Supporting you on your journey as a social entrepreneur
Our Awards offer funding and support to social entrepreneurs trying to start-up or grow their social business
A social entrepreneur is the name we give to people who have started, or looking to start, a social business, someone who is driven by their passion to make a difference.
A social business is an organisation whose purpose is to create impact but has a financially sustainable business model to continue to make a difference. It sits in between a commercial business and a charity, often described as profit for purpose.
Those with the most potential for impact
Those who need our help to make their vision a reality
Starting your social business
We can support people from the early stages of forming an idea, to those who have been trading for under a year, whether or not you have already established your organisation. This includes exploring ways to increase your impact, establish your financial sustainability and grow as a social leader.
Growing your social business
You are already running a social business that is making a positive difference and you have compelling evidence of your impact. You are looking for our support to realise your potential to grow your impact and expand.
Up to 12 months of tailored support
Expert education and advice including access to other passionate people doing good
Dedicated support manager
Someone to coach, mentor and support you to achieve your goals
Access to expert mentors and pro bono support
Expert advice and mentoring through our generous community of business professionals, corporate partners and social entrepreneurs who volunteer their skills and expertise
Access to workshops and learning
Through our regular workshops and support you will be able to learn about different aspects of running a social business
We have two focus areas where we think social entrepreneurs can make a big difference. We have dedicated teams and specialist support available to social entrepreneurs with ideas to help people in these areas.
You have an idea or a business which will help the UK become a better place to grow old. For example, you could be helping older people to enjoy physical exercise, creating better quality dementia care or working to allow older people to remain independently in their own homes for longer.Learn more
Access to employment
You have an idea or a business aimed at helping people into good jobs and meaningful employment, particularly those who are currently denied those opportunities – such as ex-offenders, people with learning differences, and/or disabled people.Learn more
Once received we will check your application meets our basic criteria
Support Manager Assessment
If the application meets our basic criteria, our team will then review the application based on impact, inclusion and sustainability
Applications which show potential will be discussed alongside others at peer review to progress those with the most potential to meet our panel
Here you will have the opportunity to discuss your application with a panel made up of staff and former award winners
Week Commencing: December 13th
A recommendation is made to our Awards Committee (a group of our trustees which also includes social entrepreneurs) who make the final decision on your application. You will be informed of the outcome of your application
What are the Application dates for 2021/22?
|Q1||Jan 1st - Mar 31st||Apr - Jun||Jun 28th|
|Q2||Apr 1st - Jun 31st||Jul - Sep||Oct 4th|
|Q3||Jul 1st - Sep 30th||Oct - Dec||Dec 13th|
|Q4||Oct 1st - Dec 31st||Jan - Mar||Mar 28th|
What do social entrepreneurs achieve?
Take a look at our impact reports to find out what our social entrepreneurs have achieved.
What type of organisations do social entrepreneurs set up?
UnLtd backs individuals and their ideas for the best way to achieve the social benefit they want to create. Many social entrepreneurs decide they can best deliver support by forming an organisation.
There are a range of business models and legal structures available. These include voluntary groups, mutuals and co-ops, charities, social enterprises, and also companies which are committed long term to social benefit (known as profit with purpose businesses). We call this broad range of organisations ‘social ventures’.
We focus our efforts on helping social entrepreneurs to create organisations that have social impact as their number one purpose now and into the future.
What is a purpose beyond profit business?
A purpose beyond profit business is a company which can make and distribute profit, but which is committed to a social purpose for the long term, and which reports on its social impact. We helped create Purposely, a free online tool to help businesses commit to a social purpose.
What is a social enterprise?
Social Enterprise UK describe social enterprise as an approach taken by an organisation which has a clear social and/or environmental mission (set out in governing documents), generates the majority of its income through trading, and reinvests the majority of its profits to further the social mission.
UnLtd supports social entrepreneurs who go on to set up a broad range of social ventures, many of which are social enterprises as described above. We also support social entrepreneurs who create other types of social ventures.
What is an award cohort?
When we grant social entrepreneurs support we assign them a cohort. This cohort is a group of people being funded at the same level and time. They will tend to attend the same training sessions, workshops and networking events.
We find that taking a cohort approach creates a positive experience for the people we fund. It allows you to meet other like-minded people who may be facing the same challenges, and who may also have skills and experience that you can learn from. Our cohorts often keep in touch after the period of support, becoming an informal support network for each other.