Duncan McCombe


Duncan McCombe is a 21 year old Manchester-based social entrepreneur determined to make a difference. The idea for Network Young came out of his own experiences of career advice in education.

When he was at school and college, Duncan had gone from one career idea to another – teacher, actor, accountant… But with limited useful careers advice available, his final months in education saw him still without a plan for what to do next. Having decided that university wasn’t right for him at that stage, he needed an alternative.

To find out just what that alternative might be, he started to go out and meet people. He soon discovered that what he was doing was in fact networking – and that it was the perfect way to get specific, personalised career advice. From that point on, he knew exactly what he was going to do.

He sat his last exam on the 19th June 2013 and launched Network Young on the 21st June. Which, by coincidence, was also his 18th birthday.

Since then, Duncan has gone on to turn Network Young from a simple idea into a successful social enterprise. He’s also become known for championing a movement to equip young people with the career skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.

He shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, with a collection of new initiatives planned to strengthen the Network Young brand and further help the young people he works with.

Duncan's viewpoint

On top of his business activities, Duncan is often asked by the BBC to put forward the young person’s point of view on current affairs and politics. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast, the BBC News Channel, Radio 1 and Radio 5 Live.

“I’m on a mission to transform the way that career advice is given, forever!

For too long now, young people in the UK have been let down by not being properly equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to make a successful transition through education and into the world of work.

We want to give every young person the best possible start to their working life, so they can run headfirst into their dream career and fulfil their true potential.

The world of work changes on a daily basis and we want to make sure that young people are ready for this and motivated to succeed!”

Duncan McCombe

Outside the network

When not working on Network Young or discussing politics, Duncan can be found developing fresh business ideas, meeting new people (obviously!), representing Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity and Career Ready as an ambassador, or watching Manchester City Women play at the City Football Academy.

Would you like to find out more?

Whether you’re a teacher, youth worker, student, business figure, or simply want to know more, we would love to hear from you.