Founders4Schools partners with the Careers and Enterprise company to help young people achieve their potential
22 Mar 2016

Closer relationship with The Careers & Enterprise Company, will see the F4S platform available to an additional 1.5 million youngsters in England within 18 months

22 March 2016: Today, Founders4Schools has been named as a beneficiary of a major investment fund created by The Careers & Enterprise Company. The fund forms part of a national scheme to help prepare 11-18 year olds for the world of work.

 The Founders4Schools programme started in 2011 and has grown to be the UK’s largest charity dedicated to helping close the skills gap by inspiring young people about the jobs of tomorrow. The programme gives students access to leaders of growing businesses with more than £1million in revenue. The business leaders speak in classrooms about how the subjects students take at school relate to the businesses that are driving economic growth in the UK, thereby helping them to develop their understanding of the jobs market and raise their aspirations.

 The Founders4Schools nation-wide network is currently supported by more than 100 partners and 9,000 volunteers. The grant will be used to grow this network and connect thousands more students with successful business leaders.


Sherry Coutu CBE, Founder and Chairman of Founders4Schools, said:

 “This partnership represents a major step for Founders4Schools. We know that our platform works incredibly well, that students who come into contact with our 10,000, inspirational volunteer founders, see huge benefits to their careers. Now, thanks to vast network of co-ordinators with teachers in schools we can see thousands more teachers receive training on how to make the most of the opportunity that Founders4Schools presents their classes, their school and their local community.


Jane Galvin, Trustee of Founders4Schools and Managing Director for Barclays in the Eastern Region, said:

 “In my role at Barclays I speak to businesses and entrepreneurs across the Eastern region and theyconsistently tell me that one of their biggest challenges is finding staff with the right skills to help themgrow their companies. This partnership with CEC means that Founders4Schools can inspire manyhundreds of thousands more youngsters both in the Eastern region and across the country to study STEM subjects and get their own careers off to the best start.” 


The CEC fund has been created to increase the number of encounters young people have with employers while in education which, according to research1, dramatically reduces their chances of becoming NEET and increases future salary by on average 18%. Despite this evidence, currently only 40% of schools offer employer engagement to young people with careers and enterprise provision varying dramatically across England. According to the Careers & Enterprise Company’s 'Cold Spots' report those in northern, coastal and rural regions have the least support in England. 


Claudia Harris, CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

We are delighted to award Founders4Schools with funding to continue its amazing work. There are a huge number of extraordinary organisations working across the country to connect business to schools and colleges, creating encounters that inspire and inform young people about the future. We are pleased The Careers & Enterprise Company Investment Fund will support a set of those organisations to reach nearly 250,000 further young people, especially in ‘Cold Spot’ areas of greatest need. We look forward to working with Founders4Schools and seeing the impact it continues to have on the young people it works with.


The Careers & Enterprise Company exists to help inspire and prepare young people to take control of their futures. To do this, it will help them make the link between their education and future career and build the attitudes and attributes they will need to succeed. By filling gaps in the provision of careers and enterprise activities across the country and by increasing employer engagement it will help all young people achieve their potential.



1 Young adults who have greater levels of contact with employers whilst at school are significantly less likely to be NEET and can expect, when in full-time employment, to earn up to 18% more than peers who had no such workplace exposure. Source: Percy, C & Mann, A. 2014. “School-mediated employer engagement and labour market outcomes for young adults Wage premia, NEET outcomes and career confidence” in Mann et al, eds. Understanding Employer Engagement in Education. London & New York: Routledge.


About Founders4Schools

  • Founders4Schools is the UK’s largest charity dedicated to helping close the skills gap by inspiring young people about the jobs of tomorrow by giving them access to leaders of growing businesses.
  • Founders4Schools enables young people to understand how the subjects they take at school relate to the businesses that are driving economic growth in the UK thereby helping them to raise their aspirations
  • Our nation-wide network means we are supported by more than 100 partners and 9,000 volunteers who lead growing businesses with more than 1 million in revenue and who are willing to visit schools to speak to students in the classrooms
  • For more information on Founders4Schools see

About The Careers & Enterprise Company

  • The Careers & Enterprise Company is a government backed organisation launched to ‘join the dots’ in careers and enterprise provision across England. It has four key principles:
    • Test, learn and adapt
    • Build on what works
    • Work nationally, tailor locally
    • Enable and convene the best programmes
  • Its work is focused on research by Sir John Holman showing that for young people to have the best chance of successfully entering work, they should leave education having had:
    • Encounters with employers, workplaces and higher and further education to inspire them about their future
    • Information to understand their options
    • Support to plan for a fulfilling and successful career
  • In one year, The Careers & Enterprise Company has launched three key initiatives to improve the quality and consistency of careers and enterprise provision across England:
    • It found where in England young people face the greatest challenge in accessing the careers and enterprise provision they need – so called ‘Cold Spot’ areas. The Company then launched a £5 million fund to invest in organisations with established programmes so they could scale-up to do more in the ‘Cold Spot’ areas identified
    • The Company partnered with LEPs to create the Enterprise Adviser network and connect senior business volunteers with schools and colleges. The network will allocate every school in England its own Enterprise Adviser who will galvanise local careers and enterprise programmes and employers, making it simpler for businesses to engage with schools. They, in turn, are supported by Enterprise Coordinators who work with clusters of 20 schools to help them access the best local employers and programmes such as inspirational speakers and CV workshops
    • The Company is building and collating research into which types of encounters have the biggest impact on young people. Findings has been developed into a toolkit for its Enterprise Advisers and Coordinators to improve consistency in careers and enterprise provision across the country
  • With research demonstrating the impact that mentoring has in reducing disengagement in young people, particularly prior to their GCSEs, The Company is focussing on mentoring as a core programme with the support of funding allocated as part of the Prime Minister’s Life Chances Strategy. More details on the mentoring strategy will be announced later in the year but it will be enabled digitally through the Enterprise Passport.
  • The Enterprise Passport will be launched by The Company and help young people record the careers and enterprise activities they take part in. Alongside this will be a portal for stakeholders to navigate the complex careers and enterprise landscape.
  • The Careers & Enterprise Investment Fund was overseen by an external independent steering committee including representatives from: UKCES, Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), Impetus-PEF and the Department for Education. The process was overseen by highly experienced investment fund manager, Daniela Barone-Soares, with the final decision ratified by the Board of The Careers & Enterprise Company.
    • Daniela was previously CEO of Impetus-PEF and served on the Advisory Board of Big Society Capital and on the UK National Advisory Board for the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce
  • The Company Board includes: Christine Hodgson FCA, Chairman of Capgemini UK plc, The Rt Hon The Lord Young of Graffham CH DL, Steve Holliday, Chief Executive of National Grid plc, Brian Lightman former general secretary of ASCL, Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO, CBE and Claudia Harris
  • More about the process for The Careers & Enterprise Investment Fund decision making process can be found here:
  • For further information on The Careers & Enterprise Company:

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