Funding well-evidenced careers provision where it is most needed

The Careers & Enterprise Fund was set up to ensure that all young people are given multiple encounters with the fast-changing world of work. We focus our funding on where it is needed, with 75% going to the geographical areas most in need of support, or ‘cold spots’. 

We also use the Fund to test and evaluate careers and enterprise programmes and activities. 

Research shows that if young people are given the opportunity to engage with employers while they are in education it can: 

  •  dramatically reduce their chances of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) by 86%.
  • increase their future salaries by an average of 18%.

Our grants and understanding of ‘what works’ best supports careers programme providers to deliver increased employer encounters in schools and colleges across England. We carry out a rigorous assessment to make sure the fund is allocated to leading organisations based on:

  •  a proven understanding of how to increase the number of encounters young people have with employers.
  • a strong track record of success.
  • their ability to effectively scale activity to areas of need.

Helping more young people – our recent Funds

The Careers & Enterprise Fund 2016

The Careers & Enterprise Fund 2016 invested £5 million in 50 careers and enterprise programmes - of which £1 million was contributed by the Education Endowment Foundation and The Bank of America Foundation.

  • £1 million to support well-evidenced programmes in Opportunity Areas within which our research has identified deep rooted barriers that make it harder for young people to realise their employment potential.
  • £4 million to test, evaluate and scale up well-evidenced careers and enterprise activities in schools and colleges across England.

We are also trialing a rate card system as part of this Fund, which enables schools to choose which activities they would like to run.

The first 6 Opportunity Areas identified by the government through the Social Mobility Index are:

  • Blackpool
  • Derby
  • Norwich
  • Oldham
  • Scarborough
  • West Somerset

The Careers & Enterprise Fund 2015

Launched in 2015, in its first round the Careers & Enterprise Fund invested £10 million in 35 proven careers and enterprise programmes — of which £5 million was contributed by other funders.

The Fund focused on supporting young people in areas of the greatest need. 

  • 75% invested in areas in most need of careers and enterprise support
  • Over 265,000 young people have benefited from the fund over its first year
  • Over 20,000 employers have met young people through the projects we fund to date


Find out more about funding

We’d love to receive your application when our next Fund is announced. To find out more or express your interest please email us at


Careers & Enterprise Fund 2016 prospectus

What Works in Careers & Enterprise

This report outlines the evidence on which the framework of the second round of funding has been designed

Understanding the careers cold spots 2016

This report provides an update on the 2015 cold spots report