Thrive: A social accelerator

Help your venture to Thrive

Thrive is our new social accelerator helping ambitious social ventures to scale. We combine six months of intensive support with the opportunity to secure investment of up to £50,000 for your social venture.

We will support 20 social ventures a year through Thrive. In our first cohort, we are seeking ventures that are improving access to employment for those distant from the labour market.

Thrive offers a combination of bespoke business support alongside potential to access finance, either through UnLtd or our partners. This gives your social venture the chance to grow your business, and ultimately deliver greater social impact.

Thrive builds on the learning from our Big Venture Challenge work, which supported 120 social ventures to collectively improve the lives of 1.24 million people in the UK and raise over £13 million of investment to grow their businesses.

How we can support you

We know that social ventures face barriers as they look to scale. Our research tells us that the main barriers to growth are: accessing capital, establishing routes to market, finding talent, and measuring impact. We design our support around these, and other, areas that we know are vital to get enable growth.

Each venture will get support from a dedicated Venture Manager as we know this hands-on consultative led approach is vital for ventures as they scale. Alongside this, we provide peer-to-peer networking opportunities, high level connections, and access to appropriate finance. We deliver our support in-house, or where required, bring in external expertise from trusted partners. Our support is tailored, but is built around:

  • Business planning, financial modelling & strategic advice
  • Raising capital
  • Developing routes to market
  • Accessing specialist advice
  • Developing governance
  • Evidencing impact and refining your theory of change.
You will have access to technical business assistance, connections and valuable peer-to-peer learning through UnLtd's expertise or trusted external consultants. We work with a pool of specialist consultants to meet the needs of individual ventures.
We provide connections to influential mentors, coaches and supporters that best meet your venture's needs. Our pro bono partners include strategy consultancies and PR agencies. You will also have access to Hogan Lovells legal support.
Where appropriate, we will support you prepare for investment, including the opportunity to secure repayable capital of up to £50,000 for your social venture. We supported 120 social ventures to secure £13 million of investment through the Big Venture Challenge.

Thrive accelerator

Tackling access to employment

Thrive launches with a focus on improving access to employment for those distant from the labour market.

The steady drop in unemployment is a good news story for the UK. Not only does our economy thrive when more people are earning a living, but not being in work impacts on peoples’ income, health and happiness.

Yet, not everyone with the desire to work is able to gain appropriate, meaningful employment. Social ventures have innovative ideas for improving access to employment and we want to help them Thrive.

Thrive is being co-funded by three expert partners who will each help develop a cohort of social ventures:

  • UBS, funding four ventures hoping to improve access to employment in East London as part of East End Connect;
  • Scope, who are funding eight ventures to improve employment opportunities for disabled people;
  • Eight ventures building access employment to are being funded by a private family foundation

All three partners share UnLtd’s belief that social ventures can offer effective solutions to improving employment opportunities for those with complex lives or additional support needs.

Thrive is being delivered in partnership with

Scope logo

To apply you must be:
  • Based in the UK
  • Focused on employment or employability
  • Have a trading and social impact track record.
Access to employment

You must be working to increase access to employment and operating with any of the following:

  • School leavers and apprenticeships
  • Higher and further education
  • Unemployment and underemployment
  • Supporting those distant from the labour market
Social impact

We are agnostic on legal structure, however, Companies Limited by Shares must be committed to embedding an appropriate social mission lock, with our support, during the programme.

You can find out more about our work with social mission locks in our Spotlight paper Profit, Purpose, Impact: Mission locks insights from practice.

For more information on applying or whether the support offer is right for you, get in touch with our Thrive team.

Submit an Expression of Interest
Expressions of Interest received on or before: Final submission date for application documents: Final pitching panel:
3rd April 2018 24th April 2018 June 2018