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The Foundation


In case you wondered...

Why young people? Why London? Why Africa? All good questions. Here’s some answers...

Why Young People?

47% of the world's unemployed people are young
  1. Young people are often the most affected by the problems of the world. They’re vulnerable as a group in society and suffer disproportionately.
  2. Young people are the future. Young people will be our future leaders of the world, industries, businesses and families. It’s important that we nurture them into being the best individuals that they can be.
  3. The fit with our founder. The tech sector is youthful – it has just started out, it’s vibrant, its people are young and its leaders want to change the world.

Why livelihoods?

Young people are almost 3 times as likely to be unemployed as adults.
  1. A livelihood can lift a person out of poverty. Income earned pays for life’s essentials, such as food and shelter.
  2. A livelihood develops a person. It provides them with a sense of purpose, self-worth and a stake in society.
  3. A livelihood brings economic and social benefits. Getting young people into work creates positive benefits for society and the economy.

Why London?

Nearly a quarter of 16 to 24 year olds in London are unemployed, the highest unemployment rate in the country.
  1. The current situation. It is particularly challenging for young people in London right now.
  2. To make an impact. We wanted to focus our UK efforts on one geographical area.
  3. London is home. It’s our home and the home of our supporters. We all want to do some good close to home to support young Londoners facing tough lives.

Why Africa?

Over 20% of Africa's population is between the ages of 15-24.
  1. The African continent has the fastest growing and most youthful population in the world. Despite progress in recent years, many African countries and their young people still face formidable challenges. Youth unemployment is one such challenge. In Uganda, for example, unemployment is 80% among 15-24 year olds.
  2. Creating livelihoods for Africa’s young people will help generate sustainable development and peace. Africa’s large youth population is an opportunity.
  3. We saw potential to connect organisations together who work in the UK and Africa so they could share learning from different contexts.

Why social start-ups?

Our resources will go far.
  1. It’s very important to us that our investment has a big impact. And our support can provide a lifeline to social start-ups, helping them to survive and thrive in their difficult early days.
  2. We’re adventurous and like taking big risks.
  3. We have plenty in common with our target group as we’re a start-up too and our founder Forward helps businesses get off the ground.

Why tech companies?

We love disruption!
  1. The tech sector has so much to offer the non-profit sector. It’s disruptive, pioneering and agile.
  2. We were founded by a tech company, Forward Internet Group and built up lots of experience of working with the industry.
  3. The tech sector has talented individuals who can support our non-profit partners.

Why new ideas?

Ideas don’t belong in heads.
  1. We’re passionate about finding even better ways to support young people.
  2. It can be tough for organisations to secure funding for untried approaches. We feel it’s our responsibility to take risks where others can’t.
  3. We’re excited by the prospect of taking things that work in one context and trying them in another.

Why Ethiopa, Kenya and Uganda?

In Ethiopia 45% of 10-14 year olds are out of school..
  1. We wanted to work in places where our support was needed. The three countries we chose to work in have particularly youthful populations and high youth unemployment.
  2. We wanted to work in places where we could be successful. Our approach to achieving our mission means that we needed a level of infrastructure in place, such as a relatively strong civil society.
  3. We decided to work in a cluster of countries geographically close to each other. For practical reasons, this makes it easier for us to manager our work and connect organisations together.
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