Impetus Leadership Academy

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In partnership with Bank of America, we are delivering a unique programme of management training, personal development, and corporate mentorship for emerging leaders from the UK youth sector, from ethnic minority backgrounds, to support them into senior leadership positions.

Participants are supported to explore and develop their personal leadership styles, increase their knowledge in key management topics, and access networks that can unlock greater funding and more senior leadership roles.

The programme has been designed and will be delivered by people of colour for people of colour.

The issue

Analysis shows that leadership teams within the UK charity sector are predominantly white, and funders are disproportionately funding white-led charities. Yet we know that racial diversity is not only good for society, but it is also good for business - teams with greater ethnic diversity perform better and make better decisions than non-diverse teams.

Analysis also shows that there is a race gap in youth employment with young people from minority backgrounds twice as likely to be unemployed than their White peers. Young people from ethnic minorities are also more likely to be in low paid, less secure jobs and work in more precarious conditions.

The Leadership Academy aims to support the development of future leaders and their organisations, to contribute to the national conversation on issues facing young people from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK, and ultimately improve the effectiveness of the UK youth sector.

Why Impetus

At Impetus, our mission is to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in school, in work and in life.

We have over 15 years’ experience training leaders and building high performing organisations working in youth employment and the wider sector, and we are pleased to be extending this training specifically to future leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Building on our own training toolkit, the programme also draws on input from experts working on issues of race in the workplace and in leadership.

The programme is one small step in addressing the lack of racial diversity within the sector and is part of our organisational commitment to embedding racial diversity in all aspects of our work and helping our charity partners to become more diverse too.

Course Content

The Academy is a 12-month programme, fully funded for successful applicants, and consists of 6-8 group masterclasses on key leadership topics and 6 one-to-one coaching sessions from Impetus experts focussed on personal development. Participants also receive personalised mentorship from a senior member of Bank of America staff, and have the opportunity to attend networking events with funders and sector leaders.

Key leadership topics in the programme include financial and impact management, managing teams, fundraising and presentation skills. Participation requires approximately 2 days per month during office hours, plus 3-4 days across the year for joint session with the cohort. The course aims to be accessible for candidates from across the country and aims to be accessible face-to-face or online.

How to apply

The 2021/2 programme is now underway. Applications for the 2022/3 cohort of the Impetus Leadership Academy will open in the summer of 2022. To keep up to date on the work of Impetus and the ILA, sign up to our newsletter here.


The Impetus Leadership Academy is aimed at aspiring leaders within the UK youth sector, working with young people aged 11-24.

Applicants must be from ethnic minority backgrounds and be middle managers or senior managers looking to move into a more senior role, current CEOs of small charities looking to lead a larger organisation, or Trustees aiming to move into the role of Chair of the Board.

We particularly encourage applications from outside of London, from participants from Black, Bangladeshi or Pakistani backgrounds, and from participants who have lived experience of the issues faced by the young people they work with.

Suitable candidates will have:

  • Commitment to the youth sector in the UK evidence by past experience and future ambition
  • Experience of leadership evidenced by results of leading an organisation, significant project or campaign, or other similar experience
  • Ambition to take on a more senior role in the sector, and be a voice in the national conversation on issues for young people from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK
  • Time to commit to the Leadership Academy over the next 12 months

Find out more