The Ideas Factory

Between September and December 2019 we partnered with UK Youth to pilot a new programme to provide 180 young people aged 14-25 with an introduction to entrepreneurship. The programme launched in three delivery regions in the UK – London, Bolton and Coventry. Watch our short video about the pilot below.

The programme engaged young people to create an idea for a product, service or business that can help to solve a problem within their local area or wider society. Young people were encouraged to focus their innovative solutions around 3 key themes:

The Challenge Day

Participants took part in a Challenge Day to learn about Entrepreneurship and met Entrepreneurs who shared their experience. The young people were guided through a design thinking approach to develop their ideas and had the opportunity to meet and be supported by local business professionals, entrepreneurs and trustees of The Grass Roots Foundation.

At the end of the Challenge Day, the participants pitched their ideas to the panel of judges and scored against judging criteria. All individuals and groups received feedback and advice on their work and on their ideas. The groups with the highest scores moved into the next round of support and idea development – the Ideas Accelerator.

Ideas Accelerator

Those who successfully pitched their idea moved into the next phase of the development where they received further workshops to develop their skills and refine their ideas. There were two sets of workshops. One focused on the emotional and social capabilities and the other one focused on the technical skills needed as an entrepreneur.

Workshop Series 1

Focusing on mindset and emotional & social capabilities:

  • Confidence
  • Leadership
  • Presentation skills
  • Taking the positives from rejection and overcoming challenges

Workshop Series 2

Focusing on technical skills needed as an entrepreneur:

  • Business planning
  • Project management
  • Money management skills
  • Building your networking
  • Marketing

In the third phase of the Ideas Accelerator, the participating young people worked closely with their assigned mentors to refine their idea and move into the prototype or testing phase of their idea.
We concluded the programme with a big celebration, bringing all Challenge Day participants, trustees and volunteers back into a room for pizza and the crowning of the overall winning idea.