Power2 joined the Enterprise Development Programme in 2021 to diversify our funding and find alternative revenue streams in the changing funding landscape. Since then, we’ve successfully won over £750,000 of local authority funding. In this question and answer blog, our CEO Julie Randles speaks to Enterprise Programme Manager and Equity Specialist at YMCA George Williams College, Soizic Hagege about the programme and how it’s helped us grow.  


Soizic: What is your enterprise project and why did you decide to choose an enterprise approach?

Julie: We’ve been delivering our hugely impactful programmes to children and young people experiencing vulnerabilities since 2001. The funding landscape has changed over the past few years, with far more charities chasing every opportunity, so we needed to find another revenue stream for our work and, more importantly, reach more children and young people. As a result, our project was to develop our ability to respond to and deliver contracts for local authorities.


Soizic: What has been the greatest benefit to your organisation to engage with enterprise?

Julie: It’s been completely transformative. When we started the programme our annual turnover was just over a million pounds. Since then, we’ve secured £750,000 worth of local authority contracts. The impact speaks for itself!


Soizic: What do you think is the potential of enterprise to benefit young people? Have you seen any impact in terms of equity and social mobility?

Julie: For us, the benefit is entirely for the children and young people we work with. We know that our work with them has a hugely positive impact on their wellbeing and overall life chances, and our increased funding has enabled us to work with more beneficiaries and respond to increasing need. Through our local authority commissions we’re working particularly with care-experienced children who as you know experience multiple vulnerabilities, so we’re delivering equity that way.


Soizic: How did you approach the financial sustainability aspect of your enterprise delivery?

Julie: Our project is financially sustainable because increasing our commissioned work gives us greater sustainability as an organisation. It’s also had associated benefits – we’ve been able to use what we’ve learnt through the Enterprise Development Programme to secure charitable funding to support our business development plan.


Soizic: What have been the most important sources of support and innovation for your project?

Julie: The Enterprise Development Programme workshop on winning local authority tenders, which came very early on in the programme was the one that unlocked everything for us, and we then amended our initial proposal – with Soizic’s help- to ensure that we focused on that.


Soizic: What are the attitudes of your staff and board towards the enterprise?

Julie: Very very supportive. We have a very entrepreneurial approach that runs right through the organisation because every contract we win allows us to help more children and young people build happy and fulfilling lives – and that’s what we’re here for!


Soizic: Any final thoughts?

Julie: I'd encourage any organisation to go for an Enterprise Development Award, it’s a really great experience that has the potential to transform your organisation.