Do it For Real – FAQs

Do it For Real - FAQs



An Award: what do you mean?

A sum of money to finance a well-planned social venture which has the potential to make a positive difference to society. We give grants to young social entrepreneurs: young people with good business-like ideas which will benefit others. We support ideas for social ventures NOT charity fund-raising activities. We support individuals NOT organisations so we do not pay into school or youth club accounts.

How much?

The amount given to an individual Award Winner depends on the needs of the venture. It is agreed in advance and must be spent on the venture. We offer several different Awards. Each has its own criteria and its own top limits.

In cash?

Not exactly. An Award Winner must have a bank account. Many set up separate accounts for their ventures so they can keep their business’s money and their own money separate. Awards for Under-18s can be paid into adults’ accounts if necessary and if all parties agree.

You could pay for us all to go on holiday!

No. Not with an Award. OEC will monitor how the Award is spent. We will need to see bank statements and all original receipts (not photocopies). But, once their ventures are complete, Award Winners who keep their businesses going can decide for themselves – within the rules relating to different kinds of businesses – what to do with the profits.

Do you have to pay it back?

Not unless it has been misspent. The money must be spent on the venture as agreed at the start. An Award Manger needs to approve spending on major items and needs to approve changes to the original spending plan. If an Award Winner misleads us and abuses the Award, we will reclaim the money or the items it has been used to purchase. This is not a situation we expect to arise so there should be no cause for concern.

Is it a loan? I mean, do you have to pay it back?

No. We do not want the money back and we certainly do not charge interest.

But you’re only…you need…you’ve got…!

…young? On our Award application form, we ask for the name of a responsible adult who will act as an “adviser” to the young person. This adviser might be a parent, carer, youth worker, teacher or other person in a position of responsibility

…permission? We talk to adults from the very start to be certain that young people have their understanding and support. For legal reasons, we need adults to countersign contracts. To ensure child protection, we ask for adult consent before we use photographs or videos of young people. These are not used if permission is not given.

…special needs? These Awards are open to all. Please alert us to any special needs, circumstances or requirements. We do not see these as barriers. We work with agencies and organisations, health professionals, care workers, foster carers and others. We know that adults with responsibility for looked after children need to be closely involved. Our staff are DBS (ex CRB) checked and, if appropriate, we request checks on other adults working with Award Winners.

Do you have to make a profit?

The venture is a business and should aim to, at least, cover costs. Better still, it should leave money in the bank to keep the business going. OEC will not ask for any part of any profits to be returned.

What if it all goes wrong?

If a venture ends with a loss rather than a profit, spending which was agreed by an Award Manager will be covered by the money in the Award and the Award Winner will not be expected to cover such losses. On the other hand, unauthorised spending from the Award would break the terms of the contract and would not be supported. Award Winners or their supporters who contribute their own money towards a venture do so at their own risk. Award Winners must arrange appropriate insurance, licences, permissions, health and safety checks etc. OEC will advise on what might be needed and can call upon experts to help.

Naturally, young people want their ventures to be big successes first time around. In reality, things don’t always work out that way. OEC will advise at every stage and will try to flag up potential problems before they happen. Even so, unexpected difficulties or disappointments might arise. We’ll sit down afterwards and talk things through with Award Winners. We’ll ask them to remember the things they did well, not just the things that went wrong. This learning from experience will help them – and other Award Winners – in future.