Social Enterprise Support Fund: UnLtd’s Inclusion Commitment

Mark Norbury

Chief Executive

13th July 2020



Yesterday we announced the launch of a new fund to support social ventures impacted by COVID-19, in partnership with five social enterprise support agencies. Big Issue Invest, The Key Fund, Resonance, the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and UnLtd will jointly deliver £18.7 million in grants. The partnership delivering the Social Enterprise Support Fund is one of five The National Lottery Community Fund is supporting as part of its COVID crisis response. 
UnLtd will be awarding £6.3m of the £18.7m, and applications are open from 1pm on Monday 13th.  
The Social Enterprise Support Fund is aimed at social enterprises in England supporting people whose health is at greater risk from COVID-19, and those supporting people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of COVID-19. 

It is crucial that these grants genuinely reach the people who have been, and continue to be, the most impacted by this pandemic. As others have said, although COVID-19 has hurt people all over the world, it has by no means been a ‘great equaliser’.  

The research on COVID-19 has shown that the UK’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are disproportionately impacted by health inequalities, and that the social and economic effects are hitting them harder too.  
All partners behind the Social Enterprise Support Fund have a commitment to inclusion, with a shared goal of 30% of grants going to people who use their first-hand experience of a social issue to create positive change. We call these individuals ‘Leaders with Lived Experience' and they are rooted in the communities they serve, designing solutions with their peers in these communities.
UnLtd is committed to being an anti-racist organisation focused on social justice. We are putting this commitment into practice through the distribution of this COVID-19 funding in the following ways: 
UnLtd’s commitments  

  • We are committing 50% of our grants to Black, Asian, minority ethnic and/or disabled social entrepreneurs. We also have a particular focus on supporting social ventures led by those with lived experience of the issue they are working to solve.
  • We recognise that a first-come, first-served application process favours organisations with structural advantages, and risks compounding inequality. That is why we are designating 50% of the grants across the three waves, and will be carefully reviewing progress after the first wave, to make sure we take this into account in the second (August) and third (September) waves.  
  • We are committed to accountability and transparency on our inclusion goals, and will publish an audit of the grants made on through this fund. 
  • Each decision-making panel (made up of three people) will have at least two people who are Black, Asian and minority ethnic, disabled, or LGBTQ+.
  • In order to help reach those who most need these funds, we are proactively working with Black, Asian, minority ethnic and/or disabled members of the social enterprise community. 
  • We will be paying constant attention to our targets and will be working alongside our partners to adapt our communications strategy as needed to ensure we are reaching those from minoritised communities/

For more information and to apply visit: 

Your help in outreach will make a huge difference. Please help us ensure the funds go to where they are most needed and share this with your networks, encouraging those you think will be eligible to apply.  

Hide this Message

To provide you with the best browsing experience, this site uses cookies. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.