Young Foundation unveils investment fund to support projects working with young people

Young Foundation unveils investment fund to support projects offering young people alternatives to traditional education
26.02.09


A pioneering fund set up to invest in projects designed to change the lives of young people from disadvantaged communities across Britain was launched today.
 
The Learning Launchpad fund will offer a range of investment packages designed to meet the needs of any organisation or individual with an idea to provide alternatives to traditional education to young people aged 14 to 25 years old.
 
The fund will offer both support and finance for organisations at two stages of development. Stage one investments will provide up to £30,000, plus support, to people starting out with a new idea. Meanwhile stage two investments will offer up to £100,000, plus support, for organisations or initiatives that are already up and running and want to grow.
 
The support and incubation packages, offered as part of any investment, include business planning, marketing support, book keeping or simply access to contacts.
 
Delivered by the Young Foundation, in partnership with independent education foundation Edge, the Learning Launchpad fund is open to applications from either individuals with great ideas or emerging charities, social enterprises or mainstream business committed to delivering social change for young people.
 
Geoff Mulgan, director of the Young Foundation, said: “The downturn is likely to cut off many young people’s chances of getting a job, leaving thousands without the skills and experience we’ll need when the recovery comes.”
 
“There is no shortage of ideas about how to solve this – the challenge is to turn more promising ideas into sustainable projects, and channel people’s passion and commitment into results on the ground.”
 
Tim Campbell, former winner of hit reality TV show the Apprentice, who has since set up the Bright Ideas Trust, is endorsing the fund. He said: “What I’ve learned since I set-up Bright Ideas Trust is that there’s nothing like starting up on your own to give you the freedom to pursue the things that really matter. This fund will help remove the barriers people face when they come-up with a great idea.  For a start-up entrepreneur, it is just as important to get a cash flow injection as it is to get the tailored support you need, whether its help with finance, communications or web technology.  The Learning Launchpad offers both.  The focus of the fund is to find the best ideas that will enable young people to make a difference, something very close to my heart.  The hunt is on, so get thinking and good luck!”
 
Andy Powell, Chief Executive of independent education foundation Edge, emphasises the importance of taking risks. He said:  “The Learning Launchpad is one of our most exciting partnerships. Young people can often lack access to opportunities outside traditional academic routes – and the Learning Launchpad allows people to take risks and develop innovative new approaches to practical learning, showing them that there really are many paths to success.”
 
For more information and how to apply, please see www.learninglaunchpad.org.