Social Innovation Fellowship 2021: Lived Experience Leadership

Year HereHackney22 days ago

Launch a social startup in a year.

There is one final opportunity to join the 2021 Fellowship. With thanks to some brand new funding partnerships, we are delighted to offer two additional bursaries to emerging social entrepreneurs with lived experience of the social issues they are aiming to tackle.


About the Fellowship

Year Here is an immersive full-time course in social innovation, kicking off on 15th February 2021.


At a time of national crisis, we have an opportunity to reimagine society. Starting a scalable social business could be your best shot at impact – and learning on the frontline is where you need to start.

Over 10 months, you’ll gain deep insight into complex social issues and learn to build entrepreneurial solutions to society’s toughest problems – from the housing crisis to knife crime.



If selected to become a Fellow, you will:

·      Get frontline insights. You’ll spend the first 5 months working with the people hit hardest by austerity and gaining deep user insight. To deepen your systemic understanding, you’ll also work on briefs set by clients like Crisis, the NHS and the Greater London Authority.

·      Meet your co-founders. Our Fellows have an average of 7 years’ career experience in fields ranging from biochemistry to law, and from journalism to engineering. They will become your support network, your collaborators and, ultimately, your co-founders.

·      Build scalable ventures. You’ll test and build your own social business, with the potential to progress to our Incubator and launch it into the world. Venture teams are guided by expert partners like the Boston Consulting Group, ForwardPMX and BNYMellon.

·      Learn from expert faculty. You’ll get a personal mentor and receive tonnes of training from a faculty of more than 80 social innovation leaders – from award-winning social designer Lauren Currie OBE to Nishant Lalwani, Managing Director at Luminate.


Beyond Year Here


Finish the programme with a venture and you’ll get seed funding, business support, desk-space and client introductions to launch your business.



Our alumni have launched 33 social ventures including: 

  • Chatterbox, Chatterbox is a tech platform training refugees as foreign language tutors and connecting them with students and professionals across the UK.
  • Birdsong the feminist fashion brand selling wardrobe stapes made by women paid a fair wage. Featured in Vogue, Dazed and Vice.
  • Appt, a HealthTech business that uses behavioural economics to help patients manage their long-term conditions – with multi-year investment from Innovate UK.
  • Supply ChangeSupply Change is a digital marketplace that helps social enterprises to win public sector contracts – so that public money has maximum impact in local communities.

Those that don’t start a venture join other fast-growing social startups like The Difference, Switchback and Beam or lead social innovation at FutureGov, Nesta and Catch 22.


Our impact


Since launching in 2013 at 10 Downing St, we have worked with 212 Fellows who collectively have contributed 133,200 hours to crucial frontline services.

Our 39 alumni ventures have raised millions in investment and reached over 5,000 service users to date.


No course fees


Unlike a Master's degree or MBA, we have no tuition fee. This is a reimagination of higher education. Rather than spending a year in a lecture hall and paying £10,000 for the privilege, we challenge you to learn by doing – working on real social impact projects. Our partners pay us to be involved and that covers your tuition costs.

To widen access to the programme we have a small number of means-tested bursaries available, and offer additional support through TfL discounts and recommendations for flexible paid work and affordable accommodation.


Selection Process


We’re looking for people with a solid professional skillset and an entrepreneurial track record. This doesn’t mean you have to have started your own business before but you will need to demonstrate that you have a bias towards action. Drive, passion for social justice and a strong learning orientation are also essential.

It’s a 3-stage process: a written application, video interview and half-day selection workshop. Typically, 1 in 10 applicants secure a place on the programme.

Apply by midnight Sunday 17th January 2021.

Register to start your application at yearhere.org/apply


About lived experience leadership

Lived experience is the direct personal experience of a social issue or injustice. Read more on our Medium publication, Here and Now or read our FAQs.


We’re looking to offer places in the Fellowship, starting on 15th February 2021, to people with lived experience of the criminal justice system or of life shocks.

To be considered for a place on the programme and one of our lived experience bursaries, you’ll need to submit an application. If you are successful at the application stage, you’ll be invited to a selection workshop on January 21st.


Subscribe to Job Alerts

All Categories