The Prince of Wales Highlights Importance of Social Action in Enhancing Youth Employability at Wayra Open Future_

By , 2 December 2015 at 12:23

The Prince of Wales Highlights Importance of Social Action in Enhancing Youth Employability at Wayra Open Future_

By , 2 December 2015 at 12:23

HRH The Prince of Wales spoke at Wayra UK (part of Telefónica Open Future_) last week about the need and importance of social action in enhancing youth employability.

The Prince of Wales, is Patron of Step Up To Serve, which celebrated the second anniversary of its #iwill campaign at an event hosted at the Wayra start-up academy. His Royal Highness spoke to attendees about how participating in social action can enhance young people’s employability skills; develop resilience, empathy, while also honing team working and communication skills.

iwill was launched in November 2013 by His Royal Highness with cross-party support from the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Since then more than 400 organisations have pledged to give practical support, including Wayra UK, which has invested in social action since its inauguration three years ago.

To meet #iwill’s deliberately ambitious plans, HRH said that partner organisations were essential to enable 1.5 million young people to participate in social action by 2020 and thanked Wayra and Telefonica as well as other organisations for their continued support.

As part of the official welcoming party, Ana Segurado, Director at Telefónica Open Future_, Gary Stewart, Director at Wayra UK and Feilim Mackle, Director of Sales and Services at Telefónica UK, spoke with The Prince of Wales about Telefónica’s commitment to youth social action through initiatives like Think Big and Wayra UnLtd.

“The Prince of Wales understands the power of partnership and the ability large corporates, like Telefónica, have in evoking real change.” said Gary Stewart, who shared with The Prince the impact of Wayra UnLtd, the UK’s first facility to accelerate social ventures.

“To date, social ventures accelerated by Wayra UK have raised over £12.5M investment. More importantly, there have been over 100,000 beneficiaries from those products and services launched through the programme.” Stewart added.

250+ guest, including Rob Wilson MP, The Minister for Civil Society; Sir Nick Parker, Chair of Step Up To Serve and the #iwill campaign and Ken Olisa, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, were in attendance. TV Presenter Susanna Reid and #iwill ambassador Rhammel Afflick co-hosted the event, with ex-international rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio OBE on hand to give leadership advise to #iwill Ambassadors.

Other similar satellite events ran in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Notes to editors

The #iwill campaign
 In 2012, the Prime Minister asked Dame Julia Cleverdon and Amanda Jordan OBE to look at how government, business, the education, public and voluntary sectors could work together to support young people to engage in social action between the ages of 10 and 20. Social action is defined as ‘practical action in the service of others to create positive change’ and includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering.

Their report made a number of recommendations, such as embedding social action in schools, promoting references to social action in recruitment and gathering evidence about the benefits of social action.

In November 2013 HRH The Prince of Wales, alongside the party political leaders, launched the #iwill campaign to grow youth social action. The campaign aims to make social action part of life for an additional 1.5 million young people by the year 2020.

Since launch more than 300 organisations from across a range of sectors have signed tangible pledges of support. More information can be found at and @iwill_campaign.

The Prince of Wales is Patron of the registered charity Step Up To Serve (Charity No. 1154588) which coordinates the #iwill campaign. Wayra UK

Wayra UK gives direct funding and acceleration services (such as co-working space, connectivity services, mentoring, access to Wayra’s network and knowhow, training in entrepreneurship and business skills) to selected start-ups. Wayra UK contributes circa $US50,000 as financial investment and another $US50,000 in acceleration services, or an equivalent amount in local currency, in exchange for an equity stake in the companies. Within four years of its launch, Wayra already owns a portfolio of over 500 operating companies, grouped in more than 20 digital industries.

The funds contributed by Telefónica to Wayra start-ups exceed €18M, while third parties (public and private funds and angel investors) have contributed funding of over $61M to Wayra start-ups. The estimated valuation of all the companies in the portfolio is already over €500M. Wayra is part of Telefónica Open Future, the open programme that integrates the different initiatives of the whole Telefónica Group related to entrepreneurship and innovation. @WayraUK

Telefonica OpenFuture_

Telefónica OpenFuture_ is Telefónica’s global commitment to develop the talent and entrepreneurship, and since 2014 it coordinate all the groups of Telefónica’s open innovation initiatives, projects and activities (Think Big, Talentum, crowdworking spaces, Wayra, Telefónica Ventures, Amerigo and CIP´s open innovation factory fund).

Telefónica OpenFuture_ empowers, and invests in, technology-based people, projects and companies, in any stage of the lifecycle, in open fashion and in connection with private and public organizations. With an investment portfolio of more than 600 startups and offices in 17 countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia, Telefónica OpenFuture_ helps turn innovative ideas into successful businesses. @OpenFuture_

Press contacts

Wayra UK Danny Bartlett, Head of Communications, Wayra UK m: +44 (0) 7860 760 841 e:


Dominic Cotton

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