This is a Part 4 of a Guide we are creating in the IntelligentHQ Series on Social Entrepreneurship Foundations. In these series of articles we will be highlighting the top international Foundations focused in social business and social entrepreneuship.
UnLtd: Changing the UK for the Better
Social entrepreneurs often have amazing ideas for exciting projects that can change people’s lives for the better. In many cases however, these social entrepreneurs need support to be able to get started, just like any other kind of entrepreneurs. Enter UnLtd, the UK’s leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs. Operating on an awards based programme, UnLtd is able to invest directly in individuals, offering comprehensive packages of resources which include funding, advice, networking and also practical support. UnLtd explains that it aims to help those leading social organisations in the UK, of which it argues that research shows there are 1.7 million.
UnLtd believes that during the period of austerity that we currently face in the UK, that social entrepreneurs are needed more than ever before. Given this mind set the organisation has created a five year strategy with a goal of bringing people together and giving them the confidence to act. In particular, the focus of the organisation is on disadvantaged areas and working towards building lasting change, through delivering major impact. For organisations that have an idea to create social change and are passionate about getting started there are “Do It” Awards available. However, these are limited and very competitive. Some may want to grow ventures that are already doing well and have been doing so for more than a year. In this case a “Built It” Award may be an option, though there are only 18 such awards available per year. These awards offer cash for living expenses as well as one to one support. The third type of award offered is “Fast Growth”. This type of award provides cash for living expenses and business support and is available for those organisations that are already early stage social ventures that can achieve rapid growth.
In particular there are various forms of assistance for younger people to get involved in social entrepreneurship. One such programme is for those that are aged between 11 to 21. This programme is for those youngsters that have an idea that can help in the community and do good but who need support to get it underway. There is also the “Social Switch on (NCS) Awards”. These Awards are for people that are aged 16 to 20 years old and who graduated from NCS or will do in the upcoming summer. These awards are for those in England. They provide assistance to young people who want to know how their social action idea may also make money for them. Those who are at university are not left out, and people who are currently students, recent graduates or even members of university staff that have an idea that they want to try out, do full time or build up can find assistance as well.
In addition to all of these types of opportunities, there are also options for those that want to collaborate with other social entrepreneurs for greater collective impact, options for those that aim to tackle social care issues, especially social isolation among older people, and those that want to create social change using digital technology to do so.
UnLtd also develops partnerships to develop its goals. As it puts it:
“Partnerships are key to our strategy and hugely important to us. We work with several types of partners to create different types of impact.”
There are various different kinds of partners that the organisation works with. One is funders that have funds that they wish to give to social entrepreneurs. Another is research and collaborations in this area. The organisation also looks for mentors that may be able to help social entrepreneurs to get off the ground by sharing their specialist knowledge. Those within communities that can help social entrepreneurs on the delivery side area also helpful partners for the organisation. UnLtd works with partnerships in a collaborative manner, to connect social entrepreneurs to business professionals and to provide reach to areas of society that it cannot reach on its own.
Partners are expected to be proactive people that are eager to learn but also to share their learning. They are keen to support or fund social entrepreneurs in some way. With this extensive range of support for social entrepreneurs of all ages and types, it is not surprising that UnLtd considers itself to be one of the most important sources of support for social entrepreneurs in the UK.
Intelligenthq Series on Social Entrepreneurship Foundations Part 1- Skoll Foundation
Intelligenthq Series on Social Entrepreneurship Foundations Part 2 – Ashoka Foundation
Intelligenthq Series on Social Entrepreneurship Foundations Part 3 – Schwab Foundation
Intelligenthq Series on Social Entrepreneurship Foundations Part 4 – UnLtd
Intelligenthq Series on Social Entrepreneurship Foundations Part 5 – The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Intelligenthq Series on Social Entrepreneurship Foundations Part 6 – Jasmine Social Investments
ntelligenthq Series on Social Entrepreneurship Foundations Part 7 – The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Intelligenthq Series on Social Entrepreneurship Foundations Part 8 – The Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Intelligenthq Series on Social Entrepreneurship Foundations Part 9 – The Clinton Foundation
Intelligenthq Series on Social Entrepreneurship Foundations Part 10 – The Young Foundation
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.