Operator O2 has announced that it has created a new crowdfunding platform for supporting social action ideas by young people. Under its existing Think Big programme, O2 already offers young people a grant of £300 to help kickstart their ideas and run projects which grow and benefit their local communities. If successful under O2's Think Big programme, participants can receive further funding of up to £2,500.
O2 has now joined with Hubbub.net, a graduate from the Wayra academy, to create the new crowdfunding platform dedicated to supporting social action ideas. Thinkbig.hubbub.net enables young people who have led a Think Big project to raise further income to support their ideas, and engage with supporters of their projects.
The first two Think Big projects to go live on the site are run by 17-year-old Saeed Atcha, from Bolton, and Deborah Abodunrin, 26, from London. Saeed developed Xplode magazine, a registered charity, which aims to enable young people to reach their potential in Bolton.
He believes that crowdfunding on Hubbub is a means of growing the size and scale of the project throughout the Greater Manchester area. 'It’ll help us raise the profile of the organisation and crowdfund some of our charitable activities – with particular emphasis on training young people with soft skills to enable them to be part of our future workforce,' he said.
Deborah’s project, SMT4Youths - Social Media Training for Youths - has already been delivered in London. She said she recognises her project’s shortcomings in building strong relationships with the young people that interact with it each day. 'We hope by crowdfunding through the Think Big platform, we will be able to gain funding to build an online web portal, which will allow us to extend our relationship and service to SMT4Youths attendees and members,' she explained.
Hayden Taylor, a Think Big Project leader now working at Hubbub.net said: 'This partnership will give another unique layer of support to projects and enable project creators to explore crowd funding as a means for financing projects and ventures. As a Think Big alumni myself and having used a Hubbub platform, I know the power it can have and the opportunities it can bring.'
When contacted by Mobile, Bill Eyres, head of sustainability at O2 said: 'We are hoping to support more young people through the launch of what we believe to be the UK’s first crowdfunding platform, dedicated to supporting social action ideas.'
He expalined how young people who have set up a youth project through Think Big will now be able to look for further investment.
'This will create even more opportunities for them to develop their digital skills, which will help them further their careers whilst benefiting the community around them,' he added.