Inclusive Recovery Fund

The Inclusive Recovery Fund

This fund closed on the 13th of November. Applicants have been informed of the outcome of their application, and we will announce this information in the coming weeks.

If you are seeking other funding, please scroll to the bottom of the page where alternative funding opportunities are sign-posted.

The Inclusive Recovery Fund was a £4.75 million fund to help social entrepreneurs in England, designed to help social entrepreneurs deliver their important services and grow their impact while adapting to the challenges the Coronavirus crisis has presented. 

The Inclusive Recovery Fund was a partnership between UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs, and Comic Relief, announced in the autumn as part of a £10 million matched funding bid. It was supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport as part of the Government's £750 million support package for charities

The fund offered grants between £10,000 and £500,000 to asset or mission-locked ventures, with an emphasis on ventures with ideas to accelerate their growth, build resilience and create a deep and lasting impact. 

It aimed in particular to support leaders with lived experience. Leaders with direct first-hand experience of the social problems, who are activating these experiences to inform, shape and lead their social ventures to directly benefit the communities they share those experiences with.

  • New emerging opportunities to grow impact (for example, services that have emerged during the pandemic)
  • Projects or infrastructure that will benefit social enterprises’ future resilience, recovery and growth
  • Existing services, projects or models that are performing well, with the potential to accelerate growth and impact.

In recognition of the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on these communities, UnLtd particularly encouraged applications from social entrepreneurs who identify as Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background, and disabled people. UnLtd aimed for 50% of the funding to reach these typically underrepresented groups.

Longer-term, social entrepreneurs are likely to need significant ongoing support to face the challenges of a post-COVID future, so this partnership will allow UnLtd to develop an inclusive, ongoing support offer that will help social entrepreneurs to build their resilience post this fund and long into the years to come.

Key Information

Application Window

The Inclusive Recovery Fund opened for applications on the 3rd of November, and closed the following Friday. 

This short application window was to ensure the funds could reach successful applicants before the end of this year.

In recognition of this, we offered comprehensive pre-application support. This support is visible further down this page.


We looked for ventures with ideas to create deep and lasting impact, build resilience and accelerate their growth.

The key eligibility:

  • England-only
  • An incorporated social purpose organisation
  • Substantially reliant on trading income
  • Annual income between £20,000 and £2.5M

Application Assessment

In assessing the applications, we focussed on these principles:

  • Long-term social impact
  • Impact during the crisis
  • Resilience
  • Inclusion
  • Financial need

Due to the high volume of applications, it was not possible to offer personalised feedback on applications. We appreciate your understanding with this. 

Application Support Offered

Pre-Application Support

To disburse this funding as quickly as possible, we set a two week timeframe for submitting applications.

In recognition of the limitations this timing presented, we offered as much pre-application support as we could, in the hopes of avoiding unnecessary delays and ensuring everything required wass submitted.We designed our support offering specifically on this fund, but believe that the principles could be applied to other funding opportunities too.

This included:

Financial Support

We required supporting financial documents, with a strong preference that applicants supply this information on the excel templates we provided. 

We hosted video support webinars, including the two below which are still available to watch.


Other Funding Opportunities

If you are currently looking for funding, we encourage you to continue to seek out alternative funding opportunities, such as the below:

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