Launch a social startup in a year

Applications for our Autumn 2022/23 Social Innovation Fellowship are open

WHAT IS YEAR HERE?

Year Here is a course in social innovation that is grounded in the daily experience of those at the frontline of inequality and focused on launching social businesses with the potential for huge impact.

We have two intakes per year, kicking off their Fellowship in Spring and Autumn. The programme is full time for 10 months, with an optional 2-month incubator. Applications for our Autumn 2022/23 programme are open.

BUILD SOMETHING THAT MATTERS

We think that starting a social enterprise could be your best shot at impact. Our Fellows pick up the tools of business to fight injustice. While other startups are flogging dating apps or designing solutions to some other middle-class inconvenience, we focus on problems that really matter.

To tackle the housing crisis, the growing needs of our ageing population or the reality of violent crime on our streets, we must start by listening and learning at the frontline of inequality. So your journey as a Year Here Fellow could start in a homeless hostel, care home or pupil referral unit.

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

 

2018-19 Fellow Laura Boyle at her frontline placement at Homeless Action in Barnet

 

THE YEAR AHEAD

Over 10 months, you’ll learn how to build entrepreneurial solutions to society’s toughest problems – from educational inequality to homelessness. If selected to become a Fellow, you will:

  • Get frontline insights. You’ll spend the first 5 months working with the people hit hardest by austerity and gaining deep user insight. To deepen your systemic understanding, you’ll also work on briefs set by clients like Crisis, the NHS and the Greater London Authority.
  • Meet your co-founders. Our Fellows have an average of 7 years’ career experience in fields ranging from biochemistry to law, and from journalism to engineering. They will become your support network, your collaborators and, ultimately, your co-founders.
  • Build scalable ventures. You’ll test and build your own social business, with the potential to progress to our Incubator and launch it into the world. Venture teams are guided by expert partners like the Boston Consulting Group, ForwardPMX and BNY Mellon.
  • Learn from expert faculty. You’ll get a personal mentor and receive tonnes of training from a faculty of more than 80 social innovation leaders – from award-winning social designer Lauren Currie OBE to Nishant Lalwani, Director of Investments at The Omidyar Network.

Find out more about the programme in our 2022 Prospectus.

GET THE PROSPECTUS

 

OUR FELLOWS

Fellows join us with an average of 7 years’ career experience, bringing with them a broad range of specialist skills and experience. What unites them is their brilliant personal qualities – resourcefulness, humility and resilience – and their passion for social action.

VENTURES

Finish the programme with a venture and you’ll get seed funding, business support, desk space and client introductions to launch your business. Our alumni have launched 50 social ventures including:

  • Appt, a HealthTech business that uses behavioural economics to help patients manage their long-term conditions – with multi-year investment from Innovate UK.
  • Birdsong, the feminist fashion brand selling wardrobe staples made by marginalised women who are paid a fair wage. Featured in Vogue, Dazed and Vice.
  • Chatterbox, an online language tuition platform powered by refugee talent, featured in The Economist, TechCrunch and The Times.
  • Fat Macy’s, a catering company that trains homeless Londoners to run supper clubs and cater events, with profits going into a savings scheme helping them raise a deposit for their first flat. Winner of the William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation and the WeWork Creator Award.

Although our programme prepares Fellows with the tools to launch a social venture, our alumni take a variety of different pathways after graduation. Year Here is about launching, growing & connecting the social innovators of tomorrow. Around a third run their own ventures, another third join already established social ventures and another third work in social and other sectors. All these avenues are valuable and have impact in different ways by helping build networks and supporting each other.

Mursal Hedayat pitching her venture, Chatterbox, at Crowdbacker

COSTS + FUNDING

Unlike a Master’s degree or MBA, we have no tuition fee, our course is free. This is a reimagination of higher education. Rather than spending a year in a lecture hall and paying £10,000 for the privilege, we challenge you to learn by doing – working on real social impact projects. Our partners pay us to be involved and that covers your tuition costs.

To widen access to the programme we have a small number of means-tested bursaries available and offer additional support through TfL discounts and recommendations for flexible paid work and affordable accommodation.

Find out more about costs and funding.

SELECTION CRITERIA

We’re looking for people with a solid professional skillset and an entrepreneurial track record. This doesn’t mean you have to have started your own business before but you will need to demonstrate that you have a bias towards action. Drive, passion for social justice and a strong learning orientation are also essential. Typically, 1 in 10 applicants secure a place on the programme.

Find out more about what we look for.

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

The first step takes 5 minutes.

Sign up to check your eligibility. If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent an online application form.

Applications are currently closed but you can register your interest for the 2022/23 programme and keep updated.

Find out more about the application and selection process.

 

 

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

Closing our Doors

Year Here will be closing by the end of this year. Read our blog to find out more about this decision.