The Accelerator- Introducing the next generation of social ventures to receive support from The Young Foundation

Date: 1 November 2012

The Young Foundation has announced the first ten social ventures to receive £50,000 worth of support through its new Accelerator programme. The successful ventures include Young Advisors, which trains young people to improve their local community through enterprise; The Philosophy Foundation, which uses philosophical enquiry to help children engage in debate and build their confidence; and The Giving Machine, which makes it easy for everyone to support their local schools and charities.

The Young Foundation will provide each organisation with intensive business support over the next four months, working to develop and shape their business models, enabling them to become ‘investment ready’ and able to access appropriate financial support for their strategic direction. Ventures will then receive a further twelve months of bespoke support during 2013 to assist them with securing social finance.

The Accelerator was officially launched last night at an event in central London hosted by Anna Smee, Director of Ventures at The Young Foundation, Michael Quicke, CEO of CCLA, and John Gilbert of JP Morgan. Attendees came from a wide range of backgrounds and included many potential investors, customers and commissioners of social ventures, as well as supporters and entrepreneurs.

Two of the Guru Mentors from The Accelerator programme, Andrew Harrop (General Secretary of the Fabian Society) and Justin Hughes (a former Red Arrows pilot) spoke at the event about the importance of providing structured support and coaching to social entrepreneurs.

Anna Smee, Director of Ventures at The Young Foundation said: “We are delighted to have such a great portfolio of organisations to work with and help grow. In becoming part of The Young Foundation family they join a network that includes the Open University, Which? and Studio Schools. We look forward to working with these new ventures to continue our legacy of creating positive social change.”

The full list of organisations to receive support from the Accelerator are:

1. Young Advisors
Young Advisors establish new socially franchised teams of young people as Young Advisors to improve their communities through an enterprise model where they learn, earn and make a difference. www.youngadvisors.org.uk

2. Humanutopia
Humanutopia create unique, inspirational, life-changing course and deliver them in schools across the country for students aged 4-24. www.humanutopia.com

3. The Giving Machine
By making giving free and personalised, The Giving Machine encourages giving to become a positive behaviour choice instead of a financial one. www.thegivingmachine.co.uk

4. The Philosophy Foundation
The Philosophy Foundation’s mission is to help every child flourish through philosophical enquiry in schools and communities. www.philosophy-foundation.org

5. Interpreting and Language Gym from Praxis Community Projects 
The Praxis Language Gym is a highly innovative product designed to promote linguistic, digital and social inclusion. www.praxis.org.uk

6. Dementia Adventure
Dementia Adventure is a multi-award winning social enterprise specialising in connecting people living with dementia with nature and a sense of adventure. www.dementiaadventure.co.uk

7. Future Reach
FutureReach identifies exceptional students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to be business leaders of the future and connects them to leading companies. www.futurereach.org.uk

8. DoNation
The DoNation believe making the world a better place needs action, not cash, and so have turned sponsorship on its head, asking people to donate by doing. www.thedonation.org.uk

9. Aged Care Advice Service from Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau 
This is an innovative new paid-for support service which ensures that people with care needs have access to timely advice and information regarding their finances.

10. Balloon Kenya
Balloon Kenya aim to build a global generation of job creators, rather than job seekers, who believe in defeating disadvantage through enterprise, not aid. www.balloonkenya.com

ENDS.

Notes to editors:
1. For details please contact: Alison Harvie on 07909 912 444 or alison.harvie@youngfoundation.org

2. The full list of ventures being supported by The Accelerator can be found on www.growingsocialventures.org

3. The Young Foundation is determined to make positive social change happen. We pioneered the field of social innovation with The Open University, UpRising and Studio Schools. We work closely with individuals, communities and partners building relationships to ensure that our thinking does something, our actions matter and the changes we make together will continue to grow. (www.youngfoundation.org)

4. Ventures at The Young Foundation is a Social Investment Finance Intermediary (SIFI) providing support and finance to organisations currently underserved by traditional private and public sector funding routes. We focus on identifying high potential ventures in the fields of health, education and housing that are focused on changing people’s lives for the better.