Our Young Academy’s fifth cohort of social innovations – London and the South East 2016/17

Date: 22 December 2016

The Young Foundation has recently welcomed 11 social innovations to our fifth Young Academy programme. The Young Academy supports early-stage social ventures working in the field of education to change the dial on educational inequalities through innovation. The ventures are participating in an intensive 12-week structured incubation programme in Medway, Kent, supported by mentoring and financial coaching volunteers from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS, and bespoke development of their social impact model with NPC.

Upon graduation from the programme, in addition to showcasing their progress and plans to potential funders and investors, the ventures will have the opportunity to apply for up to £150,000 of social investment from the Young Academy investment fund.

Our latest cohort of ventures is working to improve the life chances of disadvantaged young people by addressing a number of important areas. These include engaging more students in STEM subjects, tools to support SEND learners, innovative ways of raising young people’s career aspirations, and new approaches to improving retention and wellbeing of teachers in deprived areas. The programme has attracted a strong pool of innovative ideas from across England, including from the Medway area itself.

Alumni of the Young Foundation’s Accelerator and Incubator programmes report impressive growth and social impact in the years after graduation. Participants of the early Young Academy cohorts have secured substantial amounts of funding post-programme and in 2015 worked with over 120,000 young people and 8,000 teachers. Some have gone on to win places on follow-on development programmes such as UnLtd’s Big Venture Challenge and several are gaining traction on a significant scale, including ADA, National College for Digital Skills, which secured £18m of government funding earlier in 2016.

The Young Academy London & South East cohort of 2016/17 is:

ALGORHYTHM – Accelerating the acquisition and development of English in children with EAL (English as an Additional Language) through exposure to and immersion in high-quality music.

COPPERHOUSE ADVENTURE TRAINING – Providing affordable outdoor activities aimed at increasing aspirations for all young people in the local area.

GT SCHOLARS – Improving educational attainment through after-school courses, workshops and programmes for young people aged 11-16.

I LOVE WORK – Challenging attitudes towards work in society, raising aspirations of young people, and creating the right environment for our workforce to flourish.

LEGO INNOVATION STUDIO (MEDWAY YOUTH TRUST) – Community Lego Innovation Studio which uses a ‘hands-on, minds-on’ learning approach to inspire and improve performance in STEM and IT.

REVOLUTION HIVE – Providing personal and civic development services for young people to prepare them to tackle the biggest issues of the 21st century.

SISTERHOOD – Using design as a tool and process to foster critical thinking in girls aged 11-17 to address and create solutions to female-specific issues.

STRUCTURAL LEARNING – Transforming critical and creative thinking into a physical experience using a system of bricks to scaffold learners’ cognitive skills.

THE ACADEMY OF LIFE – A new kind of university with a challenge-driven approach, helping young people to develop their skills, experience and network for a successful life.

THE HAPPY TEACHER PROJECT – Providing expertise and consultancy to help schools design a better experience for teachers and support staff.

THE JUNCTION – Facilitating communication through a mobile app between isolated teachers in areas of deprivation to increase positive well-being and professional development.

Nick Wright, Managing Director, Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs at UBS said:

“It is hugely encouraging to see innovative and impactful social enterprises go through the incubation journey and emerge with stories of success to share. Previous cohorts have shown that the Young Academy’s combination of corporate volunteers and funding can make a material difference to early stage social enterprises. We look forward to supporting this next cohort through the programme and seeing, we hope, similarly successful outcomes.”

Andrea Sullivan, International Head of Environment, Social and Governance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said:

“It is great to see the range of ventures that have been selected this year. Tackling the ongoing concerns around youth employment is at the heart of our community work. We are therefore pleased that through this initiative, our employees will be able to share their skills and experience, and in doing so, help the next generation of social enterprises.”

Funding for the Young Academy Incubator programme is provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and funding for the Young Academy investment fund is provided by UBS. The programme is match funded by the Government’s Social Incubator Fund and delivered by Big Lottery Fund.

To find out more about the Young Academy:

Visit our website www.theyoungacademy.org

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