Inspire 2 Ignite launches in Milton Keynes

What a night we had launching in Milton Keynes! It’s not just another pin on our map; it’s an epic step in our journey to empower young talent.

We kicked things off with a room buzzing with Milton Keynes’ most curious individuals spanning a variety of sectors and backgrounds From entrepreneurs and educators, to our dedicated Ignite Champions activated young talents and industry professionals, MK:U Innovation Hub was bursting with energy and passion.

The young people took centre stage, supported by our founders Alex Hughes and Sam Squire

Alex and Sam raised some thought-provoking questions throughout the night. If you’re in education, how can we help support you? And for industry, would you like to receive activated talent through your doors? And here’s a big one: imagine if Alternative Provision was the best form of education in the UK? 

Ignite Champion, Georgia Murphy (Bidwells) and Victor

Panel discussions led by future talent

The young people had their opportunity to share their success stories, give testimony to the power of the Inspire 2 Ignite programmes, voice what they seek from Milton Keynes and some even took the chance to pitch their business ideas to the crowd. 

Alex and Sam illustrated the Inspire 2 Ignite programmes (The Ultimate Work Experience, Alternative Provision Programme, Organic Referral Programme, and the Future Talent Programme) with some impactful footage, cleverly put together by the Harry Pauley, of Film with REKO. Did we mention they totally rocked their presentation about what a start up creative company like theirs need to succeed in Milton Keynes.

Michael (left) with entrepreneur Dan Jones (right) last night. Dan backed Michael's business idea at our recent Next Step event

Michael’s story

We also took a deeper dive into the challenges faced by young people on our programmes, including those from Alternative Provision and those who are Care Experienced. Having recently been made a Protected Characteristic it has become increasingly important for us to give a spotlight to Care Experienced young people on our programme. One young person in particular, Michael told his emotive story, spanning three generations of Care Experience and his current life in sheltered accommodation. He spoke about how he is rewriting his future story since meeting our dynamic duo, Sam and Alex, which has been a true a game-changer for him.

Michael, along with Victor, Apryl, Bailey, Rico and Harry (with his REKO Team) absolutely smashed their nerves and wowed the audience.

Alex’s thoughts

When we give the floor over to the young people who we've activated through our programmes that's when the true magic happens. Some of these young people have literally never had anyone believe in them, or give them any encouragement to achieve their goals. The community we build around the young people is vital as an environment where they can thrive and write their own future stories. I'm pumped to build the community in Milton Keynes, along with Samantha Poole and Kristian Mackie and the energised contacts we've made this evening. MK let's do this!

Top left to right - Alex, Victor, Michael, Harry, Sam. Middle from left - Christine, Nathan, Luka. Bottom from left - Lynnette, Anastassia and Katy.

New connections and valued partners

It was also a wonderful opportunity for the Shift Momentum team to connect with the Ignite Champions, the young people and new contacts in industry. Shift Momentum are the engine which power the Inspire 2 Ignite team; CEO Christine Griffey, MD Katy Davies, EA Anastassia Arzumanova and Marketing Manager Lynnette Ellison, who all proudly supported Alex and Sam to make the MK event such a success. 

So, as the night wrapped, the vibes were clear. New faces, fresh ideas, and an unshakeable belief in what’s coming next for Milton Keynes. Thank you to everyone who came out to meet us, we can’t wait to bring you news of what comes next!

More information

Young people from within alternative care at their 'go to market day' with 'Curious About Ice Cream'

What is the vision for MK

Inspire 2 Ignite CIC is committed to motivating and engaging economically inactive young adults by offering mentorship, coaching, and support to cultivate their entrepreneurial spirits, explore their abilities and pursue their dreams. The launch event in Milton Keynes is a long-awaited milestone for the social enterprise, signifying the start of a new chapter as they extend their impact to the city.

In November 2022, at our Cambridge Launch Event, founder of Incubation Nation, Samantha Poole said that her commitment to young people is; 

Honestly I cannot tell you how happy I am that Curious Entrepreneurs are coming to Milton Keynes. During the launch event of this amazing project, I cried when one of their parents spoke about forcing her child into school and the damage it caused years later. Her only support was Alex and the team, and the results have been fantastic! I've personally experienced the damage that a lack of suitable provisions causes, so I'm 100% behind this. With over 2500 children with EHCP’s in MK and thousands more who have been pulled out of school and now being home-schooled… We need this support in MK ASAP. The children who are constantly excluded deserve better! Many of our influential entrepreneurs and high net-worth business owners were also excluded or expelled from school!
Bringing Inspire 2 Ignite CIC to Milton Keynes is going to make a real difference to the people of Milton Keynes. It will change the way the city looks at problems. We want to be a shining beacon of light for the rest of the UK, showing how our incredible city brings life-changing initiatives to its young people!
Kristian Mackie (left) and Sam Poole (right) have been advocating to bring Inspire 2 Ignite to MK since our inception.

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