The Young Foundation welcomes 11 social innovations to our fourth Young Academy programme. The Young Academy supports early-stage social ventures working in the field of education to realise their potential to change the status quo. The cohort of social entrepreneurs, mainly from Nottingham, Sheffield and surrounding areas, will participate in an intensive 12-week structured incubation programme in Nottingham, supported by mentoring and financial coaching volunteers from Bank of America Merrill Lynch 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 and to access post-investment support from UBS.
The 11 ventures work in key areas of young people’s lives, including formal education institutions, family and friends networks and the communities in which they live. They have huge potential to produce positive outcomes for young people and to help close the attainment gap between those from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers. Alumni of the Young Foundation’s Accelerator and Incubator programmes report impressive growth and social impact in the years after graduation. In the three years following the Young Foundation’s 2012 Accelerator programme, the ventures had achieved growth in turnover of 343%, a 275% increase in beneficiaries and had raised over £700,000 of social finance.
Carlo Missirian, Co-founder and Partnership Director of Humanutopia and participant in the 2012 Accelerator programme, said, “We received incredible support from the Young Foundation team, the mentors and coaches. We are in a better place because of them. We appreciated the experience, interaction and empathy from other colleagues on the programme and the calibre of the organisations involved. We describe the Accelerator as a journey – and one that continues after the programme itself. The journey has surprised and challenged us, broadened our horizons and raised the bar of what we can achieve”.
The Young Academy Nottingham and Sheffield Class of 2016 is:
- Element Society offers development programmes for young people and an incubator for youth-led social action and enterprise: www.elementsociety.co.uk.
- Elemental Publishing tackles STEM social challenges using art, games and stories: www.elementalpublishing.co.uk.
- Infused Learning offers young people the opportunity to undertake an exciting social enterprise qualification linked with an exchange programme with schools overseas: www.infusedlearning.org.uk.
- Kidesign seeks to inspire the next generation of architects, designers and engineers though creative projects for 3D printing in education: www.kidesign.org.
- Litmus Educational Company is dedicated to democratising tuition by delivering low cost yet highly personal and effective digital solutions: www.projectlitmus.com.
- Panjango seeks to reinvent careers education for the modern world, enabling students to learn about the world of work in an interactive virtual learning environment whilst developing the knowledge, skills and experience needed to thrive in life after school: www.panjango.online.
- Really NEET Education is developing an innovative exam concept and licence based on the VARK Model to suit learners that don’t fit the mainstream educational mould: www.reallyneet.co.uk.
- Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom programme that helps to reduce levels of aggression among schoolchildren by raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy: www.rootsofempathy.org.
- Shared Ground Foundation offers specialist services in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion, in order to embed and inspire social cohesion: www.sharedground.co.uk.
- The Politics Project takes an innovative approach to political education, helping to ensure young people know how to use their voice: www.thepoliticsproject.org.uk.
- Waterwall CISTEM offers a suite of physical STEM education products backed by teaching resources to inspire all children and empower all teachers in STEM education: www.thewaterwall.com.
The current Nottingham and Sheffield Incubator programme will run until June. Applications will open in May for the fifth Young Academy Incubator cohort, which will take place in Medway, Kent from September to December for ventures based in the South East of England.
Funding for the Young Academy Incubator programme is provided by the Bank of America Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and funding for the Young Academy investment fund is provided by UBS. The programme is match funded by the Cabinet Office’s Social Incubator Fund and delivered by Big Lottery Fund.
To find out more about the Young Academy, visit our website at www.theyoungacademy.org, follow us on Twitter @YF_Academy or email Programme Manager James Teasdale on james.teasdale (a) youngfoundation (dot) org.