United Kingdom Useful Resources
The British Council is a British organisation specialising in international cultural and educational opportunities. It works in over 100 countries: promoting a wider knowledge of the United Kingdom and the English language; encouraging cultural, scientific, technological and educational co-operation with the United Kingdom. Promoting UK businesses and SE through grants, training advice and more
UnLtd - The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs is a charitable organisation in the United Kingdom set up by seven organisations that promote social entrepreneurship. The organisation offers cash awards, networking and mentorship opportunities for social entrepreneurs in the UK, and has affiliate organizations in a number of other countries. UnLtd is the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, and they are committed to aiding them though some of the most difficult aspects of growing a business. They use their expertise to find, fund, and support social entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life and build sustainable social ventures. UnLtd’s core startup awards include the Try It, Do It and Grow It awards - each geared towards projects at different stages of development.
The first Impact Hub opened in central London in early 2005, and remains open and active to this day! Located on the top floor of an old warehouse, Impact Hub Islington in London, UK, embodied the spirit of grassroots entrepreneurship. Everything was built from scratch, and the space was designed to provide a collaborative environment in which people could work, meet, and learn within a modular structure. It featured leaf-shaped tables that allowed for flexible co-working, a semi-open meeting room where users could hold workshops, a secluded library for quiet thinking, and a community kitchen where people could hold small meetings over lunch or coffee. There were no assigned work stations, so users would sit next to a different fellow user every time they visited Impact Hub. The main idea was to create a place where unlikely allies would meet by serendipity. The concept of hot desks in today’s world is commonly known, but more than 10 years ago, this was a completely new concept. Alongside their office spaces, the well-known global organisation, Impact Hub, offers multiple programmes which support those growing a social business. One example is the Impact Hub Fellowship, a topic-focused entrepreneurial idea award and one-year incubation programme designed to enable early-stage entrepreneurs to realise innovations for a sustainable world.
Growing up, Bill Drayton was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and the Civil Rights Movement. Drayton wanted to mitigate income inequality through social entrepreneurship.Drayton founded Ashoka in 1980. The organization was named after the Emperor Ashoka, the ruler of the Maurya Empire during the 3rd century BC. Emperor Ashoka recognized the suffering that he had caused by unifying his empire, and he promoted religious and philosophical tolerance and the paramount importance of morality when working for the public. They promote SE fellows. Ashoka fellow receives a financial stipend that the fellow can use to pay for their personal expenses so the fellow can fully devote the fellow's time in pursuit of the fellow's innovative social ideas. The size of the stipend is decided on a case by case basis, according to the cost of living in the entrepreneur's local area. The stipend is available for up to three years. The organization is very clear that the stipend is only for living expenses and not for funding the social entrepreneur's initiative or organization. Ashoka’s network of social innovators begins with the Ashoka Fellowship: an association of social entrepreneurs creating systemic change. Fellows are evaluated based on the following five criteria: new idea, entrepreneurialism, creativity, social impact, and ethical fibre. Over the last 10 years Ashoka UK has selected 40 Ashoka Fellows who are support in a variety of ways including funding, accelerator programmes, workshops and network access.
The old NESTA was set up in 1998 by an independent endowment in the United Kingdom established by an Act of Parliament, the National Lottery Act 1998. On 14 October 2010 the Government announced that it would transfer NESTA's previous status from an executive non-departmental public body to a new charitable body. On 1 April 2012 the old NESTA transitioned from being an executive to a charitable body, shortening its name to "Nesta". "Nesta, the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts, is a global innovation foundation. They are focused primarily on innovations that will shape the future, be it technical, social, health, etc. They back new ideas which are tackling the big challenges of our time by providing helpful resources and toolkits as well as funding opportunities. You’ll find more information on how they can help you innovate here. Creative economy, arts and culture: Growing the creative economy (through research and policy influence) and developing new ways of generating finance for organisations in the arts. Focus on: Education: Helping all learners be prepared for future opportunities and challenges, and making the most of new digital technologies in education. Health: Creating a health and care system that empowers people to lead healthier and more independent lives. Innovation policy: Developing better ways of understanding and supporting innovation in the economy for public benefit, from data to experiments. Government innovation: Helping governments and communities reshape public services and recraft the role of public servants to be fit for the future."
Student hubs is a lose network of student association that goes back to the 1880s when the first universities were founded. First formal registered student hub was set up in oxford connecting like minded students. Since then more and more hubs grow throughout the UK Student Hubs was founded in 2007 by a group of students who hope to create a society in which every student engages with social and environmental challenges during their time at university, empowering them to become active citizens for life.
Mutual Ventures was set up in 2011 by our three Directors (David, Andrew and Oliver) after they saw the potential to help public services achieve more through combining a strong public service ethos with an entrepreneurial culture. Since then, we have grown steadily, working with more than 150 different services, and developing a reputation for quality. Mutual Ventures is a socially focused consultancy with extensive experience supporting organisations to become investment ready and to develop new social impact approaches, resulting in organisations securing funding or winning new contracts. They support organisations on the whole journey to accessing social investment: from identifying the right social investment offer to developing a business case and brokering relationships with investors.
Office of the regulator of community interest companies
The first Regulator of Community Interest Companies (CICs) was appointed on 01 April 2005. The Regulator's powers and duties are set out in the Act and Regulations. The Act requires the Regulator to discharge her functions in accordance with good regulatory practice. The Act requires the Regulator to discharge her functions in accordance with the law. The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies decides whether an organisation is eligible to become, or continue to be, a community interest company (CIC).
Founded 2011 as a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England no. 2787912. Vat no: GB 197465750. Registered charity number: 1036460. They focus on its national membership network for community organisations. "Locality supports local community organisations to be strong and successful. Our national network of over 600 members helps more than 400,000 people every week. We offer specialist advice, peer learning and campaign with members for a fairer society. Main areas of work: Peer learning and connection through the membership network Resources for local people to get involved & create change in their community Specialist advice and support Campaigning to create a better operating environment for community organisations"
We began in 2002 as the Adventure Capital Fund, a partnership of several third sector organisations. This £2m fund was created by government to work out how to create sustainable community enterprises through social investment. By 2006 we had received £17m from the Home Office to invest into community enterprises as a mixture of grant and loan. In 2011, we were endowed with the repayments from the Communitybuilders fund. This meant that we now had our own money to invest and provided the opportunity to partner with others. The Social Investment Business is the trading name for the Social Investment Business Foundation, Registered Company No. 05777484 (England), Registered Charity No. 1117185 (England & Wales).
Big Issue Invest
Social investment provider Big Issue Invest provide finance to social enterprises, community organisations, charities and businesses that are socially-driven.
Bridges Fund Management
Social investment provider. Seeded by the Bridges Charitable Trust in 2008, the fund was launched in August 2009 and has raised nearly £12m for investment in scalable social enterprises and charities delivering high social impacts and operating sustainable business models.
Social investment provider. CAN Invest supports voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) to build sustainable businesses by providing capital and business support.
Social investment provider. CAF Venturesome offer financial support of between £25,000 and £350,000 to social enterprises and charities. They have made over 500 social investments, totalling over £40m.
Social investment provider. Charity Bank offers loans from £50,000 up to £3.25 million to charities, social enterprises and other organisations.
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Social investment provider. Since 2008 Esmée Fairbairn have made over 109 social investments. The foundation commit up to £35m in social investments and invest in a diverse range of organisations including charities, social enterprises, community benefit societies and other social investment funds.
Social investment provider. Online market for positive investments. Supporting social businesses and uniting ethical investors.
Social investment provider. The Key Fund provides investments and development support to Social Businesses based or operating in Northern half of England.
Social investment provider. The North East Social Investment Fund invests in Social Enterprises with individual investments ranging in size from £100k to £1m. Organisations should be located, or have substantial operations in the North East of England. The Fund will also invest in organisations that are willing to relocate to the region.
Social investment provider. Resonance help social enterprises raise capital from investors who share their values. They can help you in a number of ways, including investment readiness and/or deal arranging.
Social and Sustainable Capital
Social investment provider. SASC provide between £250,000 to £3 million in the form of loans, participation loans and equity to organisations that consider the delivery of their social mission a core part of their long term strategy.
Social Investment Business
Social investment provider. SIB is a social investment specialist and manage one of the largest social investment portfolios in the UK of over £110 million. They manage a variety of funds for VCSE organisations.
Social Investment Scotland
Social investment provider. Social Investment Scotland (SIS) is the largest not for profit provider of business loans to the third sector in Scotland as well as being a social enterprise and registered charity.
Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF)
Grant information providers. The Association of Charitable Foundations is primarily an information and support organisation for grant-making trusts and foundations in the UK. It does not make grants itself but it represents the interests of its members by promoting good practice in grant-making and the effectiveness of trusts and foundations. Other activities include providing framework for sharing experiences and good practice, research, policy and influencing work, but also venture philanthropy and social investment.
Directory for Social Change – Funds Online
Grant information providers. The Directory for Social Change produce several pay to register search engines which provides access to a wide range of funders including trusts, government funds, company giving and grants for individuals.
Grant information providers. There are many sources of grant funding, and new initiatives are launched all the time by national bodies such as the BIG Lottery Fund as well as various trusts and foundations. It can be very time consuming to keep a track of all of the various grant opportunities, so we recommend that you use an internet-based tool to take the strain out of your search. This free website will help you search under particular themes. It will also keep you up to date with new opportunities tailored to your needs.
Grant information providers. Grants Online is a comprehensive funding information service. It provides information on grant funding opportunities from the European Union, UK Government Agencies, the Lottery as well as Grant making Trusts and Foundations. This site operates on a subscription basis.
Grant information providers. j4bgrants is a free-to-register website with a database of European, UK Government and other sources of grant funding. The site is available to social enterprises; charities; voluntary and community organisations; social businesses; cooperatives/mutuals; unconstituted community groups.
Tel: 0161 934 4317
Grant providers. The Arts Council England is the national development agency for the arts in England, distributing public money from the Government and the National Lottery.
The National Lottery Community Fund
Grant providers. Gives grants to community groups and projects that improve health, education and the environment.
BBC Children in Need
Grant providers. Gives grants each year to organisations supporting disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.
City Bridge Trust
Grant providers. Gives grants to organisations and usually only supports work which most closely measures up to its published priorities and delivers good outcomes.
Grant providers Comic Relief’s UK grant giving strategy is based around five themes: Better Futures, Healthier Finances, Safer Lives, Stronger Communities and Fairer Society.
Grant providers With more than £224m in endowed funds and providing about £70m in grants a year, community foundations are one of the UK’s biggest non-statutory community grant-makers. Community foundations manage funds donated by both individuals and organisations.
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Grant providers Gives grants across four main areas: Arts, Children and Young People, Environment and Social Change as well as the Food funding strand. Three types of support are available: grants, social investments and Grants Plus support.
Garfield Weston Foundation
Tel: 020 7399 6565
Grant providers Recent funding has supported projects in the following categories: Arts, Community, Education, Welfare, Medical, Religion, Youth and Environment.
Henry Smith Charity
Tel: 020 7264 4970
Grant providers Gives grants for work with groups experiencing social and/or economic disadvantage (e.g. people with disabilities) and to work that tackles problems in areas of high deprivation.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Grant providers Gives grants to sustain and transform the UK’s heritage.
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Grant providers Gives grants to sustain and transform the UK’s heritage.Gives grants to organisations that help people realise their potential and improve their quality of life through the arts, education and social projects.
Grant providers Operates a Community Plus scheme providing grants of up to £5,000 to small local UK charities; and a Central Fund for projects in the UK that meet one or both of the Foundation’s priorities – Education & Training, or Financial Capability – and must directly help disadvantaged people.
Santander / Crowdfunder UK
Grant providers "Santander has £200,000 to support Changemakers who turn to the Crowd to make great ideas happen. The Changemaker Fund has been created to support projects that help disadvantaged people to have confidence in the future by building skills and knowledge or innovative ideas that help communities prosper."
The London Community Foundation
Grant providers Gives grants to small community groups and charities across London to projects tackling a variety of social issues.
Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales
Grant providers Funds charities working with people aged 17 plus who are experiencing multiple disadvantage at one of the critical ‘transition’ points in their life and helping promote practical approaches to lasting change.
Grant providers Sport England focuses investment on organisations and projects that will grow and sustain participation in grassroots sports, create opportunities for young people to excel in sport and support local authorities to unlock local funding.
The Tudor Trust
Tel: 020 7727 8522
Grant providers Prefer to help smaller, community-led organisations which work directly with people who are at the margins of society: organisations which support positive changes in people’s lives and in their communities.
Trust for London
Grant providers Gives grants to works that develop new and imaginative ways of addressing the root causes of London’s social problems, especially work which has the potential to infl uence and change policy, practice and public attitudes. Areas it will fund under are: employment; advice; social justice issues; and violence.
Tel: 0207 566 1100
Grant providers Gives grants to individuals that have great ideas for creating social change in their local area.
Wandle Community Grants Programme
Grant providers Grants of up to £8,500 for organisations with community projects that benefit residents in Wandle’s 9 London boroughs of operation.
Grant providers Between £3m - £4m of funding will be available and you can apply for grants of £5,000 - £15,000.
Various high profile courses, for example "Enabling Entrepreneurs to Shape a Better World: Get equipped with the latest tools and social impact insights to develop your own entrepreneurial potential to solve the world's biggest problems."
Take free online courses in social entrepreneurship from Harvard, Babson, and other top schools. Learn how to become a successful entrepreneur with free online college courses today!
Various amongs which: SE: Turn your social enterprise idea into action
The Social Enterprise program comprises three online courses from Middlesex University Business School, which introduce you to the diverse world of social enterprise.
An introduction to FairShares for parcticioners
Learning about Fairness and SE with an invative approach that empowers all your Stakeholders in the fairest of ways
Just Enterprise is a comprehensive programme designed to help social enterprises and social entrepreneurs grow their businesses and achieve their goals. Supported by the Scottish Government, Just Enterprise hosts numerous workshops and training services focused on business support, business recovery, procurement, leadership and funding.
Online course to SE
Students in this course will gain knowledge about social entrepreneurs and how they are creating solutions to address societal problems, learn how to develop creative solutions to address social problems, and empower you to see social entrepreneurship as a force for social change. The course is designed for you if you want to gain valuable tools to prepare you to make an impact on the lives of other
Good and Bad Practices
In 2015 LocoSoco was set up and strived to understand the needs of local communities. Between 2016 and 2019 involved more business partners and grew the IT backbone of the approach to identify the needs of the community and refine social business solutions to them. In this time the social enterprise raised money from various investor groups. By 2019 LocoSoco started working with corner shops to sell hand sanitizing products.
Coin Street Builders
1977 a struggle over the development over the coin street area lead the local community to organise. until 1984 they struggeled until they were victorious with their own development plan. Since then they have collected the area. Today they are a collection of businesses, the most prevelent the coin street builders.
Since it was registered as a worker co-operative in 1977, Suma has grown consistently to a current state where it has a 64-strong workforce. Through fair trade, organic and vegetarian foods they got a turnover of about £21million. It has grown to 120 employees.
The Big Issue
Started in 1991, financed through an external comapny two founders set up The Big Issue a limited company and the goal of the organisation is to sell the magazine to consumers on the basis of its quality rather than as a means of obtaining a charitable donation. They had difficulties to work with homeless people but adding social work in their efforts made them grow in a very big newspaper.There are currently around 1500 vendors, and last year alone the Big Issues (BI) helped them to earn a total of £5.5 million. Currently the magazine is read by over 400,000 people across the UK and circulates 83,073 copies every week, as summarised below.
Triodos Bank N.V. was founded in the Netherlands with EUR 540,000 in start-up share capital and a full banking licence from the Dutch Central Bank, in 1993. Triodos Bank Belgium is the first branch to launch outside the Netherlands in 1995. Triodos Bank United Kingdom was established in 1997. They are the leader in social banking.
National Policies and Strategies
Creation of a dedicated Social Enterprise Unit within the (then) Department of Trade & Industry and appointment of a junior minister responsible for social enterprise;
creation of a unit within the (then) Department of Trade & Industry and appointment of a junior minister responsible for social enterprise;
Publication of a dedicated strategy (Social Enterprise: A strategy for Success) aimed at creating an enabling environment for social enterprise;
Aimed at creating an enabling environment for social enterprise; first of its kind?
Creation of a specific legal form - a Community Interest Company (CIC) – for social enterprise;
A community interest company is a type of company introduced by the United Kingdom government in 2005 under the Companies Act 2004, designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good.
Publication of a new strategy (Social enterprise action plan: Scaling new heights) setting out specific actions aimed at supporting the development of social enterprise;
Building the evidence and raising awareness of the impact of social enterprise and promotion ofsuccessful role models will attract new entrants,customers, financiers and support providers.
Launch of the ‘Big Society’ agenda
Agenda which, inter alia, envisages a bigger role for social enterprises in contemporary British society;
Launch of ‘Growing the social investment market: a vision and strategy’:
Social ventures’ role in a bigger society, and why they need better finance , Our vision for a dynamic social investment market, The social investment market now – progress to date, symptoms of fragilityand underlying causes, A framework for action
Establishment of ‘Big Society Capital’
BSC is an independent financial organisation that aims to support and develop social investment in the UK;
Enactment of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
This act requires public bodies in England and Wales “ to have regard to
economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public
services contracts; and for connected purposes”;
economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public
services contracts; and for connected purposes”;
Introduction of social investment tax relief to encourage individuals to support social enterprises and help social enterprises access new sources of finance. (Europe Commission 2014)