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How to raise money? Get The Pennies in.

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Psst. I’ll let you in on what’s been keeping me up at night. Two weeks from now, I’ll be somewhere along the River Thames, sat in a canoe, tired, hungry and sore as hell, trying to encourage nine other people that we can make it to London.

Starting in Lechlade, Gloucestershire on August 29th, we’ll be canoeing the length of the Thames all the way back to the capital. That’s an agonising 137 miles in six days. Ah yes, I’ve never really canoed before either - unless paddling about in Pugneys, Wakefield counts.

But I’ve just realised that none of that matters, actually. In fact, it’s the thing I’ve been most looking forward to since I started working with Forward Foundation back in March, and I’m planning on raising a ton of money for an unbelievable charity in the process. Fight for Peace are an employability and mixed martial arts training charity based in Woolwich, and after working with them first hand, I couldn’t be happier to be taking this on.

What makes it even better is that because the task at hand is going to be so difficult, it’s been easy to raise awareness of Fight for Peace, and also to ask people to donate.

And how have I done that? Some of the more tried and tested methods; promoting an online giving page, contacting aunties and uncles, and selling some old rugby shirts has worked a treat. But I was always going to need a big event if I wanted to hit a big target.

Sometimes, exploiting your talents (or if you’re shy, your friends’ talents) is the best way of raising money. So on Saturday night, my band, The Pennies made the journey from West Yorkshire to make our first ever appearance in London.

We’re a soul and funk outfit, and we’ve been together, on and off, for about seven years now. In that time, we’ve had the opportunity to play some of our all-time favourite songs to our favourite people, and we’re incredibly grateful for that.

Nights like Saturday are pretty special to me, and to be able to raise money for such a great charity whilst playing to a room full of people dancing reminds me how lucky I am.

I’ll let you know how our attempt to canoe the Thames goes. But I’ll tell you this now; I’m going to get a good night’s sleep on September 3rd.

Mike

On Thursday 24th July, Factory Media hosted a Photography Exhibition and Competition at their offices, raising £300 for our charity partner of the year, Fight for Peace.

Staff submitted some truly breathtaking prints, which were then sold  -during an evening of wine, cheese and sophistication - to the highest bidder. Congratulations to Ed Blomfield for his photograph, ’Portreath’, which was awarded the most votes, and the title of ‘Factory’s Favourite Photograph’.

We’d like to thank everybody who submitted their brilliant snaps, as well as those who attended the evening!

5 minutes with Balloon Kenya founder, Josh

We asked Josh a few questions about his work and himself. He co-founded Balloon Kenya (alongside Douglas Cochrane) an organisation we’re supporting that works with young entrepreneurs to create and grow innovative businesses.

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We have stepped into a lift. You have about 10 seconds to tell us about Balloon Kenya. GO!

We recruit young people from across the world (we call them Enterprise Fellows) to travel to Africa to work with young entrepreneurs to create and grow innovative business that can provide jobs and improve lives. In 2013, 52 International Fellows joined us in Kenya to work with over 250 Entrepreneurs and we invested £13,250 in 72 businesses.

You (as leader and visionary of Balloon Kenya) are stranded on a desert island (indefinitely!) and you can send one message in a bottle to the new leader of your organisation – what would that message be?

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus on why this organisation exists and always use that to focus on the things that are most important. It’s very easy to become distracted and chase money – whether that be grants or customers.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an organisation?

Limited staff numbers and lots of work to do.

If you could say one thing to the government of Kenya?

Make it easier to register a business and reduce all the licences that a business needs. Dealing with regulation is the biggest challenge our entrepreneurs face.

Tell us three things we don’t know about young entrepreneurs in Kenya?

1. Many of them started businesses our of necessity because of the lack of job opportunities.
2. Some aspire to be employed and don’t want the stresses and worries of running a business.
3. Others have brilliant potential to grow much bigger businesses and crucially have a desire to do this. So ‘young entrepreneurs’ in Kenya aren’t a homogenous group.

Is there a story that sticks in your mind where the Balloon Kenya programme has gone well?

A recent business we invested in is providing takeaway drinks like coffee and juices from a stall in town. This group wouldn’t have gotten funding from a bank or microfinance organisation as their business is a new startup and so is “too risky” for these traditional funders. Everyday they are selling out and the business has real potential to scale, potentially through a franchise…

Is there a story you can think of where the situation hasn’t ended so well?

We once invested in an entrepreneur who was a young man making really lovely products from wood. He was already employing others and wanted to expand his workshop. We gave him a 50,000 Kenyan Shilling loan and almost immediately he fled to the coast to (presumably) have a good time and we haven’t seen him since.

What would be the best thing that could happen to Balloon Kenya in the next 3 years?

I think it’s demonstrable impact at both ends. In Kenya, some of the business that we have invested in would grow and scale and become the SMEs of tomorrow. This would show that micro-entrepreneurs have the potential to grow businesses that can provide employment to others and would validate our model of development. Back home the International Fellows that joined us would go on to get awesome jobs and set up exciting businesses of their own. This would validate the impact of the experience and show it’s true value as an investment in their future.

We continued the interview to find out more about Josh. Read the second part of the interview to find out what keeps him awake at night and what gets him out of bed in the morning!

20 intriguing questions for Balloon Kenya co-founder, Josh!

Part two of the interview with Balloon Kenya co-founder, Josh, This time the 20 questions are all about him…

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Tell us something most people don’t know about you?

I dropped out of university after a term because I wasn’t having a good time (although I went back the following year and it was much better!)

What keeps you awake at night?

Worrying that we are moving too slowly.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

The 50 emails to answer!

We have stepped into an elevator. You have 10 seconds to tell us about Josh. GO!

Educated in North London at an all boys school, lived at home for too long, loves sport and travelling, degrees in history and politics, a bit stubborn and opinionated, loves arguing, have had long hair since I was 18. 

If you were given a superpower for a day, would you fly or be invisible? (and why?)

Fly – because I could explore all the hidden corners of the world. 

How did you end up doing what you are doing today? 

It really came about through my studies. I was always interested in African history through my degree and in particular conflict. I then went to Canada to do a Master’s in Politics and had the chance to travel to Kenya to investigate the post-election violence there. And during my time there it became obvious that unemployment and poverty was at the heart of the conflict. And this was set within a country with a thriving entrepreneurial culture. So the idea came about for Balloon Kenya as a form of peace building. I then interned and met Doug who liked the idea and we started from there. 

Was there a time in your life where you might have followed a different path?

When I was interning I was waiting for a work visa to come through for Canada. So I very nearly moved to Toronto.

What makes you makes happiest about what you do?

Creating something from scratch and seeing it come to fruition. 

If you could change one thing about this world?

I think wealth should be heavily redistributed. I think most of the problems in the world come down to inequality. 

Who inspires you?

A woman called Wangar Maatha who was a Kenyan environmentalist turned political activist. She was the first African woman to receive a nobel peace prize and for me she showed that very small actions can have a massive impact. 

What keeps you going when you are having a bad day?! 

That tomorrow it will probably we better. Creating a business is a massive emotional roller coaster full of highs and lows. So personally I try and contain my excitement during the highs and similarly not let it get me down during the lows. 

Your most important value.

Treat others with respect and politeness.

Three favourite past times/hobbies?

Watching Arsenal.
Reading about Arsenal. 
Talking about Arsenal.

Favourite breakfast cereal?

Alpen Nut Crunch

Sweet or savoury person?

Savoury

Would you rather have a heavy head or gravity defying arms?

Gravity defying arms. A heavy head would get very tiring and I’d always be looking at the floor.

Three Desert island discs?

Neil Young – After The Goldrush
Sam Cooke – Ain’t That Goodnews
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – The Heist

Tell us about a childhood memory.
Putting my foot in a shoe and there being a wasp in it. Always check your shoes!

Favourite animal? (and why!)
Cats. Because they think the world revolves around them. I like their confidence. 

Thanks Josh!

Read part one of the interview where Josh talks about his work as co-founder of Balloon Kenya. 

Maggie’s message in a bottle
The above is in response to this question:
"You (as founder of The Big House) are stranded on a desert island (indefinitely!) and you can send one message in a bottle to the new guardian/leader - what would that message be?"
We’re going to put this question to more partners over the coming months.
What would your message be? 

Maggie’s message in a bottle

The above is in response to this question:

"You (as founder of The Big House) are stranded on a desert island (indefinitely!) and you can send one message in a bottle to the new guardian/leader - what would that message be?"

We’re going to put this question to more partners over the coming months.

What would your message be? 

Build, Measure, Learn

This month, the Forward Foundation’s Head of Digital, Suraj continues our series of blogs about failure.

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As Head of Digital for Forward Foundation I’m tasked with designing and building technology to solve some of the big challenges faced by organisations supporting young people. My job involves a lot testing. Everything from testing ideas, to testing code; and nine times out of ten, testing means failing.

However with each failure you get closer to that gem of a great idea or perfect design. Our approach to solving big problems is to develop and test an idea thoroughly building an initial micro product and learning as we go. In order to make this happen we invest mine and my team’s time, by the end of which we hope other organisations will be convinced enough to support our idea.

Failing is painful

Most recently I’ve been working on the problem of securing and giving funds between charities and grant-makers. The Forward Foundation had been conceiving an idea around this issue for the past couple of years, and a grant opportunity came up to scale the development.

We failed to secure the support.

Besides being disappointing, the real pain was the feeling of wasted effort. Nevertheless; we learn.

In fact, the very experience of applying for and being unsuccessful for a grant has given valuable insights, which will enable us to design and develop the best possible solution. So watch this space…

Design to remedy pain

As I think back on the failure I can recall the sinking feeling in my stomach. This feeling is priceless! It’s one of the best guides I have for designing the most useful tech solution; as this direct experience enables me to empathise with the users and customers we’re building products for.

I wonder how might this translate to your work?

What makes an amazing project?

 by Anna

We’re fortunate to visit East Africa several times each year, to work with our partners in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia and to find new partners to support. To make the most of our visits we pack a lot in, so over a two-week period we might visit over 20 organisations, all doing different but amazing work.  This exposes us to an incredible array of projects and approaches to supporting young people. 

Working out in Africa and away from daily life in London can also make you quite reflective.  So during our last trip to Uganda, after being blown away by a visit to one organisation, I started thinking about what it is that makes a really amazing project.  

This particular organisation, the Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU), uses hip hop and dance as a tool to engage and empower disadvantaged youth in Kampala.  We went to  meet the leader Abramz one evening, at one of the sessions.  What I expected was to sit in a room and watch a dance lesson led by a teacher with a small group of young people, and then to have a chat with some of them afterwards.  What I didn’t expect was to see a sea of people of all ages dancing outside as we approached one of the community centres where they work.  The music, energy and sheer mass of people was overwhelming and you could immediately feel that this was something special.  It was more than a project – it felt like a movement.  At BPU, everyone is a teacher and everyone is a leaner.  Kids were teaching teenagers, teenagers were teaching kids, 30 year olds were learning from both of them – everyone is valued and appreciated for who they are and what they can offer, no matter how big or small.  What was also clear was how much everyone loved what they were doing.  The sessions start at 5pm and go on for hours, and more people keep joining and performing as the evening goes on.  It was clear that for many of these people this was their home and the people there were their family, and it was a privilege to be there and be part of it for the evening.

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Pictured: Breakdancers at Breakdance Project Uganda

Afterwards, I tried to capture what it is that makes BPU, and so many of our partners’ work, so powerful.  Of course, organisations are unique and you can’t distil them down into a winning formula that equals a successful project.  However, there are often three common threads between organisations that stand out for me, and when you get a combination of all three like you do with BPU, this can result in something pretty special.

1. The Hook

At the risk of stating the obvious, organisations who engage young people in something they enjoy, tend to have a greater impact on them. If the activity is something that they would choose to do in their spare time, or that they would love to have the opportunity to try if they could, then half the battle is won.  When young people continue taking part in a project because they want to rather than because they are told it will be good for them, they are engaged in a meaningful way and therefore benefit from it more.  This is demonstrated by Fight for Peace, one of our partners who uses boxing, martial arts and fitness to engage some of the hardest to reach young people.  Where other interventions have failed, Fight for Peace is incredibly successful at engaging these young people because the want to be there, learn how to box and get fit. Once they’ve built up a relationship, they can then start to support them further through educational training and mentoring.

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Pictured: A Muay Thai training session at Fight for Peace

2. Peer-to-peer Learning

Most of us have seen or experienced school assemblies where an ‘inspiring’ speaker has been brought in to talk to the students.  Perhaps it’s about careers.  The audience is made up of 200 year 12 and 13 students.  The speaker is a 50 year old man who’s career in The City has spanned over three decades.  He’s got a lot of wisdom to impart but people aren’t listening.  Why?  Possibly because they can’t relate to him. Bring on a speaker who’s been to their school, just left last year and is talking about what their first job is like, and it’s a different story.

What we often see is where organisations encourage young people to support other young people, the engagement is so much stronger.  A couple of our partners who are a testament to this are Franklin Scholars, where Year 10 students tutor Year 7 students, and Balloon Kenya, where young entrepreneurs who have been through the Balloon Kenya programme and are now successfully running their own businesses train other young entrepreneurs on the programme.

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Pictured: Young entrepreneurs from Balloon Kenya

3.The End Product

Sometimes it can be hard to measure the impact of a programme on a young person, particularly if the focus is around building character traits or soft skills – things that aren’t necessarily as tangible as getting a job or gaining a qualification.  But with some of our partners we’ve found that when their project culminates in an event or an end product which captures how far the young people have come, the impact is palpable.

Perhaps no organisation demonstrates this more than our partner The Big House, which works with young people who have been through the care system, providing them with a platform for them to participate in the making of theatre and to have their voices heard.  Towards the end of the programme, they perform a play that has been devised from their stories to a public audience.  Aside from this being an amazing way to showcase how they have developed, built confidence and skills and bonded incredibly as a team, this is a way for them to have this recognised and appreciated by people in a way that they can really see and feel.  

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Pictured: A scene from ‘Babylon’ from The Big House

Of course there’s not just one way to run a great project and you can have an amazing project without these, but from our experience these are things that have often led to incredible impact on young people and have left us feeling truly inspired.

Our Partners: Bringing work to life

by Michael 

We work with social start-ups in an increasingly intensive way, offering our partners a powerful package of support. So we invest a lot of time in finding the right organisations to work with. Before we invite organisations to apply for our support, we’ll always meet face to face to explore whether we’d make good partners. 

This is the favourite part of my working life. It’s a privilege to be given a personal tour of an organisation and to learn about the people and ideas behind it. Since we started out two years ago, hundreds of organisations have opened their doors and welcomed us in. And, along the way, we’ve learnt that a few things work particularly well. Three things stand out:

1. Getting out of the office

We get most excited by an organisation’s work when we see them in action. It brings the work to life for us, sparks questions and often inspires. For example, in May we met with The Breakdance Project Uganda at their weekly breakdance session in downtown Kampala. We were able to see for ourselves how leader Abramz brought young people from different backgrounds together to learn how to dance, build leadership skills and promote social responsibility.

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Pictured: Abramz, Breakdance Project Uganda, doing his thing 

We’ve found that taking the conversation out of the office relaxes us and our hosts, creating a more open dialogue where we can better explore whether we’d make good partners. Being outside four walls encourages creativity, important when thinking about how we can work together. With Breakdance Project Uganda, we were able to have a wonderfully open conversation while watching on as breakdancers did impossible things with their bodies.

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Pictured: Breakdance class, Breakdance Project Uganda

2. Meeting young people

As well as meeting with an organisation’s team, we love meeting with those closely connected to their work. Not only can this validate and strengthen everything we’ve heard from our hosts, these individuals often provide different perspectives that we might not have considered. We’ve met with trustees, donors, partners, and the government, but the people we most like to meet are those that we exist for – young people.

We’re at our happiest when we’re meeting with young people. It’s often the most memorable experience of a visit. We particularly like the rawness and openness of their responses to our questions, enabling us to clearly understand the impact that the organisation aspires to create.

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Pictured: Forward Foundation with Suzanne, freelance designer and alumni of KampaBits.

Earlier this year Anna and I met with super impressive Suzanne, a talented designer and graduate of our brand new partners KampaBits. We were struck by the impact that their intensive digital design programme had on Suzanne’s life. Our conversations with Suzanne and her peers influenced our decision to support KampaBits.

We don’t think grant-making is a scientific process. A lot of it is about gut instinct. And a memorable meeting with a young person with an inspiring story to tell can influence our thinking.

3. Getting to know the leader

We place an awful lot of emphasis on the leader behind the idea. The first thing we talk about when we walk out of an organisation’s doors is the leader. Did we think they had the skills to launch their new organisation? How did we think they interacted with young people and with their staff?

We’ve written a blog about some of things that make an exceptional leader. During our visits we’ve been particularly impressed with those leaders who have acted naturally and been able to show off their best qualities to us.

Take Samuel from our Kenyan partner, Tumaini. Samuel took us to the dumpsites of Eldoret in western Kenya to visit the young people who lived there. We met many people he knew along the way. By being able to watch Samuel interact with others he was able to demonstrate his exceptional ability to build relationships and his deep integrity. Samuel acted in the same way with everybody he met, whatever their situation, giving everybody his time and respect. And he didn’t change the way he acted just because we were there. 

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Pictured: Samuel, leader of Tumaini

Similarly, Alex, leader of KampaBits, designed our visit earlier this year so we had lots of interaction with others. By being able to observe Alex interacting with his colleagues and young people he was able to demonstrate his warmth and passion for supporting people. We wouldn’t have picked up on his special talents had we been stuck in his office watching a powerpoint presentation. 

imagePictured: Young people and staff at KampaBits HQ

Finally, and this might well be just us (!), we love a bit of fun and silliness on our visits. We often end up playing football and other games with children. We’re found that doing something different can create stronger relationships and make for a more memorable experience for all.

The word experience exists for a reason.

by Helen

At the Forward Foundation, we’re going to communicate our failures every month. The idea being we start to create an open space, and a better environment, in which our partners can share theirs. So here goes… 

Creativity backfires

I chose probably our most important piece of news in 2011, which was our our first ever grants round, to make a pretty bad judgement call on a communication to an audience who at this time knew very little about our values and our work.

As big news I was keen to announce the outcomes of the grants round ASAP. Off I raced… 

My ‘creative’ idea was to take lots of photos of the actual cheques in various locations, and make a theme of the whole ‘money thing’. Genius! I thought. 

Nb. As a Foundation, we are about about much more than funding.

We genuinely do ‘go beyond writing a cheque’ (to use a cliché) and I had gone and created a communication theme around just that – cheques. Not genius.

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The backfiring bit

The communication came off as pretty unimaginative, vague and shallow (and still makes me screw up my face a little now). It was definitely not inspiring.

As a Foundation, we do go further, providing a package of support (funding, expertise and connections) to our partners,  and there I was creating a visual theme around money. 

What didn’t help is that I hadn’t included much text in the e-communication to add meat, substance and context to the visuals of the cheques.

The communication ultimately made a bad impression on our founder (our main donor) and the person who was investing the money to enable us to make those grants!

My bad(s)

I was at the stage of my career where I was encouraged to step up, stride out a little and take some ownership. ‘Be bold’, I thought. The right attitude to take. My mistake was in completely ignoring my gut instincts. Something about the communication was grating and I should have explored that.

I was a little green and lacking in assertiveness. In trying to be reactive, I rushed and my “process” went of the window. I got swept along, instead of allowing myself to pause, review and take control. 

The word experience exists for a reason

A few ‘notes to Helen’ for next time:

  • Trust your gut instinct, and be assertive in what you think is best. Don’t let your process fly out of the window! Eg. Always do a litmus test. Gauge reactions. Test or share ideas with a small sample of your audience, or at least someone who understands your audience.
  • Know your levels of ‘perfection’. Know when 85% is fine. Know when something has to be 110% - ie. spot on. Allocate your time, energy and resources accordingly. 
  • You can control what you do in response to failure (your actions following it) but you cannot control how it makes you feel at the time. Give yourself (a little) space to feel the inevitable pang of disappointment or frustration, before you man up and come back with even more grit (and wisdom!)
  • Continue to be bold. Take on board what you can from criticism and then, LET IT GO. Be open to failure and do not be deterred by the fear of getting something wrong. Cue quote;

"A perfect circle. So hard for grown-ups to draw, never quite perfect. But for children it’s so easy, they are free to just draw it." (author unknown)

Take a read of Michael’s post on Failing slowly. Next month, Head of Digital, Suraj is up!

Donnas - the man behind the entrepreneurs of Acholiland

"In three words. What’s important to me? Impacting young lives."  (Donnas, leader of the KATI programme

We produced this video (along with two others) following a visit to Uganda in September to gather stories to communicate the impact of the programme and to help War Child get further support for KATI. 

Watch more KATI videos:

"Go Smart" - The first ever barbers in Lapono

Lillian and the most infectious smile in Northern Uganda

Forward Foundation is hiring…

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Entrepreneurial individual with unrivalled people skills and a passion for improving young lives required to help us build partnerships with exciting young companies that can support our work.

About us:

The Forward Foundation was set up two years ago by tech company Forward Internet Group. We exist to enable young people in the UK and Africa to achieve a career they can be proud of. To do so, we launch social start-ups with disruptive ideas and create digital products that, ultimately, help transform young lives. 

About the role:

Our new Partnerships Manager will play a critical role in shaping our future by building relationships with exciting young companies that can support our work. They’ll develop and implement strategies to embed the Forward Foundation within the work of our company supporters, and develop creative ways of inspiring and mobilising staff to volunteer their time for our social start-up partners. 

About you:

You’ll be an entrepreneurial and creative individual with unrivalled people skills and a track record of success. You’ll have developed your skills in an office environment for over two years, preferably in either the non-profit or private sector. You’ll have aspirations of developing a successful career in the non-profit sector and a passion for improving young people’s lives.   

What we offer:

In addition to a competitive salary, the successful person will work alongside a talented, dedicated and supportive team. They’ll be based in the gorgeous offices of our founder and big supporter, the Forward Internet Group. It’s full of talented young people and, as a bonus, there’s free food and drink throughout the day, a bar, music studio, games room, and amphitheatre. 

How to apply:

To apply, please send the following to recruitment@forwardfoundation.org.uk as soon as possible and no later than Monday 28 July 2014:

1. Your CV

2. A video of no more than 60 seconds telling us why you think we should hire you

Good luck!

Our five new partners & what made them the perfect fit

We are interested in ideas that will shake things up a bit in their approach to transforming young lives. We’ve invested £193, 313.51 in five new social start-ups; three in London, one in Uganda and one in Ethiopia who are on the case. That investment is part of a package of support - funding, expertise and connections -  that will help them to launch their organisation.

Teamwork. Our favourite. from Forward Foundation on Vimeo.

Introducing our five new partners and why we’re excited to be teaming up with them.

Tutors United is making private tutoring accessible to all young people, regardless of economic background. They pair up university students with primary school pupils to help them achieve their potential. Private tuition is proven to provide a huge educational advantage so by making this opportunity available to all primary pupils Tutors United will help reduce educational inequality.

EduKit brings schools and youth projects together. Many youth projects have the potential to have a huge impact on young lives, but don’t reach the right people. Through an intelligent matching service based around the student’s unique needs EduKit ensures that young people are able to access the right kind of support.

Radar supports young people to have a voice in society by creating networks of young journalists within marginalised communities. Making clever use of online tools and platforms, they provide those reporters with mobile and digital skills. Radar is a catalyst for change, turning young people from stories into storytellers.

KampaBits is a digital design school, turning young people living in informal settlements into digital developers and designers. Their impact is huge with over 80% of KampaBits graduates securing highly skilled employment.

iceaddis provides a platform for Ethiopia’s young tech entrepreneurs to flourish. As the country’s first tech incubator, iceaddis is a catalyst to creating a strong tech start-up scene to support Ethiopia’s emerging tech sector.

This time last grants round…

We’re always keen to share our partners’ stories. One of the projects we funded during our last grants round was The Big House; a Hackney based social start-up who provide young care leavers with a holistic, wraparound support and use theatre to help them make their voices heard. We recently caught up with the inspirational leader, Maggie Norris.

Demystifying Funding

A few photos and a fantastic visual on ‘Getting your idea off the ground’ (created by Bryan from Wapisasa) following last week’s evening around demystifying funding here at The Foundation.

Big thanks to speakers from Big Lottery Fund, Nominet Trust, Forward Partners and MAC-UK who shared a their experiences and provided some candid insights from a variety of perspectives.

And thanks to all the funders and people from emerging social start-ups’ who took part in the speed-dating (of sorts) that followed, which seemed successful in getting open conversations flowing and creating some new connections.

Yesterday our old friends Enabling Enterprise came into run an enterprise workshop with a group of Year 10 students from Brentwood County High School.

Their challenge for the day was to design a new space for Forward3D’s office, figuring out how to make it the most enjoyable place to work possible but also somewhere that motivates staff to work hard.  The three teams came up with some amazingly creative ideas, including installing a virtual zoo and 7-aside football pitch in the office, with an oyster card system to earn free time over the course of a week.

Thanks very much to Forward3D’s Jack Howse, who volunteered at the event and supported the teams throughout the workshop, helping them to hone their ideas. Thanks also to Joe Hale, who made a special appearance as an ex Brentwood County High School student himself, to help judge the final presentations (and compare notes on teachers!).

Well done to the winning team ‘Potato’, pictured at the top with Jack and Joe.

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