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Our vision

A fairer society, where all ​young people thrive.

What we do

We are a not-for-profit that works with social entrepreneurs and philanthropists to build and strengthen organisations that deliver systemic impact.

We provide young people opportunities in education and beyond, helping them reach their true potential.

Working with us

We only provide support where we are confident we can add value. Thus, we are deliberate about who we partner with, to ensure we deliver maximum impact.

How we work


We partner with visionary philanthropists and organisations that want to transform young people’s lives. We offer bespoke advice, identify opportunities and leverage investments with an evidence-based approach. Great impact starts here.

Social Ventures

We believe great impact starts with great people. As such, we deliberately partner with individuals and organisations with strong theories of change, who mirror our ambitions.

For these change makers, we offer fully individualised support, access to funding and a ‘high-challenge, high-support’ home, to turn great ideas into sustainable and successful ventures.

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Our portfolios

Our society leaves too many families and young people behind. Often, it is the most vulnerable members of our society who suffer. Purposeful Ventures supports young people to fulfil their potential by building new ventures and growing existing organisations to tackle the challenges they face.

  1. Early years
  2. Mental health and wellbeing
  3. Vulnerable young people

Our history

Our team has 20 years of experience working with social ventures for young people


Ark founded

Ark is an educational charity founded in 2002. Ark’s early work included work on HIV and AIDS in Africa as well as child protection initiatives in Eastern Europe. Ark Schools (2006) marks the start of Ark’s focus on education, followed by the support of school programmes for curriculum mastery and school leadership.


Ark Ventures founded

All Ark’s non-school initiatives and programmes consolidated as “Ark Ventures”, focusing mainly on education. Within Ark Ventures, we helped other initiatives and charities to start, grow and deliver their impact at scale. As Ark Ventures, we supported Ambition Institute, Frontline and Global Schools Forum, amongst others.


Purposeful Ventures spins out of Ark

Purposeful Ventures extends its focus beyond education to issues affecting children and young people more broadly. It increases the number of ventures it supports and deepens its relationships with funders.

Ark continues to grow and develop ventures, taking the expertise gained from running their schools and sharing those lessons with the wider system.

Our team and trustees

  • Michael Clark

    Chief Executive

  • Aisha Washington


  • Nick Darbyshire

    Director of Funding and Community

  • Tom O'Beirne

    Director of Delivery

  • Courtney Gainer

    Director of Research and Pipeline

  • Libby Dangoor

    Chair of Trustees

  • Lucy Heller


  • Ed Fidoe


  • Doug Thomson

    Philanthropy Adviser

  • Sophie Humphreys OBE

    Social Entrepreneur in Residence

Our supporters

Our supporters

  • XTX Markets
  • The Hg Foundation
  • UBS Optimus Foundation
  • Ark
  • Save the Children

Join our team

Thank you for your interest in joining Purposeful Ventures. We do not currently have any vacancies, but we encourage you to keep an eye out for new opportunities here and follow us on LinkedIn to hear about our current work.

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Get in touch

We are always on the look-out for new ventures, supporters and talent. Get in touch and we will aim to get back to you within the week.

The Yellow Building
1 Nicholas Road
W11 4AN