Help your venture to Thrive

Thrive is our new social accelerator helping ambitious social ventures to scale.

We will support over 25 social ventures a year through Thrive. We will support two groups of social ventures developing solutions in two distinct areas:

  • Improving access to employment for those distant from the labour market
  • Developing products and services for an ageing society.

We offer six months of intensive 1:1 support from our dedicated team of coaches. This gives you the chance to grow your business, and ultimately deliver greater social impact.

Thrive builds on the learning from our Big Venture Challenge work, which supported 120 social ventures to collectively improve the lives of 1.24 million people in the UK and raise over £13m of investment to grow their businesses.

How we can support you

We know that social ventures face barriers as they look to scale. Our research tells us that the main barriers to growth are: accessing capital, establishing routes to market, finding talent, and measuring impact.

We design our support around these, and other, areas that we know are vital to enable growth. Each venture on Thrive will get six months’ support from a dedicated Support Manager as we know this hands-on consultative led approach is vital for ventures as they scale. Alongside this, we provide peer-to-peer networking opportunities, high level connections, and support to help you access appropriate finance.

Tailored support

You will have access to technical business assistance, connections and valuable peer-to-peer learning through UnLtd's expertise or trusted external consultants. We work with a pool of specialist consultants to meet the needs of individual ventures.

Connections and pro-bono support

We provide connections to mentors, coaches and supporters that suit your venture's needs. Our partners include strategy consultancies and PR agencies. You will also have access to Hogan Lovells legal support.

Access to finance

Where appropriate, we will support you to prepare for investment, including making introductions to investors. 

Tackling access to employment

Thrive: access to employment is our accelerator focused on improving employment opportunities for those distant from the labour market.

While the UK currently holds record employment levels of 75%, many people still suffer barriers into a good job. Disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to non-disabled people and poverty rates amongst households with a disabled person are over 10% higher than households without.

The social sector now employs over 1 million people: with a growing young sector, social ventures will be key to helping the UK achieve full and good employment for all. We know that social ventures have brilliant solutions to help support people into employment and we want to help them thrive.

Who we work with

Thrive is for social ventures using business solutions to offer the most innovative ideas to improve access to employment for people distant from the labour market. That could be by providing training and support into employment, or through direct employment opportunities. Within this, we have a particular focus on three key areas:

  1. Ventures supporting disabled people into employment, supported by Scope.

  2. Ventures improving access to employment in the East End of London, supported by UBS

  3. Ventures creating access to employment across the UK, supported by Thirty Percy

Please see below for full programme criteria.

To find out all about our 2020 current winners, access the latest "Thrive 2020 Access to Employment booklet"

Access our 2019 cohort booklet "Thrive 2019 Access to Employment booklet."

Access our 2018 cohort booklet Thrive 2018 Access to Employment booklet

Solutions for an Ageing Society

Thrive: Solutions for an Ageing Society is our flagship accelerator focused on improving quality of life for the over 50s. We believe that social businesses offer innovative and inclusive solutions that contribute to ageing well.

This bespoke and tailored Accelerator is now in its third year. It has already supported 18 social ventures  to help rapidly accelerate growth, provide 1:1 specialist support, connect with sector specialists, peers and raise flexible finance of up to £50K (debt or equity).

We are interested in supporting social businesses that are improving outcomes for people over 50 in the following areas: Quality of life, Wellbeing, Loneliness, Physical health, Independence and Support to Dementia/Alzheimer's

Who we work with

We are now looking for game-changing social businesses who want to grow nationally and contribute to significantly improving the quality of life for the over 50s. Working with a dedicated, highly skilled Support Manager and a support framework, you and your team will receive 1:1 tailored support for all of your needs, access to a specialised network and first class social impact measurement support. You’ll be assessed on performance to date, potential for growth and profitability. In return you’ll have the opportunity to scale both your organisation and impact rapidly.

View our criteria below and apply for Thrive: Solutions for an Ageing Society

You can find out more about the current ventures in our 2021 cohort booklet:"Thrive 2021 Solutions for an Ageing Society booklet"

Access our 2020 cohort booklet “Thrive 2020 Solutions for an Ageing Society booklet

Our partners

Union Bank of Switzerland logo
Scope logo
Thirty Percy Logo
City and Guilds logo


To apply for any Thrive programme your venture must:

  • Be based and delivering impact in the UK
  • Be a social purpose organisation with a commitment to delivering social impact in this area
  • Typically have a trading and social impact record of two years
  • Be able to fully commit to the 6-month programme through regular meetings with your Venture Manager, online learning sessions and peer learning events.
  • Have at least one member of staff working full time on the business
  • Have any legal incorporated limited liability form. Companies Limited by Share will need to have clear mission lock in place or be open to including one as part of the programme. Find out more in our Spotlight paper Profit, Purpose, Impact: Mission locks insights from practice.

For access to employment

You must be working to increase access to employment, through training or job opportunities, for people that face barriers to work, such as, but not limited to:

  • Disabled people (including learning disabilities)
  • Homeless people, or those in temporary accommodation
  • Ex-offenders and people with criminal convictions
  • Long-term unemployed
  • People recovering from addiction
  • Refugees
  • Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)   

For solution for an ageing society:

Your venture should focus on solutions for an ageing society around:

  • Quality of life
  • Physical health
  • Wellbeing
  • Loneliness
  • Independence 
  • Support to Dementia/Alzheimer's 

Apply for our support

Does your social venture have the ambition, ideas and passion to take impact to the next level? Apply today.

For more information on applying and to find out whether the support offer is right for you, get in touch with the Thrive team at UnLtd.

Solutions for an ageing society

Applications are currently closed

Access to employment

Applications are currently closed

Apply now

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