Empowering young entrepreneurs: London Youth Support Trust

The client and their challenge

The London Youth Support Trust (LYST) is a youth enterprise charity that provides young people with the space and support they need to start a business. Through business incubation units based in deprived areas of London, LYST provide affordable premises for young business owners to work out of, alongside business advice and support.

In 2016, LYST required support to measure, analyse and communicate its social impact to local authority commissioners in new geographical areas, in order to achieve its regional expansion plan.  Historically, LYST’s impact data collection was focussed mainly on outputs (e.g. the number of young service users and number of businesses created) and a limited amount of post-intervention outcomes (e.g. how many businesses were still trading after the intervention).

Solution and outcome

Baxendale supported LYST to expand their impact measurement activity to include an outcomes-based survey for current service users, segmented into themes identified as mission critical by a new Theory of Change. As a result, they are now able to report their impact on the development of critical skills in young people such as employability skills, business acumen, aspirations and resilience.  The development of an alumni survey now means that LYST can track the ongoing impact of their business support programme for those still trading, and the impact of their employability skills training for those who have gone on to seek other opportunities.

We also developed a prospectus detailing LYST’s social impact on young people and local communities, a tangible marketing asset with LYST can effectively engage with Local Authorities in new areas; an essential part of their plan to raise investment for growth.

“Baxendale’s hands-on support in developing an end to end impact reporting process for LYST has been essential to our journey in becoming an impact-led organisation. We are now better equipped to understand our impact and critically, how to keep improving it.” – Pat Shelley, CEO 

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