16th December 2020
Over 120 social entrepreneurs have been awarded funding from UnLtd’s Inclusive Recovery Fund, a £4.75 million fund to help social entrepreneurs in England deliver their important services while adapting to challenges presented by the coronavirus crisis. The fund aims to unleash the potential of social entrepreneurs at a pivotal moment the UK’s economic and social recovery.
In recognition of the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on these communities, well over half (63%) of those awarded funding, identify as Black, Asian or from an ethnic minority background and/or are disabled entrepreneurs. Four in ten (43%) of those awarded identify as Black, Asian or from an ethnic minority background and 24% are disabled entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile 72% of grants went to leaders with lived experience. These are leaders with direct first-hand experience of 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.
Funding is available thanks to a partnership with Comic Relief, matched by the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport as part of the Government’s £750 million support package for charities.
Some of the social entrepreneurs awarded through the fund include...
NEMI Teas offers employment and support to refugees and create an inclusive, welcoming society. With this grant, NEMI Teas will be able to offer further wraparound support for their refugee communities and getting them closer to their goal of providing employment for 1,000 refugees by 2025.
Glitch UK was built on Seyi's personal experiences of receiving targeted online abuse, and the difficulties in finding support or justice. Dedicated to building digital resilience, citizenship, and systemic safeguarding, Glitch's mission has been proven to be critical in 2020 - a time when online abuse of minoritised communities has significantly grown.
"As a team with lived experience of the issues we work to address, Glitch are over the moon to receive this funding. The investment will enable us to grow our team and develop our communication strategy in order to maintain and expand our thought leadership across the UK and make the intersection of online abuse and gender based violence a visible issue. The financial support will help us create long-term social impact, and ultimately make online spaces safer for some of the most marginalised people in our community."
Stemettes are determined to create representation in STEM. The pandemic has worsened gender pay gaps, job security, and economic prospects. By developing women and non-binary people into qualified and promising candidates, Stemettes will create generational cycles of representation and inspiration.
Led by and for people with autism, Awesometistic CIC offers workshops and peer support, alongside learning materials and support packages. While increasing the choice and control, relationship skills, emotional wellbeing, and skills of young people with autism, Awesometistic CIC also educate the wider community to create more support and awareness too. With this funding, they will widen and deepen their impact to respond to need and reach more people.
A record label for change, InHouse Records works across the South East to reduce re-offending, reduce violence in prison and increase positive behaviour through modelling of skills & practice. Their award-winning and accredited curriculum, offered both prior to and after release, has been embraced across UK prisons and further. Their unique programme has high rates of active engagement - predominantly with young Black males - as well as increasing literacy and reductions in anxiety. The funding will enable them to grow their staff and provide their service to more prisons, offering education to disenfranchised and disengaged young men.
Judah commented: "These are incredibly challenging times, and for those in prison the sense of further isolation and disconnection is heightened. Our restorative work in prisons wouldn’t be able to continue without the support of the amazing UnLtd Inclusive Recovery Fund. Aux, our educational music magazine, has been set up as a direct response to the pandemic. It’s already making a difference to thousands of learners, and the recovery fund will mean it will continue making a difference to thousands more.”
Formed to tackle Bristol's rising levels of youth unemployment, educational underachievement and the rapid decline in youth aspirations for the ethnically diverse communities. Through partnerships with the business community, they foster change and shift attitudes in employers and recruitment. This funding will be used to scale their programme and reach, building sustainability and resilience. Their goal is to enable at least one disadvantaged person from an ethnic minority to earn a median salary, creating role models in households and communities, and building generational wealth.
Mark Norbury, Chief Executive, UnLtd, explains,
“We were astonished at the quality and number of applications for this fund, demonstrating a clear and continuing funding gap for high-potential social entrepreneurs across a breadth of causes, communities, venture-types and sectors. It’s evident that social entrepreneurs have the resilience, impact and potential to be front and centre of the UK’s recovery from COVID-19. Those funded today will be leading lights as we enter the next act of the coronavirus crisis – allowing us a glimpse of hope and optimism as the year draws to a close and we look further ahead to what comes next.”
Ruth Davison, Chief Executive, Comic Relief, added:
“The range of work set to be delivered is outstanding. The 120 talented entrepreneurs are using their skills to engage and empower people who are often overlooked and face a range of inequalities. Their work will be a vital part of helping communities throughout the pandemic and its recovery.”