In 2012 Battersea Arts Centre, Contact in Manchester, and People’s Palace Projects adapted a Brazilian methodology to engage disadvantaged young people. The Agency was created, a project that uses creative processes to help young people to develop social businesses.
With support from the Foundation, The Agency was piloted in 2013/2014 and involved young people aged 15-25 years from Clapham Junction and Battersea in London, and Moston and Harpurhey in Manchester. The programme comprises two phases. The first phase engages young people by developing their ideas and encouraging them to see themselves as agents of change for their communities. In the second phase, projects are selected by an external panel and the young people receive mentoring in order to develop their business idea and entrepreneurial skills, including financial management and network building.
The programme aims to not only empower the young participants or ‘Agents’ but also seeks to have a long-term sustainable impact on the communities at the heart of these projects. The Big Lottery Fund announced in 2017 it will be expanding the programme to engage more communities and Agents across the UK.
Watch the video below to learn more about the project.