Set-up in 2005 to build on the legacy of Michael Young, the Young Foundation aims to adopt a creative yet rigorous approach to developing new solutions to unmet social needs.
This approach to social innovation involves methods such as ethnographic research, co-creation of new services by users and designers, piloting practical projects, social venturing and investments. Investing in start-up social ventures is one of the Young Foundation‟s main methods of social innovation.
The Young Foundation (YF) has been recognised for its work as a Social Venture Intermediary (SVI) and in partnership with the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), runs the Department of Health‟s Regional Innovation Funds Advisory Service, advising Strategic Health Authorities on how to invest in new social ventures to solve Britain‟s health challenges.
We define social ventures as organisations that:
tackle social problems (like obesity, educational disadvantage, poverty or health);
are financially sustainable thanks to revenues which come from paying customers, from governments or from charitable sources. We include ventures that distribute their profits or reinvest them;
aim to scale what works, through the growth of an organisation or through helping others to replicate their ideas and adapt them to their surroundings.
Our primary interest as an organisation is to apply the process of social innovation to social ventures, so we can achieve our vision as a centre for disruptive, rapid social innovation that is internationally recognised for developing ideas into scalable business models which can deliver lasting social change.