The Knee High Design Challenge has reached stage three and the hundreds of entrants have been whittled down to just six teams. The teams have a mission to improve the lives of children under five and have been given a grant of £41,000 alongside support and mentoring.
Over the next six months, the teams will prepare to open for business with a full year-long pilot starting in autumn 2014.
We want to introduce you to the entrepreneurs behind each of the projects - their hard work and dedication has been nothing less than inspiring.
The six teams
Mission: Explore, Lambeth City Farmers and Geography Collective
Crafty Explorers provides families with missions that turn the outdoors into a world of discovery for parents and children. Crafty Explorers has been developed by Explorer HQ and members of both City Farmers and The Geography Collective.
Explorer HQ has a track record of developing innovative projects that help children to explore, play and learn outdoors. Crafty Explorers is led by Helen Steer and Daniel Raven-Ellison. Helen is a director at Explorer HQ and a GLA London Leader. Daniel is also a director at Explorer HQ and is a National Geographic Explorer who recently launched a campaign to make London a national park.
Tea Dance for Little People
Creative Homes is an artist-led service supported by a range of products that promote interactive play within the home and relieve day-to-day stress within a family.
Creative Homes is led by Sally-Anne Donaldson, Creative Director of Tea Dance for Little People - a social enterprise aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of families with young children through creative play. Tea Dance for Little People deliver live artist interventions that support families to change habits and behaviour, building routines to reduce stress.
Tea Dance for Little People: @TD4LP
Save the Children and Character Counts
Easy Peasy is a digital service for parents. It shares age-appropriate games and activities with parents that can help children to develop key skills such as motivation, concentration, confidence and self-control.
Easy Peasy is a collaboration between Save the Children and Character Counts. Save the Children is a global charity working to ensure that children achieve their potential, regardless of the circumstances into which they are born. Character Counts designs, promotes and evaluates public policy interventions that build opportunities to develop character.
Good Enough Mums Musical
The Good Enough Mums Club
Good Enough Mums Musical is a musical theatre production that aims to empower parents to share their honest experiences and seek support and advice in more effective ways.
The Good Enough Mums Club is conceived, produced, directed and performed by mothers who have all experienced the highs and lows of early-parenthood. Emily Beecher, who is delivering the project in association with Spin Arts, is a local mum who is committed to helping parents overcome some of the mental health issues that can be related to becoming a parent.
Tracey Gilbert, Hannah and Ben White
Kids Connect is an online tool that offers accurate, relevant and up to date information about local activities for families. It aims to allow parents to plan journeys, share invitations and build confidence to access activities locally.
Kids Connect is led by local parents and entrepreneurs, Hannah White and Tracey Gilbert. Hannah is mum to three year old Tilly and 11 month old Dotty. She has a PhD in social science research and ten years experience in the public sector working in the House of Commons and Cabinet Office. Tracey is mum to three year old Joshua and eight month old Samuel. She has worked within the IT industry for over 25 years, starting out as a computer operator. Today she is an IT strategy consultant with IBM.
Kids Connect: @KidsConnectApp
Pop up Parks
Pop up Parks looks to transform neglected outdoors spaces, improving them with sensory and playful interactions. They are co-designing pop up parks with local families in under-used outdoor spaces.
Pop up Parks is a new social enterprise led by a cross-disciplinary team of educationalists, designers and fabricators, and run by Intelligent Space. James Sale is a designer and maker with a focus on architecture, furniture and education. Jack Roche is a designer working across a broad range of disciplines including branding and identity, web design, environmental graphics and design strategy. Tom Doust is a social entrepreneur with 14 years' experience of designing and delivering creative multi-stakeholder educational programmes with children, young people, families and communities.
Find out more about our Design Challenges.