This month we made 72 awards to social entrepreneurs from across the United Kingdom – all dedicated to finding entrepreneurial solutions to solve some of society’s biggest challenges.
Gordon Anderson, from London, who is tackling dementia through his music-based venture called Memory Tracks. His idea is a music care platform that offers a proactive way for carers and family to address issues around agitation, disorientation and isolation. The innovation will mean people with dementia become more independent and easier to care for, and remain more connected to family and friends. Memory Tracks includes an ambient, sensory environment and a cloud-based learning algorithm to bring contextual understanding of each user’s behaviour.
Jacob Hill, from Halifax, is hoping his social venture Offploy will place 250 people with criminal convictions into meaningful, mentored and sustainable employment by July 2019. The idea works by recruiting staff on behalf of the criminal justice sector, and reinvesting profits in those with criminal convictions finding employment. Jacob is increasingly moving into system change. Instead of simply finding jobs for people with criminal convictions, he is increasingly working with employers to help them become more friendly and open to creating job opportunities for ex-offenders.
Jessica Thompson, from London, won funding for her social venture Migrateful. This offers refugees and migrants a route to employment through sharing their native cuisines with the general public via short cookery courses. The social venture provides meaningful work experience, leadership skills, a support network and a chance to improve English language skills for refugees and migrants. Through a shared love of food, Jessica is also hoping to build community cohesion and togetherness.
Kevin Gilchrist, from Glasgow, won support for Highballs. This social venture provides physical activities for young people, the less able and those in later life. Highballs promotes play, physical fun and socialisation for people and helps to build stronger communities. With UnLtd’s support, Kevin is hoping he can deliver more physical sessions for people from different backgrounds and deliver deeper social impact for some of the more vulnerable communities in and around Glasgow.
Jessica Thompson, founder of Migrateful, said: “We’re so excited about working with UnLtd, the expertise and support is what we really need now. I know what I want to do, and who I want to help – but we need help with how to do it. We’re looking for legal advice, financial support and mentoring.”
Jessica added: “The time is right for our social venture, there’s so little government support out there for refugees and migrants and things look like they are only going to get worse. We hope Migrateful will help people share something they love, get into work and it will also help to integrate communities too.”
Mark Norbury, UnLtd CEO, said: "Solving today's challenges requires bold solutions that change how we think and what we do. These inspiring UnLtd entrepreneurs have come up with practical, commercially viable innovations which are addressing a wide range of issues from combating isolation and dementia to integrating refugees and migrants. They are flipping conventional wisdom - like Jacob of Offploy investing in both guards and prisoners to build hope and opportunity - and building a more inclusive economy in doing so. We are really proud to be working with them."
Help us celebrate these 72 innovative, passionate individuals on social media. Use the hashtag #TogetherUnLtd.
I trained as a journalist, and spent the first part of my career working for local newspapers in the north of England. I moved to London in 2007 to start working in culture communications. This role led to diverse project for the British Council, and developing creative social impact campaigns for mainstream consumer brands. I joined UnLtd in the summer of 2016. I’m a real ideas person; and love exploring new ways of working at the intersection of creativity, entrepreneurship and social change.
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