We've moved!

This donation page is on the old Big Give website. Please go to theBigGive.org.uk to find current campaigns and opportunities to double your donation.

If you have any queries on the changes, please email us at info@thebiggive.org.uk.

Project information

London Youth Support Trust Enterprise Programme

We offer affordable business units for young entrepreneurs for up to three years alongside business advice and personal support. We help our beneficiaries prepare their business plan, secure start up funding and then we provide them with their own business unit from where they run their business.

April 2010 - March 2013

Charity information: London Youth Support Trust

London Youth Support Trust logo
  • Need


    From our experience of working so closely with our clients we know that, for the young and disadvantaged, it takes 2-3 years to establish a business - which is why our support is available for three years. Our clients see self employment as an alternative to securing a job because of their lack of formal qualifications, a criminal record or a disability . Starting a business is a tough and often traumatic experience and we provide the support to help our clients develop as entrepreneurs.


    In the first year our young entrepreneurs contribute 50% towards the cost of their rental, in year 2 this increases to 75% and in year three they will be paying the full rent. Alongside this our business support manager provides support to our clients in three ways - by acting as a mentor for the businesses; by providing and following up on specialist services; and by organising meetings between clients where experiences can be shared and cross trading can happen.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve the quality of life for the young and disadvantaged through running successful businesses


    » We help our clients raise sufficient funding to start up and run their business
    » We provide business advice and personal support to our clients.

    What success will look like

    65% of our clients will still be trading after 3 years on our programme.

    Aim 2

    To signpost users to opportunities that will support their business and personal development


    » We refer our clients to potential sources of funding and specialist support
    » We arrange for our clients to work with a volunteer advisor

    What success will look like

    Success will be access to more business opportunities and an increase in sales or contracts secured.

    Aim 3

    To support clients whose business aren’t sustainable to move into employment or further education


    » Signpost clients to partner organisations who can help them access employment.

    What success will look like

    Success will be 30% of our clients will secure employment or move into further education.

  • Impact


    Our project will increase the number of disadvantaged young people succeeding in business so they can be economically active. We will work with 150 young people per year. We will help create 40 new businesses per year. 95% of our clients will either still be trading on completion of our programme or they will have moved into employment or further education.


    The main risk for us is that we lose the lease on our business incubation centres which would affect our ability to deliver our project. We have secured leases on all our centres. We have demonstrated our success by turning around one of our centres which was considered a failure before we took it over. We keep our landlord informed of our progress, success and difficulties. We have developed a partnership approach.


    Funders of this project will have a chance to visit our centres, meet our clients and staff involved. We will report regularly on our progress and that of our clients. We will send email reports on client successes.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £558,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £237,000 Property Property costs
      £268,000 Salaries Salary Costs
      £53,000 Office Office Costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Rentals Received £184,000 Conditional
    Garfield Weston Foundation £30,000 Guaranteed
    Rank Foundation £20,000 Guaranteed
    Esmee Fairbairn Foundation £45,000 Guaranteed
    Private Donors £120,000 Conditional
  • Background


    We operate in areas of high deprivation and since 2001 we have set up five Centres in Deptford, Hackney, Haringey, Southwark and Southwark (all are in the bottom third of the National Indices of Deprivation).


    Our client groups are young people aged between 18-30. They are mainly unemployed from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic communities (70%), the disabled (12%), women (51%) and ex-offenders (10%).

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since we started in 2001 we have established five centres in London. We have extended two of these centres (and raised the funding to do so). In total we have 120 studios/workshops, a dance studio, music studios and a 3,000 sq ft gallery/performance space. Over the years we have supported more than 500 young people and 96% have achieved a positive outcome. We have committed Trustees and staff members who are keen for the organisation to succeed.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Clair Ferguson

    Clair is responsible for securing sufficient funding to ensure the long term availability of our service.

    Bob Austin

    Bob is responsible for the day to day running of our centres. He manages a team of centre managers who provide support and guidance to our clients.