Why impact is so important to Young Enterprise

Why impact is so important to Young Enterprise

We LOVE hearing from young people who have taken part in our programmes and challenges, as well as from our inspirational volunteers and educators:

“It gave me the opportunity to do something I wouldn’t normally have the chance to do and gave me a real insight into the many parts of business and how they work.” Company Programme participant 

“I love the fact that I had the opportunity especially before GCSEs to look at jobs and their specifications. I now know to budget and how much the average job pays.” Learn to Earn participant

“It was really fun and taught us a lot about managing money and I learnt stuff I didn’t know, if I have £10 and want to get 10 things, I have to try and fit them in my budget and not ask my mum for more money.” Money Heroes participant

We celebrate all of the positive feedback we receive, like the examples above, and we measure our impact in lots of other ways too.

In fact, we have a responsibility at Young Enterprise to be clear about the overall impacts we want to achieve and to effectively measure how well we are doing, plus we are keen to learn from things that do not work as well as we expect.

Having a well-evidenced and balanced understanding of our impact at Young Enterprise helps us stay true to our purpose and goals, as well as helping us to continually improve our opportunities and support.

The impacts we want to achieve

Young Enterprise is extremely proud in 2023 to be celebrating 60 years of transforming young people’s futures, during which time 7.2 million young people have engaged in our financial and enterprise education programmes and services.

Throughout our history, we have provided young people with support and opportunities through ‘learning by doing’ – experiences they might not otherwise have access to – helping young people to reach their full potential.

Our current ‘No Time Like the Future’ Strategy has seen us prioritise our resources to support young people and educators in underserved communities and those with less access to opportunities, while also continuing to offer access to opportunities for all.

Our Vision is, “Every young person has the opportunity to learn the vital skills and enterprising mindset needed to earn and look after their money and make a positive contribution to their community.”

How we measure impact at Young Enterprise

We begin 2023 with the creation of a new department at Young Enterprise dedicated to Impact and Insight, reflecting how important these two areas are to our plans.

Some aspects of impact measurement at Young Enterprise have been in place for a long time:

  • Young Enterprise already has well-established processes for recording how many young people, educators, schools and other organisations take part in our programmes, as well as learning about which parts they particularly like and which parts they would change.
  • We use surveys plus more targeted in-depth research to measure changes in young people’s knowledge, skills and attitudes over time, and this evidence gives confidence to schools and funding partners about what participants achieve.
  • Moving beyond individual programmes, we are increasingly tracking the journeys of the same groups of young people over time, measuring the benefits of reinforced learning from accessing Young Enterprise opportunities at multiple points during their educational pathways.

There are other areas of impact measurement that we will be developing further between now and 2030:

  • We will be staying in touch with young people who are taking their next steps out of formal education and training, an especially important period for young people to draw on their Young Enterprise experiences.
  • We will be refining how we measure our impact in underserved communities, and we are already beginning to do this through initiatives like Project IF (Inspiring Futures), which offers a mix of funded support options for schools in eligible parts of the country.
  • We will be working closely with young people, educators, volunteers and other partners to collaboratively develop how Young Enterprise approaches measurement in the future.

Find out more

Young Enterprise’s organisational theory of change is published on our website which transparently sets out our purpose, goals and how we define our high-level impacts.

We also have a considerable bank of impact stories which provide real-life examples of how our work makes a difference.

For more information, please contact Andrew Berry, Head of Impact and Insights at Young Enterprise