SkillUp is funded by the Natwest Skills & Opportunities Fund and seeks to engage young people in social entrepreneurship.
It is a a youth-led project that will design, pilot and disseminate widely an educational, training and skills development programme on a topic that has never been addressed before. The aim of the project will be to encourage young people to become social entrepreneurs as an alternative path to self-sustainability in the social sector. It will draw on models of best practice to train 100 young people via the e-course, to receive accreditation and be ready to become social entrepreneurs. As part of this project we have developed training to help individuals get an overview of how to be a social entrepreneur!
The project will:
a) Develop an interactive accredited e-course to facilitate learning and enhance engagement
b) Train, mentor and support Social Entrepreneurship Ambassadors who will help develop the course and promote it through a series of targeted engagement campaigns
c) Set-up a Coaching and Support Hub to serve as a centre of further support and guidance for the beneficiaries
According to EC 2013 figures, social entrepreneurship has increased from 6% to 6.5% of total European paid employment creating from 11 million to 14.5 million jobs. UK stats also indicate that social entrepreneurship is expected to provide viable and sustainable alternatives to the ever widening gap between demand and supply for health and social care services for vulnerable groups. Having completed a pan-European scoping exercise, we concluded that an evidence-based package focusing on unlocking on the one hand the untapped potential of youth outside the labour market and on the other the impetus of the social economy sector in order to meet societal needs in the sectors of health and social care does not exist.
We will also work with young people to become Ambassadors in the local community and help promote, engage and encourage local stakeholders to link in with them. The outcome will be that some of these young people will report going on to be seen as more employable by local businesses, or have started their own business.
Our project is based around a theory of change model that we have created to ensure that the project has a positive impact on young entrepreneurs.
The theory of change model has been constructed using key building blocks to bring about our long-term goal. It is reviewed on a monthly basis throughout the project and is a context for considering the connections between the project mission, strategies and actual outcomes, while creating links between who is being served, the strategies or activities that are being implemented and the desired outcomes. This theory of change is depicted as a "pathway of change framework", a graphical representation of our progress:
The project has already engaged with young people across the borough to provide face to face training and supported them to begin their journey into entrepreneurship. From the feedback and learning these courses have given us, we have created an online course which anyone can take to build their skills in business management and entrepreneurship. Thanks to the support of NatWest bank, many elements of this course have been able to link into their learning and are supported by the team there too. Those who complete the course gain access to the online hub where they can share ideas and discuss the challenges they are facing in building their businesses.
We are currently looking for young people to join our dedicated Youth Advisory Board to become Ambassadors. Training will be held this month! To apply, please send a CV and brief covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
To take the online training course and get help launching your new business go to: www.IARS.org.uk/training