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Enterprise Development Programme

The Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) is a five-year programme, funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, with the College as the sector partner for the youth strand of the programme, and Social Investment Business as a strategic grant partner.  

About the EDP

The EDP provides a broad range of support for charities and social enterprises in England, helping them make a transition to new enterprise models, or grow existing ones, in order to build their organisational resilience by diversifying their income streams.

Through the EDP, the College offered grants and tailored support to charities and social enterprises in the youth sector that wanted to become more enterprising by exploring and growing new models of trading for the benefit of young people and communities. The College convened the cohorts of youth organisations that had applied to participate in the programme, supporting them through a diagnostic and/or scaling up phase, and then providing training, development, and coaching through a programme of online webinars, small group work and individual contact.  

The EDP has now shifted from being an open programme to being an Alumni Network (though the Environment and Black and Minoritised Communities strands are still accepting applications).  

Alumni Network

The College is pleased to continue working with the Access Foundation to maintain the valuable activity offered through the Enterprise Development Programme (EDP).  We welcome the opportunity to continue to support youth sector participants as they engage in their own enterprise development projects, and to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’ effect at the end of their grant and initial learning programmes.  We are proud to continue building support networks and sharing and communicating knowledge both within the EDP partnership and with the wider youth sector.  

Activities in the Alumni Network include: 

  • Continuing to facilitate peer-to-peer learning; procuring and providing specific expertise in response to demand from the cohort of participant organisations. We’re looking at creating a strong EDP network based on trust and shared knowledge and supporting regional connection and networking. 

  • Continuing to engage organisations in cross-sector learning and development activities, including coaching support, new learning workshops, further learning opportunities on topics related to EDI, and in-person events (governmental and health guidelines allowing).  

  • Sharing the participating organisations success stories, learning content, and contributing to cross-sector learning and dissemination events. This goes along with painting an accurate picture of the current state of enterprise development in the youth sector, understanding barriers and enablers, and the link between enterprise projects and outcomes for young people. 

“For me, having the peer support - having the amazing high-quality input in the programme, and the ongoing conversations, has given me confidence in a completely new realm (enterprise), it’s has given me the confidence to back myself and go for it.” - CEO of Young Somerset, participating organisation 



The EDP gathers a unique group of youth organisations, sector partners, and funders. Thanks to this incredible network, the College has been able to research the current state of social enterprise in the youth sector in the UK, understand the challenges youth organisations face now (or what allows them to thrive) and determine how enterprise is presently being perceived and used. 

We are diving deep into the barriers and enablers that allow youth organisations to undertake enterprise projects and successfully diversify their impact along with increasing their social impact. We are especially interested in looking into the relationship between enterprise and outcomes for young people.

“At Break, we believe every child, no matter their start in life, deserves a bright future. [Our enterprise project] shows young people that they can accomplish whatever they want and that they can contribute to the ideas others are having or build their own business. It makes them feel valued and gives them new experiences.” - Break, participating organisation 

You can browse our publications below.

Social Enterprise in the Youth Sector

The Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) is a five-year programme, piloted in 2018 and funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment. YMCA George Williams College is the sector partner for the Youth strand of the EDP since 2019. 

This briefing explores learning consolidated through the EDP, examining the conditions that shape the youth sector’s engagement with enterprise; the experiences of youth organisations who have engaged in entrepreneurial activities; and the relationship between these activities and impact for young people and communities.

Section One: Enterprise and the Youth Sector

The Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) is a five-year programme funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment. YMCA George Williams College has been the sector partner for the Youth strand of the EDP since 2019. 

This section focuses on the approaches of those in the youth sector who are interested in the enterprise, along with their motivations and the enablers and barriers they encounter. This is a great read if you are interested in the type of support needed for enterprise development in the youth sector.

Section Two: Impact of Enterprise on Organisations and Young People

This section focuses on the impact engaging with enterprise has on youth organisations and the potential impact on young people who engage with enterprise projects (including socio-emotional learning, employability pathways, and social mobility). This section will be especially relevant to you if you’re interested in the potential impact of enterprise in the youth sector.

Section Three: The Role of Enterprise in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

This section focuses on the potential relationship between enterprise and equity – we have only anecdotal evidence so far but still think this is a topic worth exploring and asking questions about. Here, we will explore how EDP participating organisations felt enterprise could help elevate young people’s voices, support underrepresented and underserved groups, and increase their own knowledge of inclusion.

Section Four: Methodology, EDP Projects, and Theory of Change

This section focuses on the methodology behind our research – this section is for you if you want to learn more about the research, the EDP projects, and our Theory of Change. Here you can learn more about our research approach, the EDP sectors and leads, and explore our theory of change for this programme. You can also read more about each EDP project, YMCA George Williams College, and our cited sources and references.

Blogs and learning

Black History Month Spotlight – Impact Dance

In this blog, we spotlight our Enterprise Development Programme participants Impact Dance, and their journey in creating a dance movement which fosters inclusive environments and opportunities for young people of colour.

From October 2022.

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Championing Learning within the EDP

Now in it's Alumni Network phase, Enterprise Development Manager Soizic Hagege shared illuminating insights from social enterpreneurs to EDP grantees, as part of our peer-to-peer learning offer. 

August 2022.

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Looking Back at the Enterprise Development Programme

For April's ‘Our Thoughts’, Soizic Hagege reflected on peer-to-peer learning, one of the defining features of the Enterprise Development Programme, as the EDP drew to a close.

From April 2022.

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Enterprise in The Youth Sector - Getting Comfortable with Commercialisation

The College's Jo Hickman-Dunne delves into the latest emerging trends from our research into enterprise activity within the youth sector.

November 2021.

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Data Insights: What Are We Learning About Enterprise in the Youth Sector?

Midway through our research into social enterprise and enterprise development, the College's Dr Jo Hickman-Dunne delved into the latest insights from the research.

August 2021.

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Our thoughts - Soizic Hagege

For May's 'Our Thoughts', Enterprise Development Manager Soizic Hagege reflects on her first few weeks at the College and the power of enterprise when embedded into youth organisations.

May 2021.

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Read more about our EDP cohort for 2021 below


British Youth Council 

The British Youth Council is the National Youth Voice charity in the UK. Through our programmes such as the UK Youth Parliament, NHS Youth Forum, Bank of England Youth Forum and many others, we empower young people aged 11-25 to find their voices and be heard on issues they care about. 

We believe our expertise in youth voice and youth participation are a valuable resource to other organisations, charities and companies wishing to better understand young people so we are working with the Enterprise Development Programme to develop our consultancy offer and understand how better to market our experience. 


Shout Out UK (SOUK) is a youth education network that delivers educational programmes on Political and Media Literacy, and stand-alone workshops on topics such as Social Activism, Human Rights, Employability Skills and Training, Debating & Public Speaking. We deliver our work offline and online via our E-portal. We have built more than 30,000 young people's confidence; emotional resilience towards mis/disinformation, and public speaking skills. We have been delivering our services to schools, colleges and youth clubs since 2015.

Shout Out London
Shout Out UK (SOUK) is a youth education network that delivers educational programmes on Political and Media Literacy, and stand-alone workshops on topics such as Social Activism, Human Rights, Employability Skills and Training, Debating & Public Speaking. We deliver our work offline and online via our E-portal. We have built more than 30,000 young people's confidence; emotional resilience towards mis/disinformation, and public speaking skills. We have been delivering our services to schools, colleges and youth clubs since 2015.

As a part of the Enterprise Development Programme, we are looking to expand our individuals’ online E-portal feature, as a part of our efforts to diversify our income streams and scale up our organisation. We are particularly keen to move in the direction of B2C sales and marketing and welcome the various upskilling opportunities the programme provides. By the end of the programme, we hope to have a sustainable, user-friendly and easily accessible product that builds young people's political and media literacy skills and ensures they are better equipped to understand and engage with the world around them.

Power 2

We deliver evidence-based early-intervention programmes for disadvantaged young people, specifically targeting those identified by their teachers with wellbeing and behavioural issues, disengaged from school and learning, and at risk of exclusion. Our programmes include the award-winning Teens and Toddlers , which incorporates peer-mentoring and positive psychology to enable young people to develop crucial life skills and improve their emotional wellbeing. Our Enterprise Idea is to develop a trading model for Power2 Rediscover, our COVID pandemic crisis support programme, so that as many young people as possible can access its help.


The Pump

The Pump (East Birmingham Ltd.) is a prestigious purpose-built youth facility. It was designed by young people for young people and built on the site of an old petrol station. Our most recent music projects, 'Pump up the Volume', funded by the National Foundation for Youth Music, and 'The History of Grime', funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, supported more than 600 young people, including emerging artists, towards positive outcomes. 

The Pump is also the community partner in Birmingham for the Levi's® Music project.  The Levi's® Music Room, and additional partnerships give disadvantaged young people invaluable experience of STEAM subjects. The Pump Cafe (as a sustainable food business) addresses food poverty in East Birmingham and created 17 new job placements for young people. The Pump joined the EDP in order to realise the commercial potential of our Creative Spaces, as a vehicle for vocational training, and to grow the social economy.


Peer Productions

Peer Productions is an award winning youth arts charity specialising in combining high quality arts practice with peer education. Each year we reach 15,000 young people across the South East of England, enabling them to make positive life choices. We provide vocational actor development training for young actors (aged 17-23) who, while training with us, also volunteer their time on a range of projects for other young people, including issue-based theatre and outreach workshops.

We are now moving into also developing digital theatre work which will enable us to sell our unique educational productions to schools and other partners outside our existing area of benefit. The support offered through the EDP seemed a perfect opportunity to develop our skills and expertise as well as benefiting from the learning of others.


Infused Learning
From alternative routes into university and other qualifications to informal personal development training and coaching within the community. We offer more than just good teaching - with a person-centred approach we are truly committed to helping unlock potential.

We change lives and opportunities through innovative learning solutions and projects aimed at young people – particularly the most vulnerable. We are excited to be part of the EDP to extend the opportunities we can provide to youth.



Abianda is a London-based social enterprise that works with young women affected by gangs and county lines, and the professionals who support them. Our mission is to bring about a culture shift in the way services are delivered to young women affected by gangs and county lines, so that:

  • They feel safe to access help
  • They are no longer a hidden group in our communities
  • They are free from harm and abuse

We do this by: 

  • Delivering frontline services to gang-affected young women aged 10-25
  • Delivering training and professional development programmes to professionals who work with them

We joined the EDP to support the scale-up of our training and professional development programmes. 



Space unlocks potential with young people and their communities.  We support young people to learn, create and realise their potential by providing a space to hang out with mates, talk about things you can’t ask your parents, gain confidence and try new things.  We deliver innovative, professional youth work, community projects, and other services in a range of settings, to ensure young people have the best opportunities to succeed.

Our enterprise idea is to trade our educational services to schools across Devon, utilising the skills and experience of our youth workers and teachers at our independent school, Chances.  We're really excited to be part of the EDP youth cohort and look forward to learning and sharing ideas with others and developing our trading arm successfully. 



We collaborate with children and young people to co-produce beautiful, authentic creative campaigns for ethical organisations of all kinds. Our innovative projects transform the lives of the young people who take part, and the campaigns we produce together create large-scale social impact… making the world a little bit better. Our projects address issues as diverse as youth loneliness and child sexual exploitation, psychosis and fostering.

Over 20 years we’ve developed a unique methodology for collaborating with young people to co-produce creative campaigns. But we’re only small, and we want to help far more young people than we can reach ourselves. That’s why we’re working with the Enterprise Development Programme to increase our impact exponentially by building an online learning platform. The platform will enable other practitioners to learn how to build co-production into their own practise, so that they too can collaborate with children and young people, giving them a voice on the issues that matter to them.

Impact Dance Foundation

Impact Dance is a Hip-Hop Theatre Company, Street Dance Organisation and Educational Facilitator with a UK-wide reach and a global footprint. Founded by Hakeem Onibudo in 1995, Impact Dance continues to empower young people aged 11-19 through dance training, mentoring, national and international performances. 

We aim to build an inspiring space in our new dance studio in Central London where creativity can thrive and where young people can benefit from various educational opportunities. Alongside this, we plan to hire the space to commercial hirers and fellow arts organisations to support our not-for-profit activities.



Linx Youth Project (Linx) was set up in 1993 in Hemlington, a deprived ward in Middlesbrough supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable young people. Linx's focus is to work in the most deprived areas. Last year, Linx’s qualified youth workers supported 964 of Middlesbrough’s most disadvantaged young people at risk of being drawn into crime and violence.

Up until April 2020 Linx was predominantly grant funded via the Youth Investment Fund Programme. Since May 2020 Linx has moved to diversify its income streams and has recently secured its first public service contract. The EDP programme will enable Linx to develop its quality, impact and information management systems as part of an emerging local youth alliance to meet the requirements of the contract and position itself to tender for additional trading opportunities.




RECLAIM is a unique youth leadership and social change organisation that specialises in powering young people from working-class backgrounds to overcome and dismantle the barriers that society routinely puts in their way. Our work is delivered through a pioneering Theory of Change which is made up of three distinct strands: we run leadership development initiatives for working-class young people supporting them to realise their leadership potential; we train and support working-class young people to campaign for structural change; we run co-discovery projects so that decision-makers can benefit from the wisdom, insights and talent of working-class young people. RECLAIM is excited to be joining the Enterprise Development Programme in order to further develop our co-discovery work through the implementation of a pioneering class-consultancy service. The service will see working-class staff and young people supporting organisations from a range of industries and sectors to both recognise and remove class barriers and to create environments where colleagues from working-class backgrounds can progress, influence and thrive.


Element Society

Element Society is a non-profit organisation based in Sheffield, delivering programmes and workshops designed to empower young people to make a positive change in their communities, raise their own aspirations, and become role models to their peers. Our principal contract is the delivery of the national NCS programme for young people, we also deliver outreach youth work, school support, employability initiatives, as well as mental health and resilience training. Our enterprise idea is to open a storefront that sells Pizza as part of a self-sustaining model that diversifies our income whilst giving young people the opportunity to develop invaluable skills and gain employment experience. ​​​​​​​