COVID-19 Support

Supporting UnLtd social entrepreneurs through COVID-19

UnLtd is committed to stepping up our support for social entrepreneurs during this time. On this page we will be sharing and updating all our resources and responses to the pandemic.

Our support offer

unltd social entrepreneurs

We currently have funding and support opportunities for:

  • Social entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales 
    Our boosted core awards programme is open for ideas at any stage.   
  • Social entrepreneurs working on products and services to improve quality of life for older adults
    You can apply for Thrive, our social accelerator, or for early stage funding and support.
  • Social entrepreneurs with ideas for community impact
    We're accepting award applications for projects in Brighton, Dundee, South Wales Valleys, North Staffs, or from one of these 19 Big Local Areas. 

All applications are made through our application portal

We are committed to 50% of our awards going to Black, Asian and minority ethnic social entrepreneurs, and/or disabled social entrepreneurs across all of our funding programmes.

More funding opportunities will be opening up soon.

Inclusive Recovery Fund

The Inclusive Recovery Fund is a £4.75 million fund to help social entrepreneurs in England, designed to help social entrepreneurs deliver their important services and grow their impact while adapting to the challenges the Coronavirus crisis has presented. 

The fund will offer grants £10,000 - £500,000 to asset or mission-locked ventures, with an emphasis on ventures with ideas to accelerate their growth, build resilience and create a deep and lasting impact. 

It aims in particular to support those with direct experience of the social problems they are seeking to address, known as leaders with lived experience.  In recognition of the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on these communities, UnLtd particularly encourages applications from social entrepreneurs who identify as Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background, and disabled people. UnLtd aims for 50% of the funding to reach these typically underrepresented groups.

The fund has now closed for applications.

Find out more about the Inclusive Recovery Fund here.

Social Enterprise Support Fund

UnLtd, with four other partners, secured £18.7 million in funding through The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF) in July 2020. The Social Enterprise Support Fund provided grants of £10k - £300k to help social enterprises meet the demands and pressures of COVID-19. This funding was available to social enterprises in England reliant on trading to offer impact, and supporting people most affected by the health, economic or social impacts of COVID-19.

We committed 50% of our grants to Black, Asian, minority ethnic and/or disabled social entrepreneurs. We also had a particular focus on supporting social ventures led by those with lived experience of the issue they are working to solve.

The fund has now closed and the grants have all been distributed. A dedicated website has further information on the fund.

Accessing Government support

We have prepared an information document, to provide you with information that local councils and national government have prepared for small businesses dealing with effects of COVID-19. This includes all the relevant government services, grants and loans as soon as we hear about them.

Advocating for social entrepreneurs

unltd social entrepreneurs

We are collaborating with sector partners on a number of campaigns to ensure that social entrepreneurs receive the support they need right now, such as calling for an Emergency Liquidity Fund for social enterprises and charities. We were delighted to see the impact of this collaboration on 9th April when Big Society Capital’s announced a £100m programme of loans and investments for social ventures.

UnLtd and 10 other organisations in our sector also wrote to the Chancellor proposing a four-point plan to sustain social ventures through COVID-19. You can sign the letter and support this call for action from the government.


How can we support you?

We’re keen to keep hearing from our community on their needs and have put out a survey regarding the impact of Covid-19 on social ventures, and what changes in our support award winners would like from us, and from others.

Take the survey

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