East End Connect seeks people to transform Hackney, Barking & Dagenham

East End Connect, our new partnership with UBS, the global financial services firm, is seeking enterprising people with big ideas to create lasting social change in Hackney and Barking & Dagenham.

Together with UBS we are looking to support 42 social entrepreneurs to start, grow and scale social ventures that will tackle local issues in communities over the next three years.

This new programme builds on the momentum and impact of the UBS-funded Hackney Connect programme, which helped 175 people into employment and benefited 2,000 people around Hackney. UBS leverages its financial support by also deploying the expertise of employees who volunteer, their skills and commitment to support social entrepreneurs and structure social investment projects – playing a vital skills transfer and capacity-building role.

Hackney Connect supported social entrepreneurs including:

  • Stephen Addison, from BoxUp Crime, who was inspired by the loss of valued friends to gang affiliation and crime. He launched his social venture to use boxing as a tool to educate and develop young people, moving them away from crime and towards hope and positive aspirations. Stephen now works with a variety of local schools
  • Eve Wagg, from Well Grounded, who developed unique barista traineeships and created sustainable routes to employment for Hackney youth
  • Kofi Oppong, from Urban MBA, who launched a social venture to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs. Urban MBA offers support and mentoring to help young people acquire business acumen and digital skills – retraining and re-educating to empower a new generation to reach their full potential

East End Connect is seeking early stage social entrepreneurs with ideas to transform their local communities, who will be offered bespoke packages of expert support and cash funding of up to £5,000 to make their idea a success. There are also a small number of opportunities for established social ventures with a focus on building access to employment to be part of an accelerator to scale and sustain their impact.

Mark Norbury, UnLtd CEO said: “Hackney Connect was a great success, driven by local young social entrepreneurs and UBS’ support, so we’re delighted to be working with a whole new cohort, expanding into Barking & Dagenham. It’s important and timely that East End Connect is launching now, when our social problems are so challenging, and we know that these enterprising, inspiring local people have powerful solutions and can play a much greater role in the economic and social life of our communities.”

Nick Wright, Head of Community Affairs, EMEA at UBS, said: “For more than 30-years UBS has worked to overcome disadvantage in Hackney by focusing on community investment, education and social entrepreneurship, leveraging both financial support and the time and skills of our employees., We are absolutely thrilled to be working with UnLtd again in 2018. Careful funding can really go a long way to achieving impact when focused at the local level, and with a long-term perspective. We are looking forward to supporting a new cohort of  social ventures.”

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Author Info


Paul Drury-BradeyMedia & Campaigns Manager

I trained as a journalist, and spent the first part of my career working for local newspapers in the north of England. I moved to London in 2007 to start working in culture communications. This role led to diverse project for the British Council, and developing creative social impact campaigns for mainstream consumer brands. I joined UnLtd in the summer of 2016. I’m a real ideas person; and love exploring new ways of working at the intersection of creativity, entrepreneurship and social change.

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