Dorea’s Agency

Since May, we’ve been running The Agency programme at Blackhorse Workshop. Fifteen young people have been attending twice-weekly workshops and receiving stipends to support their idea development. In July, three of these ideas won £2000 to turn their projects into a reality between now and December.

Dorea, 16, was one of our winners and below she’s written a piece about her experience on the programme…

So my name is Dorea Nengese, I’m 16 and I’m studying History, Politics, Psychology and English A levels at London Academy of Excellence Tottenham. Leisurely I’m an inconsistent bookworm and more so at piano, but what I did do consistently is attend a 12 week entrepreneurial program called The Agency! 

Prior to signing, I’d always labelled myself as anything but creative- let alone an entrepreneur. Whilst I do like to venture out of my comfort zone, The Agency was uninhabited terrain. From dynamic sessions, to trips to the producers and agents themselves, Cycle 1 was both nothing like I’d thought it would be and everything I hoped it would be. I think I speak for most Agents when I say that as the weeks progressed, our attendance became less about the coveted £30 and more about realising the ideas and desires we’d spent so long cultivating. Making potentially lifelong friends is something I’d hoped for but never once expected. Participating in cycle 1 has developed both my character and my skills set. More significantly, my experiences surveying the public in week 8/9 really exposed me to how articulate and ambitious young people are in my local community- challenging my own preconceived notions. 

Considering the fact that I attended the program during my exams, it was definitely three months well spent!Not to mention the fact that I’d been apart of a winning project idea- honourable mentions to my partners Tori and Asiyah x. Honestly speaking, we’d always believed we were going to win simply because we believed in our cause and it’s necessity. We affirmed that no matter what happened in the pitch, our passion and our personalities would carry the delivery. And Ignite its proof of that!

Cycle 2 began August 28th this year. I’d be lying if I said I’m not petrified. No doubt, some of that anxiety has a little hope and excitement mixed into it. But after winning the funding, my high has definitely come down. Albeit, The Agency and my fellow Agents have undoubtedly cultivated a space whereby I can be challenged and be comfortable. Our Wednesday workshops in particular are moments were I feel surrounded by a positive, supportive energy that accentuates my best traits. Witnessing the manifestation of the other winning ideas (Essence by Faith and Non-Stop Boxing) is also something I am looking forward to. I resonate with both their causes and I know that their projects will stand as landmarks in the legacy of London’s first Borough of Culture. And whilst I may feel all this pressure ahead of Cycle 2, it is one that is both shared- another shoutout into my partners Tori and Asiyah- and required for me to deliver Ignites mission. That makes for a rather smooth segway into what exactly is my project idea. 

Ignite will be a program curated for young people by young people consisting of a series of skills based workshops ranging from money management to lifesaving first aid skills in trauma situations. 

Our ethos is all about elevating disempowered youth and enabling them to effect their own education. Motivation for our project idea derived from our current schooling system that people have become victims. This is in regards to its tendency to diminish intuition and individuality in students. It is a parody of the Victorian school system that has moderated creativity and opportunity. Through our efforts we hope that our participants will 

  • Have courage and confidence taking up space in professional settings 
  • Be more equipped with relevant knowledge, skills and networks 
  • Develop an existing or restored appreciation for learning both in and outside of the classroom 


I don’t know what the future will hold and I don’t know how to end this blog post but I do know that being Agency alumni is GOLD on a CV. 

Watch this space!

By Dorea Nengese