Helping social entrepreneurs

raise investment to scale their work

for entrepreneurs

Are you an ambitious social entrepreneur looking to raise £50,000-£250,000 of investment to rapidly grow your social venture?

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for investors

Are you an individual or institution interested in making an investment of £15,000-£250,000 in some of the most exciting social ventures in England?

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for supporters

Are you an individual or organisation interested in providing support and opening doors for some of the most exciting social entrepreneurs in England?

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for nominators

Do you know an ambitious social venture looking to raise £50,000 – £250,000 of investment to grow their social impact and disrupt business as usual?

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About the Big Venture Challenge

The Big Venture Challenge supports ambitious entrepreneurs with access to business support, powerful connections and match funding to help them raise investment and deliver social impact at scale.

The programme is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, beginning with a pilot in 2011 and a brand new intake for 2013.

Further cohorts will follow in 2014 and 2015, supporting a total of 100 new social entrepreneurs over the next three years. All teams on the programme will work with an expert team to raise investment in their ventures in order to grow their companies and scale the social impact of their work.

When selecting who we work with, we are agnostic on legal structure, and open-minded on the use of profits. In each individual case we care passionately and work relentlessly to find the most appropriate revenue model and investment strategy to maximise social impact.

Our funding and support doesn’t come with fixed ideas on how we think your organisation should grow. We want our support to help in whatever way is most appropriate for the social change you are delivering.

Bvc in the press
  • Ex-head teacher strict on social business survival | Pioneers Post
    Comment / 14.03.14 Isabelle de Grave You don’t get many head teachers turned social entrepreneurs, but when you do they take a strict approach to business survival. “In the public sector you’re constantly waiting for permission, but in business you just get on and do it,” Gill Walker, former head teacher, now chief executive of Patchwork People told me. When […]
  • Grand Designs | Rapanui Clothing
    Springtime seems to be when Rapanui goes quiet for a few weeks, followed by some sort of trick up sleeve, party magician moment. And 2014 is no different. As some of the hardcore in the Rapanui wolfpack may know, this humble clothing company started in a shed with a basic idea – it’s not that […]
  • Budget 2014: ‘Jobs market needs more senior part-time roles for Britain to thrive’ – Telegraph
    As George Osborne promises stimulus for long-term recovery, Emma Stewart urges employers to use this as an opportunity boost the number of good quality, flexible jobs on offer. It’s quality over quantity. By Emma Stewart, Co-founder, Timewise Foundation Part time workers account for a minority of top level jobs 6.6 per cent of chief executives […]

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Building a social investment pipeline

Between 2011 and 2013, UnLtd observed changes in the numbers and demographics of people applying to the Big Venture Challenge, its investment readiness programme. This comes amid growing debate about why the sector struggles to find social entrepreneurs to take on the growing pool of social investment. As this debate continues, we are exploring the sources and flows of investments for the Big Venture Challenge (the investment pipeline) and its applicant pool.

We’re supporting 30 of the country’s most ambitious social entrepreneurs with the Big Venture Challenge 2013

WE’RE SUPPORTING 30 OF THE COUNTRY’S MOST AMBITIOUS SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS WITH THE BIG VENTURE CHALLENGE We are so excited to be unveiling the 30 ambitious social entrepreneurs who have been selected to take part in the Big Venture Challenge 2013 at a showcase in Central London today. The Big Venture Challenge is an investment accelerator


a group of organisations here to help you: