or skills training.

Please click here for the most recent update on the MM Trust’s AKO Scholarship Program in Sri Lanka.


The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

The Foundation has an ongoing relationship with the internationally renowned Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The Foundation and Nicolai Tangen privately have endowed undergraduate scholarships that have, to date, supported a total of 22 international students who would otherwise be unable to meet the cost of their education. The scholarships both benefit the individual recipients and, due to the recipients’ global background and international perspective, enrich the student community. Their education will also benefit the communities and organizations they go on to lead after graduating.

The Foundation has made a major grant to spearhead construction of a transformative new campus building, Tangen Hall, which will provide the first ever space dedicated to cross-campus student entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania. This building will provide a facility where a diverse group of problem solvers are brought together to implement efficient, sustainable and actionable solutions to the challenges facing societies around the world.

Please click here for more information on Tangen Hall and the scholarship program.

The Foundation also supports a series of reports by the Wharton School examining business ethics which advocate for ethical best practices and tools to make ethical business practice possible. In 2017 the Foundation made a grant to provide financial support for the Wharton People Analytics Initiative which is designed to advance the practice of evidence-based management and decision making.

Real Action

Real Action was established in 1997 by a community in Westminster, London which had one of the UK’s highest levels of child deprivation.  Its aim was to address problems arising from the street gangs of boys who dominated their housing estates.  These boys were found to be illiterate. In response the community instigated a summer literacy programme for their children taught by Butterfly (reading) Book author Irina Tyk and this had excellent results. The average reading age rise for the initial class of thirty pupils was fourteen months in just thirty hours of Butterfly teaching.

Since then Real Action has developed and delivered its Butterfly literacy programme to provide children with a solid base for education and thus disconnect personal disadvantage from educational disaster. The Foundation has made a three year grant to help Real Action sustain and replicate its Butterfly literacy programme.

The Florida International University Foundation: Václav Havel Center for Human Rights and Diplomacy

The importance and difficulties of countries making successful transitions to democracy from authoritarian or totalitarian governments is extremely relevant to the world today. The Václav Havel Center for Human Rights and Diplomacy (“VHC”) forms a part of the University of Florida and is dedicated to using Václav Havel’s legacy from the “Velvet Revolution” to ensure that the ideals of freedom, respect for human rights and justice for all people prevail in such transitions. VHC provides students with the opportunity to learn from distinguished scholars and practitioners with experience in the realms of diplomacy and policy implementation. In support of these aims the Foundation is providing matched funding to endow a Chair of Transition Studies at VHC.

The Foundation also supports a number of other exceptional educational programmes including:

  • National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
  • University College School, Hampstead
  • Christ’s Hospital school
  • Akersborg Rotary Club, Oslo – redevelopment of the primary school of Shikht Mustafa, Syria
  • The Girls’ Day School Trust

For a full list of programmes supported please click here to see the Foundation report.