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Seven young innovators win share of $70,000 seed funding

Seven young Australian innovators are ready to take their ventures to the next level after securing $10,000 in seed funding at a live Sydney pitch up event held by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA).

Ryan Tilley, Caitlin Figueiredo, Madeline Green, Hayley McQuire, Amy Whitten, Sakshi Thakur and Yvonne Xu, were selected from 45 participant pitch-ups in the 2018 Young Social Pioneers program.

The pitch-ups are the culmination of the six month immersive incubator program that helps small businesses and initiatives making a social impact to develop the competencies and networks required to be successful.

FYA CEO, Jan Owen AM said the 2018 cohort were indicative of the potential Australia’s 4.6 million young people possess and reinforced the need for investment in youth entrepreneurship.

“This year’s participants are from all states and territories, diverse backgrounds with vastly different experience and ideas. Each of them are indicative of a generation working with and within systems to create practical, lasting change,” Ms Owen said.

“Our responsibility to these young people is to harness, focus and amplify their ideas, thinking and voices to ensure a better future for our communities, country and planet. This is exactly what Young Social Pioneers aims to do. ”

In the last nine years, Young Social Pioneers has supported more than 290 different initiatives and ideas from young people nationwide, with many former participants still thriving in their work today including Usman Iftikhar, co-Founder of Catalysr; Vanessa Marian, director of Groove Therapy; Jordan O’Reilly, co-Founder of HireUp; Olivia Fleming, Founder and director of The Little HELP Project; Taj Pabari, Founder of Fiftysix Creations; and more.

Young Social Pioneers was made possible through the support of key corporate and philanthropic partners Australian Unity, Citi Australia, Charter Hall, Dyson Bequest, Third Link, Vasudhara and the Wilson Foundation.

For the full 2018 Young Social Pioneers cohort see here.

Open Stream – Sakshi Thakur

Sakshi is a 24 year old social entrepreneur from Melbourne. She founded ‘Humanism’, which aims to alleviate relative poverty through education and dignified employment opportunities. They currently provide 15 women from rural Pondicherry, with textiles education and dignified employment. The women make and screen print personalised tote and string bags from recycled material and organic cotton.