YES Alliance: A European Network for Young Entrepreneurs
12 April 2016 - Impact Hub

New European Youth Social Enterprise Alliance launches in Islington

Launch event held at Emirates Stadium to raise awareness of ‘Social Enterprise’ to secondary students, and help them find ways to make money whilst ‘doing good’.

On March 18th, over 100 secondary students from Islington attended the launch at YES Alliance at Arsenal FC’s Emirates stadium, the first instalment of three international launch events that will be taking place in London, Madrid and Athens. YES Alliance is a new EU Erasmus initiative designed for secondary students to raise their awareness of social enterprise and build entrepreneurial skills across the UK, Spain & Greece.

The UK launch event was organised in collaboration by social leadership graduate program, Year Here, and pioneering community workspace and social innovation lab, Impact Hub Islington. Students from Highbury Grove, Islington & City College, Westminster Kingsway College, and Arsenal BTEC attended.

YES Alliance

Students took part in workshops to design their own social enterprises to solve local issues. Standout ideas included turning waste materials and unwanted furniture into art to combat littering and fly tipping, and the creation of a ‘legal graffiti zone’, using disused land in an effort to tackle increasing levels of antisocial behaviour and vandalism.
Josh Babarinde, CEO & Founder of CrackedIt:

“The event was incredibly easy to sign up to, and I was seriously impressed by the quality of everything – the kids were clearly getting a lot of important lessons from the day, and the venue was fantastic!”

The launch also included talks from local, inspiring young social entrepreneurs: Josh Babarinde, founder of Cracked It, a social enterprise training at-risk young people to repair cracked iPhones as an entrepreneurial route away from gangs and anti-social behaviour; and Ruba Huleihel, co founder of Birdsong, an ethical, feminist online fashion marketplace selling clothing made by women’s groups. Caesar Gordon of Young UnLtd, a coach from an incubator for young social entrepreneurs also attended and spoke along with one of the organisations young award winners.
Ruba Huleihel, Birdsong

“It’s really important we’re involved with events like this in the future so we can help spread the message that social entrepreneurship is a viable option to younger generations.”

Organisers Dami and Elo said:

“The event definitely left students feeling better placed to take steps towards being involved with or creating their own social ventures. Young people are realising “It’s never too late“ to start making a difference and earning money at the same time.”

For young people who want to start their own social enterprise, the YES Alliance also offers a tailored resource database for each region. Check out what’s on offer on the YES Alliance website, and download the UK guide here!