What we do

Our story so far

UnLtd finds, funds and supports social entrepreneurs - enterprising people with solutions that change our society for the better. We were formed in 2002 by seven organisations who believed that social entrepreneurs had a much bigger contribution to make to our economy and society. We were among the first to back individuals with their own ideas to create social good.

UnLtd’s core start up awards are funded by the income generated from an endowment from the Millennium Commission. This legacy is carefully invested so that it generates income to fund our awards for years to come.

Since we were founded, we have learned a lot about what is needed for social entrepreneurs to create the change they want to see. We have grown our support beyond our core awards, helping to accelerate the impact of scaling ventures. We have identified areas where we are well placed to create change, and focused our efforts where it can make the biggest difference. We have identified barriers faced by social entrepreneurs and look to tackle them through research, policy work and our campaigns. And we have realised that we cannot do it alone, seeking committed partners and funders who share our vision.

We’re very proud of the work we’ve done so far. We hope you’ll join us for the next stage of our journey.

Why we do it

Enterprising people with solutions are out there driving lasting social change. UnLtd’s funding and support helps them start up and scale their impact.

But we see a future where we can achieve so much more. Where people, communities and society aren’t just surviving, but thriving thanks to innovative, sustainable ideas designed with lived experience.

Social entrepreneurs have a big role to play in tackling some of the monumental challenges we face today. Challenges like a UK population ageing so fast, that by 2040 close to one in four of us will be aged 65 and over. Like the fact that disabled people are more than twice as likely to be out of work than non-disabled people. That homelessness rose by 169% in the UK between 2010 and 2018. And that public services are stretched and set to contract even further.

So that social entrepreneurs can achieve this potential, UnLtd campaigns to break down the barriers they face: such as finding customers, making a living, and getting access to finance. We set out to change the system so it works better for those who set out to change society. And we need to your help to do it.

Our mission

We find social entrepreneurs with bold solutions to today’s challenges. Through funding and support, we help them to realise their potential and create lasting change.

Our vision

A future where enterprising people are transforming our world for good.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is UnLtd?

UnLtd is the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, a UK registered charity set up in 2002.

We want a future where enterprising people are transforming our world for good. We call these people social entrepreneurs. We find social entrepreneurs with bold solutions to today’s challenges. Through funding and support, we help them to realise their potential and create lasting change.

What is UnLtd’s purpose?

A future where enterprising people are transforming our world for good.

Who does UnLtd support?

We support enterprising people who are transforming our world for good. We call these people social entrepreneurs and we support them at every stage of their journey.

Social entrepreneurs come from all kinds of backgrounds and are seeking to deliver social solutions in many different ways. Whatever their background, one thing unites them, a passion to solve a social problem, and an entrepreneurial flair to make it happen.

Where does UnLtd work?

UnLtd works across the UK, supporting social entrepreneurs directly, as well as working with partners to back them. Although we don’t do direct international work, we are the founder member of the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network, an international knowledge sharing network of agencies that support early stage social entrepreneurs.

Who does UnLtd work with?

UnLtd works directly with social entrepreneurs, and also partners with a wide variety of people and organisations to help find, fund and support social entrepreneurs.


We have a number of partners who fund our work to either directly support social entrepreneurs, or to work with other supporters of social entrepreneurs.

We also have a number of strategic partnerships with organisations that share similar goals, for example the Social Economy Alliance on our policy work.

Why does UnLtd support social entrepreneurs to create profit with purpose businesses?

UnLtd backs the individuals – the social entrepreneurs themselves – and their own approaches to delivering social impact.

In some instances we work with social entrepreneurs to use mission locks to ensure that their social ventures remain true to their social mission and continue to deliver social impact.

How is UnLtd run?

UnLtd has a dedicated Board of Trustees who have governance oversight of UnLtd as an organisation, and the continuing management of the Millennium Awards Trust, with legal oversight from a government-appointed Protector who is a leading lawyer.

The Senior Management Team consists of the Chief Executive and five directors who are responsible for the day-to-day management of the organisation. We have a brilliant team of staff who support social entrepreneurs, support our partners to support social entrepreneurs, as well as provide central services so that it all works smoothly. Meet our team and our board.

How are we resourced?

UnLtd is committed to ensuring social entrepreneurs get the resources and support they need to help them start and thrive. As a foundation, UnLtd oversees a £150m endowment called the Millennium Awards Trust.

The interest raised from this endowment is used to fund UnLtd’s work to help social entrepreneurs in the UK. This can only reach a small proportion of the people who want to start up as social entrepreneurs, so Unltd raises additional funds for social entrepreneurs from a range of trusts, foundations, institutions and corporates.

How are the MAT funds invested?

The Board of UnLtd, in its capacity as Trustee of the Millennium Awards Trust, is responsible for the investment of the endowment. We delegate to an expert investment committee the tasks of advising us on the full range of investment issues including policy, strategy, the appointment and monitoring of professional advisers, and the monitoring of performance.

We invest so as to meet the various different objectives of the Trust Deed. In practice, this involves investing across a number of different asset classes, balancing expected return, volatility, income and operational considerations.

We review strategic asset allocation formally every five years, as part of an overall investment review. Our asset allocation aims to provide an optimum balance between stable income – necessary to meet UnLtd’s operational needs – and meeting objectives stipulated in the Trust Deed of seeking to maximise financial returns and whilst also seeking to maintain the real value of the endowment. More information on our investment approach can be found in our Annual Report and Accounts.

Our theory of change

We believe that solutions to social problems reside within the people they affect.

To lead, to learn, to inspire

To innovate, to sustain, to scale

Access to the right capital at the right time.

Secure sustainable routes to market

Evidence impact to enable growth

Be known and understood

Advocacy and influence

Research and evaluation

Building relationships

Raise awareness of social entrepreneurs

Increased trade

Supportive policy and legal context

More investment capital for growth

Beneficiaries shape innovation

Social entrepreneurs feel valued and understood for the change they create.

Our vision

A future where enterprising people are transforming our world for good.

Our mission

We find social entrepreneurs with bold solution to today's challenges. Through funding and support, we help them to realise their potential

We find, fund and support social entrepreneurs to reach their potential

And act to break down barriers social entrepreneurs face to maximise their impact

We work with innovators to transform the system

And society joins in taking social entrepreneurs mainstream

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