"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. Whilst she had progressed her career within creative and cultural sector organisations, it was the impact of gentrification on local residents, as well as Asma’s lived experience of racism that motivated Asma 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 from Black and Asian backgrounds with the confidence, skills, networks, knowledge, and experiences needed to realise their passions and pursue their goals.

Our holistic and uplifting approach to job seeking puts individuality and self-esteem at its core. Ensuring that 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 to access tools, networks, experiences and the confidence to transform their lives through personal empowerment. Our carefully crafted programme offers group learning, 1-1 mentoring, work experience and start-up support, along with 1-1 pastoral care and counselling to ensure that our participants thrive in every way possible.
We are constantly developing and strengthening our programme by consulting with our participants and responding to their needs. Our recently established Alumni Steering Group are in the process of developing a programme of activities to keep our sisterhood connected beyond the 4-month programme.
Our work falls within the Sustainable Developments Goals set out by the UN to end poverty, promote good health and well-being, provide life-long learning opportunities, and we fight gender inequality.


We visit amazing venues for sessions on a range of key skills, led by diverse and inspiring professionals. These 4 months are the start of a holistic journey that helps our women become more connected to themselves, their passions and their city.



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

work placements

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, Publicis Sapient and Red Badger.

trading places

Trading Places

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

work placements

Ladies' Den

This startup initiative supports women to believe in their dreams and gets 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.

ladies den


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

Welcome to You Make It


Each YMI participant goes on a powerful journey of transformation. We are committed to constant and open evaluation through annual reports and in-depth case studies.
Finding a path

Finding a path to work


of our You Make It graduates to date are now in paid employment, working on their own start ups or have gained places in formal education.


More confidence


of women accessing our programme report feeling genuinely cared for and understood.


of women report feeling more confident to visit new places.


Moving away from benefits


of women were continuing to receive benefits after graduating from You Make It — compared to


at the start.


Building social & professional networks


of women reported having a larger social and professional network since completing You Make It.


Dinah's Story

Go with Dinah on her journey to discovering her true potential.

Corporate Partnerships

How we work with
our partners

Discover more


Donations help put women through our programme and gifts in kind which help us operate as an organisation.

Support our work

Volunteer as a mentor

Diversify your employees’ skill sets. Enjoy meaningful and fulfilling interactions. Have a positive and lasting impact on our women.

Become a mentor

Learn from us

We’ve got a lot of valuable expertise to share. All of our partners across sectors can benefit from our consultancy and coaching services.

Find out more

Supported by

You Make It empowers, encourages, provides skills and offers bespoke support. It is the antithesis of a ‘one size fits all approach'. And because of all of these factors, it transforms lives.
Kate O'Connor, Trustee