- What is the People’s Accelerator Programme?
The People’s Accelerator is a programme focused on social change and innovation. We want to support ideas that have originated with people in communities, to address social issues and inequalities, or to build on the strengths and assets that exist within these communities.
- What kinds of support does the programme offer?
The programme offers support through full day workshops, lunchtime training sessions, one-to-one mentoring from Amplify NI staff and the support finishes with a showcase day at the end of the programme.
- Where do the programme sessions take place?
The programme sessions will take place in Belfast and the Amplify NI staff will come to you for the one-to-one mentoring.
- Who runs the programme sessions?
The programme sessions are ran by the Amplify NI staff. We also get outside experts to facilitate some parts of the programme to ensure that you get the best knowledge, support and advice.
- How long does the programme take overall?
The programme runs over six months. Last year, the programme consisted of four full day workshops, two lunchtime training sessions and one-to-one mentoring sessions with the Amplify NI staff. The programme finishes with a showcase day.
- How many participants usually take part in the programme?
The programme usually has 15-20 projects taking part in it.
- Do I need to be full-time resident in Northern Ireland to take part in the programme?
You do not need to be a full time resident in Northern Ireland to take part. As long as you can make the sessions which are NI based and as long as your project or idea is based in NI you can take part in the programme.
- What age do I need to be to take part in the programme?
You need to be over 18 to take part in the programme.
- Can I participate in the programme if I am employed part-time, full-time, self-employed, unemployed or studying?
You can take part in the programme regardless of your employment status, as long as you can make all or most of the programme sessions.
- How do I know if my project is the right fit for the programme? Are there particular categories it has to fit into?
The only pre-requisite we have is that your project or idea is based on social change or tackling inequality in your community.
- My idea for social change is only at a very early stage – is it okay for me to apply to the programme now, or should I wait until it is more developed?
Absolutely! We accept ideas or projects that are at any stage.
- After the programme, does my idea have to turn into a full-time business or can it be something more short-term?
Your idea does not have to turn into a full-time business. Some projects last a few weeks or months and others because full time businesses – it is down to the idea or project and how much time you have to invest in it.
- What does the application process for the programme involve?
The application process is in two parts, firstly you register your interest in participating here. Then a staff member will set up a meeting with you to go through a short application form. We will then be in contact to let you if you have been accepted.
- If they support my idea and want to work with me on it, can my partners/colleagues participate in the programme too?
Of course – we usually have 2-3 participants per project but we can accommodate up to 5 people per project.
- If my project isn’t the right fit for this programme, can Amplify NI direct me to other sources of support?
Yes – if your project is not a right fit we will direct you to the support that is right for you. Amplify NI offers other kinds of support so we may be able to help in other ways and we will signpost you to other organisations that can help.
- Does the programme offer financial support (e.g. travel expenses) to participants?
If travel cost is a barrier for you, we can normally cover the cost of the train or bus. Please get in contact with us for more details.
- If I am not able to attend the programme workshops, will I be disqualified from the programme?
We ask that you attend all or most of the programme sessions. However we understand that life gets in the way so don’t worry if you can’t make them all, you won’t be disqualified. If you miss a session, it can be covered in your one-to-one mentoring. We do our best to ensure that programme sessions run on days that suit everyone on the programme.
- What happens on the programme showcase day?
On the showcase day, we will invite funders and supporters to attend and we will connect you with ones that are relevant to you. You will receive support about how to pitch your project or idea to funders and supporters beforehand. Don’t worry, it isn’t like Dragon’s Den, it is all about connecting you to the right people that can help you.
- What happens after the programme is finished? Can I still ask Amplify NI for help or advice?
You can still ask Amplify NI for help or advice after the programme finishes although do keep in mind that the Amplify NI project ends in October 2019.