Making Contact: Our Transformation Find out more

Ever wanted to start your own business or social enterprise?

Recruitment has now finished for the 2018/19 Agency process, we will be recruiting again in September 2019. You can keep up to date with this years project by following us on Instagram and Twitter or liking us on Facebook

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 method developed in the Favelas of Rio De Janerio.

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 Big Lottery Fund.

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

      Steve Vickers, Project 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 2017: Dynamic Beginnings

      Agent: Aneka Wain-Jones (16)
      Since being awarded the funding and making it through the internal panel Aneka was the first of this years project to start her delivery. Through the seminars we held in the first part of the 2nd Cycle Aneka developed a more socially conscious aspect to her project in response to the spike in anti-social behaviour around the local community. She thinks her project may be able to benefit anyone within the risk of depression and anxiety se through her recruitment process she went out and spoke to youths face to face as well as speaking to school councillors to see if they might be able to refer any specific individuals to the project. She began her workshop delivery last week which is being facilitated by local artist Mica Townsend and they hope to have a sharing of some songs ready for early April.

      Following their workshop process “Dynamic Beginnings” held their first showcase event in the community on 13th April and plan to continue their workshops in the near future

      Find out more
    • The Agency 2017: GCSE Cloud

      Agents: Dublin Adbue & Adedapo Efunnuga (16 & 15)
      The team have been extremely busy since our last update developing their bespoke revision app. Since being awarded the funding the team have scaled their idea down to focus on just one subject, Maths. This will allow them to show the depth they want the app to go into without developing the whole thing on such a small budget. They have been consulting with product developers over at The Manchester Entrepreneurs and enlisting the support of Maths tutors to help them get a proto-type up and running. Last week they held their first BETA Test of the app with a selection of students they engaged through a questionnaire at Manchester Communication Academy and with the feedback gained they will continue to develop the app in the coming weeks with the plans for more testing groups soon and possibly a launch event in mid-April.

      The team are continuing to work with their consultants to develop the resources and have released the first version of the app in May.

      Find out more
    • The Agency 2017: EmPOWherr

      Agent: Faidat Ope (17)
      The EmPOWherr team, produced by Thirty Pound Gentlemen (TPG), have been planning and outreaching to schools since successfully making it through the internal panel. They have been consulting and having talks with some great links in the sporting world and have a very exciting potential brand collaboration in the works which we may be able to tell you about very soon. Starting this week the team will be visiting schools, colleges and community centres holding small engagement events while they start to build a brand and audience for their planned events at the end of April.

      EmPOWherrHeld their culmination event on 28th April which was a sports day for all the young women they had engaged through their campaign visits to schools and held taster classes in Football, Boxing and basketball lead by female sports professionals

      Find out more
    • The Agency 2016

      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

      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