Accountancy firm offers the chance of free coaching to Mersey social entrepreneurs

The 2017 Accelerate programme, run by the EY Foundation, is focused on helping young social entrepreneurs (aged 18-30) across Merseyside and the North West. Tony McDonough reports

EY is looking to help young social entrepreneurs in Merseyside

Social entrepreneurs in the Liverpool city region can pitch for 12 months’ free business coaching from accountancy giant EY.

The 2017 Accelerate programme, run by the EY Foundation, is focused on helping young social entrepreneurs (aged 18-30) in the North West.

It also looks to help social enterprises which have a focus on supporting young people into employment, education or enterprise in the region.

Successful participants receive 12 months one to one business coaching, providing practical guidance and advice with the overall goal of helping to grow their enterprise but also, crucially, to increase their overall social impact.

Applications for the 2017 programme are now open.


The Accelerate programme also offers tailored workshops, to help social entrepreneurs understanding of the key operational and financial levers of the business; networking events to connect with other social entrepreneurs as well as potential clients, supporters and advisors; and even project support where needed.

To qualify, applicants need to be either a young social entrepreneur aged 18-30 or a social enterprise supporting young people into education, employment or setting up their own enterprise.

They must also meet three of the following four criteria:

  • • An enterprise that is already established with 1+ years of trading
  • • Working full-time on the business
  • • £50,000+ turnover per annum
  • • Have a credible plan to grow at a local, regional or national level which in turn will create employment opportunities in the future

Digital expertise

Ed Cox, co-founder of Reason Digital, a digital consultancy, took part in the EY Accelerate programme last year.

The company uses digital expertise to tackle big social issues such as violent crime, drug and alcohol addiction, the food poverty crisis, and diseases that define our times – HIV/AIDS, dementia and diabetes.

Ed said: “One of the things I got out of Accelerate was pitching my ambitions higher than they originally were.

“I had a fixed view on where I wanted the organisation to go, but being on Accelerate and talking to the experts at EY opened my eyes to some of the things we could do, or didn’t consider at the time.

More information on the programme can be found by clicking here and entrepreneurs can apply to the programme by clicking here.

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