Who are you?
Bella Alexandroff, Senior Fundraising Manager of Founders4Schools.
What do you do?
Founders4Schools is an award-winning EdTech charity working towards a vision where children and young people are given the best start in life, no matter what their background. We connect children and young people with inspirational role models to raise their aspirations, to fulfil their potential and to prepare them for the rapidly changing world of work.
What educational challenge are you trying to meet?
By using our simple, free-to-use, digital platform, educators from all over the UK are able to organise a range of role model events for their students with business leaders and professionals in their communities. We aim to break down barriers for young people with disadvantaged backgrounds and to open up opportunities for those who lack access to professional role models in their immediate environment.
What impact did the EDUCATE programme have on your product and company?
The EDUCATE programme has been instrumental in enabling Founders4Schools to establish a strong Theory of Change which includes three central outcomes of our work in schools across England and Scotland. These are to tackle inequality by providing equal access to the world of work; to support young people by connecting what they learn in school with the world of work and to provide young people with the confidence to allow them to take the next steps in finding their future roles in the workplace.
What impact will achieving an EdWard have on you personally, and on your company or product?
EDUCATE has not only given us the tools to evidence our impact, but also highlighted the importance of a robust monitoring and evaluation framework which is now integrated into our EdTech service allowing us to collect and evaluate data on a continuous basis. The EdWard is the acknowledgement of that.
We were a participant in cohort 9 of the UCL EDUCATE programme and have been awarded both Evidence-Aware and Evidence-Applied EdWards.
What advice would you give to prospective EDUCATE participants?
I would recommend the programme to any EdTech company. Each workshop provides insights on developing, scaling and evidencing the need and impact of our EdTech service. The workshops are also a great place to meet other EdTech companies and we have made lasting connections with many of them. The EDUCATE mentors are also INCREDIBLE! They have helped us in all kinds of ways and are so knowledgeable about the sector.