The Oh Yeah Music Centre's Volume Control project in Belfast wins Inspiring Youth Enterprise grant funding

Each of the winning not-for-profit organisations successfully bid for funding to run a range of different programmes and projects. Their innovative and exciting ideas include everything from a project that reclaims discarded furniture and transforms it into viable business products, to programmes that help young people turn musical interest into music industry enterprises.

The Inspiring Enterprise programme, run by RBS, is providing £500,000 in grants each year for three years to organisations that help young people explore enterprise, develop their skills and start-up in business.

City West Housing Trust: Transformers - Transforming furniture and lives

The winners include the City West Housing Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that owns 14,600 homes in Salford.

The Transformers project will offer local young people the chance to learn how to upcycle abandoned furniture for re-sale. Those who take part will gain the manual and entrepreneurial skills needed to sustain and upscale the venture, including team working, marketing, negotiation, market awareness, communication skills, problem solving and IT.

The project aims to work with 20 local young people who are not in employment, education or training or have a history of offending, over a period of three months. Viv Simon, Head of Enterprise, City West Housing Trust said,

“The RBS Inspiring Youth Enterprise funding will allow City West Housing Trust to evolve and sharpen its offer to some of the most marginalised young people in our communities. We are excited about the possibility of helping young people in Salford make money from what others would class as junk, along with fostering a ‘can do’ attitude and entrepreneurial spirit. Thanks to RBS, we will be able to help invigorate the local economy.”

Oh Yeah Music Centre: Turning up the volume

Another organisation to win funding is the award-winning Oh Yeah team from Belfast. The Oh Yeah Music Centre, is a charity which hosts events ranging from photographic exhibitions to live performances.

They have previously hosted a series of outreach programmes providing training to disadvantaged young people in the fields of music photography, drumming and DJ skills. They have been chosen for their programme Volume Control which is a mentoring project based at the Oh Yeah music centre. Volume Control develops entrepreneurial knowledge and skills in events and music industry enterprise. The project is leading the way in youth-led music events in Northern Ireland and since it launched in 2009, has reached over 4,000 young people.

In 2015, 12 young people will develop their business skills by organising events, and setting up and running their own record label. They will take what they’ve learned into the community, to mentor other young people and help organise a "Youth in Industry" conference. Volume Control aims to reach 14-18 year olds from all backgrounds across Belfast and to help 18-30 year olds who have graduated from the project, to develop their business ideas and plans.

Charlotte Dryden, Project Manager, Volume Control added,

“RBS Inspiring Youth Enterprise is helping us continue and expand a project which has already helped thousands of young people in Northern Ireland experience working in the music industry and realise their full potential.”

RBS Inspiring Youth Enterprise funding proves popular

176 organisations applied for grants in this, the fifth round of Inspiring Youth Enterprise funding. 19 applications made it through to the final stage that included both a judging panel and public vote.

Thom Kenrick, Head of Sustainability Programmes, at RBS said: "There are a lot of good organisations out there working to develop the potential within young people right across the UK. We received a large number of applications, and I know the judges found it very difficult to narrow down this shortlist.

“With over 4,300 public votes cast in the final round, it shows that the appetite for supporting youth enterprise is strong.”

The full list of grant winners is as follows:

For more information about how RBS is helping to support entrepreneurs, visit the Inspiring Enterprise website