What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
We believe that many young people’s ambition and creativity has been limited simply because they are not given the freedom to express themselves, try new ideas and to make mistakes without feeling like they have failed.
Work is a key tool for lifting families out of poverty but it is not a guaranteed route. 31% of single parent families where the parent works part time are still in poverty, and 17% of those working full time. Therefore, we aim to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed whether they choose to pursue either a traditional or non-traditional route so that they experience personal and material wellbeing long term.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
• As of February 2013 there were 21,480 people who were out of work/claiming benefits. This represents 13.4% of the population aged 16-64.
• 7% of the young people aged 16-19 are known to be not in employment, education or training (NEET). This compares to a national figure of 5.9% and a London figure of 4.8%
• Unemployment is concentrated in Camden’s most deprived wards. It is highest in St Pancras and Somers Town, Kilburn, Haverstock and King’s Cross wards.
• The longer someone is unemployed the less likely they are to return to work. Camden has the 6th highest amongst London boroughs, higher than the London average.
• To put the statistics in perspective, half of the young people in our current cohort (group) are living in supported accommodation. 75% of the cohort are unemployed and those who are employed only have part-time jobs.
Young people are the future! Help us give them the opportunity to pursue their ideas and sustain themselves.
What is your solution?
Our solution is to offer the Company programme as a way to nurture bright ideas and turn them into focused enterprises.. By setting up the fund, we will encourage young entrepreneurs to come forward with their idea and apply for the fund. Without your funding, they would not be able to test their idea and make it a reality. It is designed for candidates with a good idea and a strong work ethic, providing a route into self-employment regardless of academic qualifications, which they may not have achieved due to lack of opportunities.
How will you deliver this?
The Company programme starts with individual support to help our ‘Associates’ tweak their ideas and create a business plan. The timeline below provides details on all the amazing opportunities and support our Associates receive. We also arrange various business and personal development workshops to be delivered in the Company Hub work space at The Winch, so that our Associates can expand their network while simultaneously experiencing professional and personal growth.
1. Company Hub Work Space: Associates of the Co. have access to a dedicated work space where they can develop their business ideas and seek inspiration. Our Associates will be able to use the Hub as their office or even as their businesses’ registered address.
2. Business Mentor: Each of our Associates are assigned a business mentor who meets with them individually to help them develop their ideas. Every mentor has experience in the business world and will share their knowledge and provide guidance when needed.
3. Accelerator Learning Programme: The learning programme lasting for about 10 weeks is made up of visits to businesses, talks from real entrepreneurs as well as other workshops for business and personal development. From this programme, we hope that our Associates will receive the inspiration and gain the knowledge they need to run their business successfully.
4. Learning Journeys: We organize 2 learning journeys for our Associates during the first phase of the programme. One is designed to build morale and improve relationships. The other is right before the pitch to the panel and is designed to motivate and prepare the Associates for pitching for investment.
5. Seed Funding: Associates who have successfully completed the business development programme will be eligible to pitch for cash investment from The Co. This will enable them to purchase necessary start up items, and develop their ideas further. Your donation will be used to provide seed funding for the 10 individuals in our current cohort providing them with the needed finance to start their business and further their professional development.
We commit long term so our support is available for our Associates for up to 3 years after the completion of the programme. Help us help the Associates!
Quotes from past participants:
Matt, one of our past Associates said, “The Winch played a huge part in helping me start my own business when I was an unemployed youngster- The UK needs more places like this that inspire and encourage young people to work toward their full potential.”
Ruqiya Osman, a past Associate, said, “Before I joined The Company I would never have believed that I would develop my idea for a business or get myself to a place where I could pitch to a panel for investment in my idea. I learned a lot about myself and I’m proud of where I am now.”
Amaru Fleary, founder and CEO of Obnoxious Kids said, “The support here (at The Winch) is second to none. It is like a family here. I can’t even find the words to describe it really. I am so thankful for The Winch”.