Young Entrepreneurs

We’re delighted to announce an exciting milestone for our first cohort of Young Entrepreneurs! In February 2024, we hosted a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition, where 12 inspiring social entrepreneurs, after undergoing an incubation period with support from the School for Social Entrepreneurs, presented their business ideas. From this, ten outstanding entrepreneurs have been selected to receive up to £15k each in grants and year-long support. These innovative ventures aim to expand access to sports and physical activities throughout London.

Cohort 1
  • Iman, Pangea. Positively impacting the community through planned community walks, particularly geared towards young Muslim women. These walks are not only an opportunity for individuals to connect with nature but also serve as a platform for fostering mental well-being.
  • Luke, Kalos Fitness Ltd. A sustainable activewear and printing brand, working with local young people and mentoring them in printing. 
  • Demetri, University Calisthenics. The UCA promotes student well-being through Calisthenics and bodyweight fitness, uniting communities across the UK for physical and mental self-improvement.
  • Athena, Modest Moves. Creating a safe space for women above the age of 12 to learn boxing and muay Thai as a way of self-defence.
  • Jordon, JGCoachingUk. Running football camps for those who cannot afford to pay, raising money for the cost of pitch time through sponsorship.   
  • Sagal, Barakah LDN. Tackling the issues Muslim & Black Asian minority ethnic women face in football and providing an accessible space for all women to play. They aim to make money through funding, sponsorship, clothing.
  • J’don, Active Jays. Creating a safe space and teaching football and basketball sessions to 7 – 11 year old who are struggling with the pressure of the secondary school environment. 
  • Yasin, Arena Platform Ltd. Removing barriers and tackling social isolation for young people through an app that helps connect those trying new activities, or arranging matches. 
  • Shreya, KitSpares. Building a digital marketplace that allows young people facing financial barriers to list itemised requests for equipment or small pockets of financial aid, ranging from football boots or support to cover travel costs. Local organisations and small businesses can become sponsors by donating the items directly or providing small-scale sponsorships. 
  • Megan, WClothing. Creating sportswear that is sustainable, affordable and inclusive of different body sizes and is modest through upcycling. 

About the pillar

Our Young Entrepreneurs pillar focuses on nurturing the talents and innovative thinking of young Londoners. We want to encourage their creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and community engagement by supporting their ideas and aspirations. We firmly believe in their potential which drives our commitment to providing the resources and opportunities to turn their visions into reality and help them succeed.

We will offer grants of up to £15,000 to a cohort of young entrepreneurs aged 16-24. These grants are designed to support the development of social enterprise ideas, with a focus on ventures in the sports and physical activity sector. This could encompass a wide range of initiatives, from sports-for-change enterprises and activewear businesses to sport tech startups and behaviour change programmes that prioritise social impact. In our first year of funding, we aim to prioritise early-stage ideas. To further empower our grantees, we have teamed up with the School of Social Entrepreneurs and Bayes Business School to provide mentorship, networking opportunities, training, and more!

We aim to recruit a diverse cohort of young people, supporting young people from ethnically diverse backgrounds and those with disabilities.

Eligibility

Every year, this programme will provide 20 young people with ‘ideas incubation’ support to develop their venture proposals. 10 will receive up to £15,000 over a year to develop their social enterprise ideas, alongside mentoring, action-learning sets, and development support.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Between the ages of 16 and 24 and have the right to work in the UK
  • Want to (or already have) set up a business or project that makes a difference to their community (social purpose business/sole trader)
  • The idea has sport and physical activity at its heart
  • At an early stage, either new or less than two years old and have an income of under £30,000, (though there may be some exceptions if for example a business has been set up, but left dormant)
    Mainly working with (young) people living in London.

Grant Timelines

This programme will support 3 cohorts of Young Entrepreneurs across 3 years. See below for cohort timelines.

Engage & IncubateDedicated follow-on support
Cohort 1October 2023 – February 2024March 2024 – February 2025
Cohort 2May 2024 – October 2024November 2024 – October 2025
Cohort 3January 2025 – June 2025July 2025 – June 2026