Ever wanted to start your own business or social enterprise?

Recruitment has now begun for the 2019/20 Agency process.

You can keep up to date by following us on Twitter and Instagram or liking us on Facebook

You can also watch a selection of films we have created for The Agency on YouTube

The Agency is a youth enterprise project that works with young people from marginalized areas to create social enterprises, events, projects and businesses that will have a positive impact on their local communities. It uses a creative methodology developed in the Favelas of Rio De Janeiro.

Your idea can be about anything you like, from a boxing workshop to a music festival or a film project, as long as you can demonstrate how it inspires positive change in your community.

You’ll be invited to pitch your idea to a panel of experts and, if successful, be given £2000 to turn your passion into a project, business or social enterprise, as well as professional support and guidance to help you succeed.

Delivered in the Moston and Harpurhey areas of North Manchester, and the Clapham Junction and Battersea areas of London (in collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre and People’s Palace Projects) in 2017 The Agency was awarded £883,771 by the Big Lottery Fund to grow the project nationally to communities in Belfast and Cardiff in collaboration with FabLab Belfast and The National Theatre of Wales.

    ‘It’s had a massive impact on my life, it’s inspired and empowered me.’ 

    Samuel, The Agency

    We have recently published a detailed report on the delivery of The Agency in Manchester and London. You can view it here: Agency Interim Report October 2017

    The Agency was originally developed by the Brazilian theatre maker and journalist Marcus Faustini in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, where the project has become a major force for change – Agencia de Redes para Juventude. The UK pilot was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

    In 2016 Agency participants from Manchester and London presented to politicians and policy-makers at the Houses of Parliament, speaking about their projects and the impact of the programme on their communities. The project was also the focus of a major Telegraph article: How the Rio Slums inspired a startup Revolution. 

    The Agency is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund 

    • Ages
      Aged 15-25 and based in Moston or Harpurhey
    • Contact

      Rory Dickinson, Leadership Development Manager



      Olivia Lee, Agency Project Assistant


      The Agency

      A Battersea Arts Centre and Contact Programme.

      In partnership with People’s Palace Projects, National Theatre Wales & Fablab Belfast.

      Funded by Big Lottery Fund.

      The Agency was initially conceived by Marcus Faustini in Rio de Janeiro and the UK pilot was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.


    • Details

      Annually between September – April

    • The Agency 2018/19 - Something To Say - Ade Adedeji, 16 & Alex Etosa, 15

      Something to Say is looking to create a book written by black people age 13-21 from the local community to share positive and inspirational stories. They will bring together members of the local community and empower them to share their stories and experiences. The book will be published and shared nationally to help change the negative perceptions of young black people.

      Since starting Cycle 2 in January the team along with their Producer Reece Williams have started to interview contributors for the book, work with a graphic designer on the layout and aesthetics of the finished product as well as reach out to publishers. They are planning a launch event in May 2019 so watch this space..........


    • The Agency 2018/19 - Clay Help - Destiny Hulme, 18

      Clay Help will deliver clay workshops for young people aged 8-18 based in Moston experiencing mental health issues. They will create a safe space for the young people to make unique clay pieces and designs which tell their stories and help them talk about their problems.

      Since the start of Cycle 2, Destiny & Clay Help along with her producer Jess Loveday have developed a series of workshops for individuals aged 8-12 & 13-18 that they will start delivering in early April. They have built partnerships with Mental Health charities to support and promote the work as well as reached out to local schools to ensure their reaching as much of the community as possible. They are holding an exhibition of the work created in the project on 11th May 2019, 2-4pm at The Whitemoss Community Centre


    • The Agency 2018/19 - EmPOWherr - Faidat Ope, 18

      EmPOWherr is a project that wants to liberate females to participate in sport and competition, with a campaign to highlight current inequality in sport & to empower females to take part. Since her initial pilot project last year which delivered a local campaign and sports day Faidat is now looking to grow and develop the brand of EmPOWherr by building stronger connections with female sports stars and organisations that promote equality in sport. This year her delivery will be in 2 phases, phase 1 will be to hold a weekend of activity including sports, workshops, discussions and debates around female empowerment in sport. Phase 2 will be an information fare promoting and highlighting the different professional routes that can be taken in sports to encourage more woman to populate the sport holistically. Along side this we will be selling EmPOWherr merchandise on our website very soon........


    • The Agency 2017/18

      Featuring: Dynamic Beginnings: Singing workshops with showcase culminations looking at changing the perceptions of young people from Moston and Harpurhey.
      GCSE Cloud: A GCSE revision app for young people to support them through their exams offering bespoke learning structures
      EmPOWherr: A female focused sports project looking to empower young woman in to taking up a career in sports.

      Find out more
    • The Agency 2016/17

      AFROBASE Afro-Carribbean festival
      OPEN MINDS BUT SILENT SOUNDS' supporting young people's mental health
      CONSOLE CODE coding programme
      REEL IT IN community fishing project

      Find out more
    • The Agency 2015/16

      3 POINTS basketball project
      BOUNDLESS BOOKS a book-share and writing programme for young people in care
      AMPLIFY a new music platform.

      Find out more

    Credits & Partners

    • Big Lottery Fund
    • Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
    • Battersea Arts Centre
    • People's Palace Projects