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You Make It

Our programme empowers unemployed young women with the confidence, professional networks, experiences and tools needed to realise their voice and earning potential in their city.

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We bring together amazing people and places to help our women transform how they perceive themselves and the role they can and should play to change their lives

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"I don't know what's going to happen to me in the future but I know it's going to be better than the path I was on before. I wish every woman could take part in You Make It"

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"It's given me the motivation and kick to start my business and get where I want to. If you want to find the person to change your life...look in the mirror!"

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About Us



“You Make It is not just an employability scheme – that is just one of the outcomes” – Asma Shah, CEO 

Our founding CEO, Asma Shah, had been living in Bethnal Green for some 17 years, having spent her first 18 years living on a council estate in Peckham. While she had progressed her career within creative and cultural sector organisations, seeing the devastating effects of austerity and the impact of gentrification on local residents, Asma was motivated to make a change.

You Make It was designed in response and first ran as a virtually funding free pilot all from Asma’s kitchen table.

We empower young unemployed women with the confidence, skills, networks, knowledge and experiences needed to realise their passions and pursue their goals. 

You Make It offers a holistic and uplifting approach to job-seeking that puts individuality and self-esteem at its core.

Our mission is to ensure all women, regardless of background, have access to the same opportunities to lead happy, independent and fulfilled lives.

What We Do


You Make It offers a creative and inspiring programme for young women. They are given the tools to transform their lives through personal empowerment

Workshops

We visit amazing venues for sessions by diverse and inspiring professionals on a range of key skills. These 3 months are the start of a holistic journey that gets our women more connected to themselves, their passions and their city.

Mentors

Mentoring is a powerful tool to achieve growth with work and life ambitions. We work with exceptional professionals from diverse sectors and backgrounds who are dedicated to helping young people reach their potential

Work Placements

At the end of the workshop journey, we offer the chance to gain vital experience in industries that are tough to get into. Some of our previous hosts include Royal Opera House, Barbican Centre, SapientNitro and Elbow Productions.

Trading Places

Creative and enterprising women will run a stall for one weekend at the famous Old Spitalfields Market. This exciting training opportunity puts their products and newly developed confidence and business skills to the test.

Ladies' Den

This startup initiative supports women to believe in their dreams and get their business ideas off the ground. After intensive brainstorming sessions, women will pitch to a panel of business experts for the chance to win investment and other support.

Graduation

Each programme ends with a celebration and networking event where our women take to the stage to confidently deliver a speech about their journeys on YMI to a room full of family, friends and future possibilities.

What does YMI mean to you?


Some of our previous participants discuss the impact YMI has had on their lives

news and thoughts


Zero Hour Contracts Are Not The Problem

Asma Shah, CEO of You Make It, writing in The London Economic. 12th September 2016 Sports Direct saw a brief change in fortunes on Tuesday when its decision to drop ‘zero hour contracts’ apparentl[...]

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Asma Shah talks to We Are The City

We’ve been featured in We Are The City! Read their interview with our CEO, Asma Shah, as part of their Inspirational Women series. “You Make It” is not an employability scheme – that is ju[...]

Read More

Who We Are


Our management team delivers the programme with a range of brilliant facilitators, consultants, mentors and volunteers

"I love my work as it’s all about ensuring something positive and with genuine social impact continues and grows!"

Asma Shah

Founding CEO

"I’m really excited to make sure that all our woman have a unique and fulfilling journey"

Roxana Jahanshahi

Programme Manager

"Seeing the inequality facing women and young people today inspired me to join the fightback!"

Sidra Zabit-Foster

Administrator

Board of Trustees


Our board is comprised of incredible professionals from the cultural and creative sectors as well as experts in the field of business and startups

I'm passionate about equality agendas, and want to support one that really makes a difference. Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair
YMI is an exceptional charity and I feel privileged to be involved in the work it does to empower women to realise their dreams.Chris Franklin, Treasurer
I am involved in YMI because it is an inspirational project that gives women a new opportunity to launch themselves into the world of work or start their businesses. It is simple, effective and it works.Clive Jones
I've been involved in the delivery of YMI since its pilot programme in 2011. Its mission is very close to my heart and it is incredibly rewarding to work with the brilliant young women on the programme. Ellen O'Hara
As a graduate of YMI, I know the genuine and constructive impact it has on the lives of its participants. I now have the confidence and essential skills that have lead me to full time employment. My horizons have broadened and I am able to pursue my own goals and dreams. YMI was a transformational part of my journey and continues to be a source of motivation, which is why I continue to support it as a Trustee. In today's demanding job markets and social climate, empowering young women to achieve their potential and follow their dreams is crucial. Abenilde Sousa
I was a part of the 2014 YMI cohort and I'm proud to say that I graduated from it to get a job as a programme coordinator for the Social Mobility Foundation. Being someone who has gone through YMI, I hope to assist the organisation in reaching even more young women so they too can experience the countless benefits and achieve their full potential. Sammy Hussain
I've been fortunate to work with people who've guided me along my career to have the confidence to try new and challenging things. Now I'm privileged to be a part of giving that support to others. I wish to help the graduates develop their ideas into reality. Ian Quest
I was inspired to join YMI after attending the 2015 graduation and seeing the incredible impact this programme has on its participants. I am honoured to be invited on to the board to provide my extensive consulting business experience. Atul Mehta

Alumni Ambassadors


We invite special graduates on as ambassadors to champion our work and be a spokesperson for future programmes

Before I started the programme I was very discontent with the direction my life was headed. I made it my mission to discover who I truly was, what my gifts were and where I could use them to gain streams of income. Since taking part in YMI, I am building momentum, exercising my talents and turning my dreams into reality. I am working on my book while waiting to start my Master's next year. I have secured a voluntary role relevant for my MA working to empower others and through this, I empower myself. Sada Cole
I think YMI is a great opportunity for young women, I encourage as many young unemployed women to get involved and as many corporate organisations to back our cause to help the charity grow! Since taking part in YMI I have grown as a person. I've learnt how to network and had the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting and well-connected people. I wouldn't be where I am now without YMI - I have a full-time job, a flourishing freelance career as an illustrator and a book ready to be published. I'm so grateful! Onyinye Iwu
I am a YMI ambassador because they provide a platform for young women to realise and believe in their potential and gives them necessary skills and tools to do so. Since taking part in YMI I have gained more confidence to pursue my business and taken positive steps toward this. The transformation I and other young women have experienced and gone through has been phenomenal. YMI not only addresses the issues we face in setting up a business or pursuing a career, but Asma shares all that is in her grasp to make the journey a lot easier. Aramide Fadiora
I believe in the ethos of the YMI programme. Being an ambassador fills my yearning to represent a platform for the empowerment of young women. I think that in the current social climate it is important to foster and develop the minds of the future generations. Since taking part in YMI I've become more confident, driven and focused on both the business and personal goals I've set for myself. What I've learnt has given me the tools and can-do attitude I needed to start my own business which will be launching in 2015. Tasharna Francis
I want to help promote this positive and amazing programme. It is a privilege to support the charity, to inspire other young women to achieve their ambitions and to answer any questions about the programme. I want to pass on the positive knowledge and confidence they gave me. Since taking part in YMI I have gained confidence in who I am and what I do. Following Ladies' Den, I won a bursary for studio space at Cockpit Arts and completed the Prince's Trust programme. I launched my fashion collection (thanks to YMI contacts) and took part in open studios where I sold my products. I have just passed a teaching qualification and am volunteering once a week teaching adults with disabilities. Mary Zreik

CONTACT US


Get in touch if you want to join our programme, are interested in becoming a mentor, workshop leader or placement provider or if you have any media enquiries.