“ACCELERATED LEARNING”: New education focus to The Young Foundation’s Accelerator programme

Date: 15 October 2013

The Young Foundation has announced the latest cohort of high potential social enterprises to join its Accelerator programme. Following three successful previous rounds, this programme will focus on addressing the challenge our education system faces in equipping young people with the skills required to find future employment, education or training opportunities.

The Young Foundation have been working in partnership with Teach First to find and recruit social ventures within the education sector. The successful ventures chosen include the Phoenix Education Trust, which democratises school-based education; Talentino, who offer tailor-made career coaching services and Brook charity who are developing a range of innovative sex education programmes.

Each organisation will receive intensive 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.

Simon Willis, Chief Executive of 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 and Studio Schools. We look forward to working with these ventures to continue this legacy of creating disruptive social innovations in the education sector.”

Flora Letanka, Associate Director at Teach First said: “I’m really excited by the depth and breadth of talent on display in this Accelerator cohort. They show serious potential to make a significant difference to increasing educational opportunities for young people in the UK. I am particularly proud to see two of our Teach First 2013 Innovation Award finalists receiving specialist business support from the Young Foundation which will enable them to scale up their social impact.”

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

An affordable private tutoring service, employing university students and tutoring disadvantaged and migrant primary school pupils in English and Maths.

An online platform focussed on the needs of young people to showcase themselves in a digital format. Design-led and people-centred it offers media-rich visual employment profiles for young people looking to showcase their potential and personality after they leave school.

Catch22 has delivered national social action programmes for over a decade, creating an evidence base for positive effects of engaging young people. Their mobile application enables young people to plan projects in a fun and easy way while gaining skills for work. Their ambition is to bridge to gap between young people and employers by taking advantage of the proliferation of smartphone technology and gamifying social action.

Brook is the UK’s leading provider of sexual health services and advice for young people under 25. The charity has nearly 50 years of experience working with young people and currently has services in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Jersey. Brook services provide free and confidential sexual health information, contraception, pregnancy testing, advice and counselling, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and outreach and education work. They will be expanding the delivery of their services through two internal programmes – BiteSize Brook and All Different, All Beautiful.

Franklin Scholars gives children from low-income families the best possible start to secondary school, training up talented Year 10 students in the same school to be their personal tutors throughout their first year. These talented students are the Franklin Scholars

Talentino believes the traditional model of careers education is broken and has been for 40 years. All young people have the right to access high quality career development programmes and resources that benefit all stakeholders. With a background in business, they know what employers want from young people. Their innovative approach takes the pressure off young people from A* students to those with learning difficulties and everyone in between. It encourages ownership but with huge support and has three goals – making smart career choices, learning how to compete for your career and developing the skills employers need and value in young people.

The Phoenix Education Trust provide the research, training and information needed to reach out with a campaign for democratic education – because the education that children receive affects everybody’s lives. The Phoenix Education Trust are about democratic education – that is education which gives all members of a school community a genuine say in decision making and creates a culture of respecting difference and promoting tolerance, which enables the community to work collaboratively

Champions Club Community are delivering “The Global Noticeboard”, an on-line platform matching people in need with people who are able to help, direct. They are guided by the Margaret Mead statement; “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever does”. As a global giving platform they connect individuals anywhere in the world with people who are willing to help. This could be via physical things such as books, clothes, food or medicines or softer things such as mentoring, coaching, volunteering, knowledge, skills or expertise.

Notes to editors:
1. For details please contact: Kate.Bagley@youngfoundation.orgon 07909 912 444 or kate.bagley@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.