UnLtd joins business and civil society leaders to form new partnership to scale solutions for big social challenges

UnLtd joins business and civil society leaders to form new partnership to scale solutions for big social challenges

UnLtd took part in the first meeting of a new partnership bringing together government, business, civil society organisations.

The most significant challenges facing civil society today are set to be tackled by The Inclusive Economy Partnership, with UnLtd playing a key as part of its Champions Group.

The Group brings together some of the most influential voices from the business and civil society world. More than 80 individuals from business and civil society have already signed up to ‘Working Groups’ that will help to scale solutions over the coming months. There is also a seed fund which is open for applications via iep.challenges.org to the 4 October.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley chaired the first meeting on Monday 11th September 2017.

The first challenge areas the Working Groups will work on are:

  • Transition to work: Young people in the UK are over 2.5 times less likely to be employed than the average for the working age population
  • Financial Inclusion and Capability: 10 million working people who are financially struggling or lack access to affordable and high quality financial services
  • Mental Health: One of the largest public health challenges facing the UK – one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

UnLtd CEO Mark Norbury said: “We’re thrilled to be part of the Inclusive Economy Partnership. Working collaboratively with innovative and forward-thinking organisations is part of UnLtd’s DNA. This is a hugely exciting new way to foster ideas and innovations across government, business and civil society.

“Social entrepreneurs are best placed to create and deliver many of the solutions that society desperately needs. It’s becoming clear that social entrepreneurship is no longer a niche pursuit. It is becoming mainstream as more organisations and people recognise the great impact and value that social entrepreneurs bring. Through the power of these new partnerships, we look forward to breaking down the barriers that social entrepreneurs face, so that we can together deliver lasting change to some our most pressing social issues.”

Young people’s transition into work is one issue that social entrepreneurs are already tackling. For instance, UnLtd has supported social entrepreneur Will Akerman and his venture MyKindaFuture. This venture combines face-to-face interactions and mobile technology to help young people from all backgrounds engage with national employers, easing their way into the world of work.


MyKindaFuture aims to give every young person equal power and opportunity to shape their future through working with some of the UK’s large employers.

Will said: “Social businesses are so important because they deliver huge benefits to society through business, they don’t rely on grants or donations. We are excited by the work of The Inclusive Economy Partnership because it is so closely aligned to MyKindaFuture’s mission. We are committed to deliver lasting social impact by supporting thousands of people into employment and want to deliver further pilot schemes in some of the UK’s most challenging areas. There’s much to be done, we’re going to follow the work of The Inclusive Economy Partnership with great interest over coming months.”

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley said: “It was a hugely positive first meeting to kick start the Partnership which will help us build a stronger and fairer society. This Partnership brings together key leaders from the business sector and civil society world and working together we can help make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Chris Skidmore MP, Minister for the Constitution, said: “Government cannot tackle big societal challenges on its own which is why I am pleased to see collaboration and innovation at the heart of Partnership with the aim to positively impact the lives of hardworking families, removing barriers and creating opportunities.”

The Partnership is led by a Champions Group of leaders from a wide range of businesses and civil society organisations:

  • Sacha Romanovitch, chief executive of Grant Thornton (co-chair)
  • Caroline Mason, chief executive, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (co-chair)
  • Olly Benzecry, managing director of Accenture UK & Ireland
  • John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid
  • Joe Garner, chief executive of Nationwide Building Society
  • Mark Evans, chief executive of O2
  • Robert Noel, chief executive of Landsec
  • Jacqueline de Rojas, president, techUK
  • Mark Norbury, chief executive, UNLtd.
  • Peter Holbrook, chief executive, Social Enterprise UK
  • Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive, NCVO
  • Dawn Austwick, chief executive, Big Lottery Fund
  • Cliff Prior, chief executive, Big Society Capital

For more information: http://iep.challenges.org/


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