Connect Fund

Connect fund partners

Our research shows that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are twice as likely as their better-off peers to be out of education, employment or training (NEET). There is also clear data showing that ethnic minority young people are disproportionately impacted by unemployment.

Together with The Centerbridge Foundation, Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy, The Towerbrook Foundation, Sainsbury's and Bain & Company we’re working to close the employment gap faced by young people from ethnic minority backgrounds, particularly black, Bangladeshi and Pakistani young people, in the UK.

The Connect Fund sits within our broader work on race equity and diversity and aims to help decrease the employment gap faced by young people from ethnic minority, disadvantaged backgrounds and promote systemic change towards a more racially equitable society. We do this by:

1. Building and scaling effective, impact-led employment programmes

We're supporting young people from ethnic minority backgrounds to overcome disadvantage and discrimination. So far we have partnered with two charities:

Career Ready partners with employers and educators across the UK to invest in young people from diverse backgrounds. It was founded in 2002 by leading business figures with a mission: to boost social mobility by empowering young people and giving their talents a platform to flourish. Since then, they’ve grown across the UK and supported over 150,000 young people in areas of need, from Essex to Elgin.

MAMA Youth Project is an award-winning London-based employment charity, established in 2007 to train young people from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds to succeed in the media industry. MAMA Youth are very well connected at the highest levels of television broadcasting including Sky, Channel 4 and ITV and well respected for talent development. They support 100 - 150 young people per year and aim to grow to meet industry demand for diverse talent, especially outside London.

We are planning to invest in four more charities in 2022 and another four in 2023.

2. Delivering a Leadership Academy that helps develop future leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds working within youth charities

The Impetus Leadership Academy, supported by Bank of America, is a leadership development programme to support talent from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK youth sector to progress into senior leadership roles and contribute to the national conversation on issues facing young people from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK.

In October 2021 we welcomed our first cohort of 12 participants. Find out more about the ILA here.

3. Convening key stakeholders

We are also convening key stakeholders across Government, employers and donors and sharing new learnings on interventions that can make a big impact.

If you’d like to know more or partner with us on the Connect Fund please contact

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