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Funding

We fund social start-ups in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and the UK, as part of Launchpad - our package of support that provides funding, expertise and connections.

Amount given to our partners £1,632,751
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  • Balloon Kenya

    Nakuru
    Kenya
    Jun 2013
    in-progress
    £36,410
    Image for Balloon Kenya Balloon Nakuru
    Image for Balloon Kenya Balloon Nakuru

    Project Summary

    Project

    Balloon Nakuru

    Background

    Entrepreneurship is often identified as the most sustainable route out of poverty in Kenya, but few can get financial support. The limited support that does exist focuses on how to write a 20 page business plan, rather than encouraging creativity. This is a huge missed opportunity, especially when set against a thriving entrepreneurial culture where seemingly everyone sells something to get by.

    The Gist

    Balloon Kenya connects socially driven young people from across the world with budding entrepreneurs. They will start a locally owned version of their entrepreneurship programme, one that challenges people to disrupt existing markets. It will be highly practical and visual and demand that people test their ideas in the real world. The programme will create 20 new businesses, creating jobs for 100 people.

    What Stood out for us?

    The prospect of helping two young social entrepreneurs and their start-up organisation to create a fresh approach to entrepreneurship support in Kenya.

Meet some of the people we have worked with along the way. Read their stories.

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  • Changemakers

    Malindi District
    Kenya
    Dec 2012
    completed
    £43,886
    Image for Changemakers Share the change!
    Image for Changemakers Share the change!

    Project Summary

    Project

    Share the change!

    Background

    Changemakers believe that values-based leadership would make the world a better place. In the UK, Changemakers has developed a 3 month leadership programme for young people, that brings out young people’s confidence to lead and builds awareness of their values and leadership style. They wish to run their flagship programme in other countries. They have prioritised Kenya due to its youthful population (75% are under 30) and high youth unemployment (70%).

    The Gist

    Two young people – one from London, one from Kenya – will redesign the Changemakers’ leadership programme so that it works for young Kenyans. The programme is likely to include a mix of training, coaching and real world leadership experiences. Working with a local charity, ten young people will be trained up to deliver the new programme in Malindi, eastern Kenya. Each will deliver the programme to ten people, thereby providing 100 young people with increased confidence, communication skills and resilience. Changemakers, meanwhile, will have a clear understanding of how to scale their flagship programme.

    What Stood out for us?

    The prospect of helping Changemakers to adapt a successful programme to improve the leadership potential of young Kenyans.

    How It Went

    The Impact

    Changemakers successfully piloted a new, cost effective and youth- led approach to delivering their flagship leadership development programme - The Changemakers Experience.

    Young Londoner Amanda and young Kenyan Joyce co-created the new programme in Changemakers’ London HQ before heading out to test their concoction in western Kenya. Working with local organization Malindi Education Development Association, 14 young people were recruited and trained to deliver the programme to 100 of their young peers in Malindi District, eastern Kenya. 

    As a result, the young participants reported increased confidence, sense of purpose and improvements in skills essential for work, such as leadership and communication. For Amanda, Joyce and the 14 young facilitators, the experience gave them a whole heap of skills to launch their careers.     

    One Thing That Happened

    Groups of participants created and led a “change” project to address an issue of importance for the local community.  One group transformed Malindi’s public park into a more attractive place for their community to enjoy. They recruited 100 members of the community and planted 150 tree seedlings and many more plants.

    One Thing For Next Time

    Changemakers discovered that things worked best when they had two young people running the leadership programme so that they could support each other. 

    One Other Way We Supported

    Forward’s digital marketing and data analyst guru, Jonathan supported Changemakers to drive more traffic to their website.

     

    Future Plans

    Changemakers aim to use their new, low cost leadership development programme to significantly scale their work in the UK and beyond.

Meet some of the people we have worked with along the way. Read their stories.

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  • LivelyHoods

    Nairobi
    Kenya
    Dec 2011
    completed
    £20,335
    Image for LivelyHoods LivelyHoods: Forward Expansion
    Image for LivelyHoods LivelyHoods: Forward Expansion

    Project Summary

    Project

    LivelyHoods: Forward Expansion

    Background

    High youth unemployment leaves over 400,000 slum youth barely surviving on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya.

    The Gist

    This project will create sales agents jobs for 40 marginalised youths in the urban slums of Kangemi, and give 4,800 slum consumers access to affordable and socially beneficial products such as solar lamps.

    The idea is that the young people will not only earn a stable income, they will receive skills, positive attitudes and confidence. The project is also a good opportunity for Livelyhoods to prove that the project is fit for rapid expansion.

    What Stood out for us?

    The fresh approach of finding young people living in a tough world and helping them become agents of change for their community

    How It Went

    The Impact

    Livelyhoods trained and employed 53 young people, generated over £20,000 in sales revenue and impacted the lives of close to 5,000 individuals through the sale of life-changing products.

    An iSmart sales agent has an improved opportunity to get higher paid formal jobs and/or start a business. They’ve been part of a supportive social network, encouraged to start being future focused, been able to gain professional sales skills, improve their confidence and self-direction and learn about accountability and responsibility.

    Livelyhoods have also now proved they can operate at scale. Here's what Livelyhoods Co-founder, Maria Springer had to say:

    “The Forward Foundation was our second institutional funder, and whereas they were previously considered ‘risky’, the Forward Foundation’s support has enabled us to attract funding from five additional institutional partners.”

    One Thing That Happened

    Livelyhoods ran 16 inspirational sales sessions for young people between the age of 18-35. These ran over the course of 16 weeks and included marketing and sales training.

    One Thing For Next Time

    Livelyhoods would ensure their training is motivational but not profitable for participants, and make sure that all agents are aware of that iSmart is a full time, serious role. 

    One Other Way We Supported

    In February 2013 we sent Executive Coach, Deirdre Tidy out to give them some organisational advice. Read Deidre's blog to see what happened. 

    Future Plans

    Livelyhoods plan to open additional iSmart stores in other slum communities, employing more youth, selling more products and getting themselves closer to financial sustainability.  

     

Meet some of the people we have worked with along the way. Read their stories.

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  • Tumaini

    Eldoret
    Kenya
    Jan 2014
    in-progress
    £25,649
    Image for Tumaini Green Biz
    Image for Tumaini Green Biz

    Project Summary

    Project

    Green Biz

    Background

    Over 3,000 children and youths live on the streets of Eldoret in western Kenya. Most have poor physical and mental health. Glue and other drug abuse has become a survival tool, reducing appetite, making the cold nights bearable and giving confidence to beg.

    The Gist

    Tumaini will create a waste recycling social enterprise, Green Biz, to provide work for 60 young people living on the streets. Young people will collect waste items from Eldoret’s dump sites and sell to Green Biz. Young people employed by Green Biz will shred plastic into small chips, compress waste into bales and crush glass before selling to manufacturers across Kenya. The enterprise serves as a platform to help young people access further opportunities.                                                                   

    What Stood out for us?

    After a year the social enterprise becomes self-sustaining, meaning Tumaini won't need other's help to continue and grow the impactful programme.    

Meet some of the people we have worked with along the way. Read their stories.

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  • Radar

    Countrywide
    Kenya
    Jul 2014
    in-progress
    £45,349.51
    Image for Radar From the Margins to the Front Page
    Image for Radar From the Margins to the Front Page

    Project Summary

    Project

    From the Margins to the Front Page

    Background

    Many young people feel marginalised, do not have a voice in society or are misrepresented by the media. This is a problem that is felt strongly by three communities; young people living in informal settlements in Kenya; young lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people in Uganda, and young care leavers in the UK.

    The Gist

    Radar will support young people to have a voice across these communities in Kenya, Uganda and the UK. It will do this by establishing mobile citizen reporter networks for young people, providing them with mobile and digital skills, tools and platforms, so that they can make their voice heard on issues that matter to them. Over 130 young people will develop journalism skills, benefit from growing networks and mentors, and will be supported towards accessing further employment.

    What Stood out for us?

    We're excited that Radar could be a catalyst for change in the world of journalism, turning young people from stories into storytellers.

Meet some of the people we have worked with along the way. Read their stories.

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  • PACEMaker International

    -
    Kenya
    Dec 2015
    in-progress
    £8,000
    Image for PACEMaker International Turbo Boosting PACEmaker International
    Image for PACEMaker International Turbo Boosting PACEmaker International

    Project Summary

    Project

    Turbo Boosting PACEmaker International

    Background

    Since January 2015, we have been supporting PACE to train secondary school graduates to be teaching assistants who are then placed in under resourced schools, improving primary school education and improving the graduates’ life chances. In the lead up to The Foundation winding down at the end of the year, we have decided to use our remaining funding to support several existing start-up partners we have a strong, trusted relationship with.

    The Gist

    PACE are progressing very quickly. They have already placed almost 100 graduates in schools, with both graduates and pupils progressing quickly, and leader Peggy receiving numerous accolades and awards for her work. Grabbing hold of all the great opportunity, the team is at full capacity, and is overstretched. So we are providing PACE with funding to bring on two new full time staff members to run their programmes, train and manage their volunteers, and build relationships with schools.

    What Stood out for us?

    This will create more capacity within the PACE team, meaning they can work with more schools, generating more income. This will help them to become financially sustainable and be in a position to scale across Kenya.

Meet some of the people we have worked with along the way. Read their stories.

7 of 9
  • Green Biz

    Eldoret
    Kenya
    Dec 2015
    in-progress
    £10,000
    Image for Green Biz Turbo Boosting Green Biz
    Image for Green Biz Turbo Boosting Green Biz

    Project Summary

    Project

    Turbo Boosting Green Biz

    Background

    Since January 2014, we have been working with Tumaini, who support children living on the streets. We supported them to setup Green Biz, a social enterprise providing employment to youth living on the streets who collect plastic waste items which they shred, compress and sell it on to manufacturers. This serves as a platform to help them access further opportunities. In the lead up to The Foundation winding down at the end of the year, we have decided to use our remaining funding to support several existing start-up partners we have a strong, trusted relationship with.

    The Gist

    Green Biz is now sustaining itself financially. However, they are collecting and shredding more plastic that can be picked up by manufacturers. This limits the amount of money they are able to generate. We are therefore providing them with funding to buy a truck. This will enable Green Biz to sell 20 tonnes of plastic per month, compared to the 3-6 tonnes they are currently selling, at a minimum, quadrupling their income.  

    What Stood out for us?

    We love that this will increase Green Biz's income and profits so significantly, meaning they can provide greater opportunities to street youth and feed funding back into Tumaini Children’s Centre. Funding for a truck is virtually impossible to find, so we are delighted that we can provide this for them, given its projected long-term impact. 

Meet some of the people we have worked with along the way. Read their stories.

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  • PACEMaker International

    -
    Kenya
    Nov 2014
    in-progress
    £31, 901
    Image for PACEMaker International PACEMaker International
    Image for PACEMaker International PACEMaker International

    Project Summary

    Project

    PACEMaker International

    Background

    In Kenya there's a 9 month period between leaving secondary school and starting university that's often not productively used. These secondary school graduates often arrive at University or employment underprepared with little real experience. Secondly, many schools in Kenya are massively under resourced, with as many as 52 students to one teacher in a classroom.

    The Gist

    PACEMaker International will train 100 bright young secondary school graduates to become teaching assistants and then put them into under resourced schools. There's a dual benefit - graduates gain solid work experience and skills which will help them to become much more employable; at the same time they will improve the quality of education and level of indvidualised support for students in the classroom.

    What Stood out for us?

    The dual benefit of this model makes it a no brainer.  It will have a huge impact not only on the young people who become teaching assistants but also on the students attending the schools they go into.

Meet some of the people we have worked with along the way. Read their stories.

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  • Sanergy

    Nairobi
    Kenya
    Jun 2013
    completed
    £50,000
    Image for Sanergy Fresh life for the fresh generation
    Image for Sanergy Fresh life for the fresh generation

    Project Summary

    Project

    Fresh life for the fresh generation

    Background

    In the Mukuru slum, Nairobi, 80% of residents lack access to hygienic sanitation. Diarrheal disease kills 1.6 million children each year. An untapped resource exists to help solve this problem in the form of 40% of Makuru’s young people who are currently unemployed.

    The Gist

    Young people in the Mukuru slum will build and operate 40 Fresh Life Sanitation facilities. They will receive intensive business and marketing training on how to generate demand and maintain high standards of cleanliness. The project will result in 40 good, lasting jobs for young people, 2000 people receiving affordable and lasting hygienic sanitation, and 300 tons of waste per year being safely removed. More broadly, the youth operators will be at the forefront of the Fresh Life franchise innovations, cultivating a social entrepreneurial spirit in Mukuru youth.

    What Stood out for us?

    We think that Sanergy’s model for tackling sanitation and unemployment is very scalable, and we want to help to prove this in their early days.

    How It Went

    The Impact

    Sanergy supported 40 young people to launch 71 Fresh Life businesses, providing a decent livelihood for themselves and for others they employed.

    The youth, Like Fresh Life Operator, George serve 2000 customers per day, ensuring that Sanergy’s waste collection services remove 5 metric tonnes of waste from their communities they live in.

    We met with Rhoda (below), a 19 year old mother of two who used a loan to buy a Fresh Life toilet. Rhoda is making $4 a day from the toilet from between 60 and 90 users. Rhoda has already paid the loan she used to buy the toilet and is about to franchise another toilet. As well as providing her with income for the present, Rhoda is now saving money to put her children through school.  

    One Thing That Happened

    Forward3D's Jonathan (pictured below) travelled out to Kenya to help Sanergy better use data. Jonathan determined which factors influenced the average number of users per day to create a statistical model capable of accurately predicting the number of users a proposed toilet could expect. Read Jonathan's blog making decisions with data to find out more.

    One Thing For Next Time

    Securing land to house the toilet is the biggest challenge the Fresh Life entrepreneurs face. Several people who Sanergy trained weren't then able to launch their toilet business because they didn't have access to land. In future, the toilet entrepreneurs will make sure people have land first before starting their programme. 

    One Other Way We Supported

    While visiting in December 2013, we provided communications support; through photography and video production

    Future Plans

    Sanergy now have a much better understanding of how to work with young people. They are successfully scaling and have now launched over 500 Fresh Life Toilets. They remain determined to ensure that everyone in the informal settlements of Nairobi and beyond has access to a clean toilet.

Meet some of the people we have worked with along the way. Read their stories.

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