UnLtd's Millennium Awards are funded by the income generated from an investment of £100 million given by the Millennium Commission, one of the National Lottery distributors. This legacy is carefully invested as a permanent endowment so that it generates sufficient income to fund UnLtd Millennium Awards in perpetuity.
UnLtd also raises substantial further funds from government, lottery distributors, trusts and companies, to develop further support for social entrepreneurs in themed areas of interest. Our new initiatives, from Young UnLtd to investment readiness, www.unltdworld.com to the RISE programme for refugee entrepreneurs, break new ground and together create the world’s largest scheme of support for social entrepreneurs. Our research work learns from experience of supporting 1000 people each year, and is a key source of learning in the sector. Our networks of pro bono support and peer to peer skill sharing extend to the top companies and across the globe. This is one of the most inspiring, innovative and exciting places to work, and a role which backs the people who are the solutions to our society’s problems.
UnLtd’s mission is to reach out and unleash the energies of people who can transform the world in which they live. We call these people social entrepreneurs. We believe that individuals have the potential to make positive change in the world and we believe in the value of social entrepreneurs across the spectrum, from local- to world- changing. We are a unique and dynamic organisation, helping people create change at grass-roots level, where it really makes a difference. UnLtd offers three main levels of support that is tailored to each individual’s needs:
Level 1 Awards are aimed at individuals who have an idea which will change society for the better, and want help getting it off the ground. The money (of between £500 and £5,000) is to help get the project up and running, and is backed by development support.
Level 2 Awards are for individuals whose ideas are already off the ground and now want help taking the project to the next level. The funds (of between £10,000 and £20,000) are to enable the social entrepreneur to work full time on their venture, and are backed by more intensive development support and networking.
Our Ventures team also provides consultancy support and larger awards to a very small number of outstanding (Level 3) social entrepreneurs, helping them to scale up or replicate their projects.
UnLtd Ventures helps these social entrepreneurs to build their capacity and skills as leaders and managers, to get them investment ready, and to help them to develop projects and organisations with robust infrastructures.
UnLtd Research has been set up to measure the impact of our work and the impact our Award Winners have on their communities. We aim to translate this knowledge into tools and performance metrics, facilitating value-added networks of social entrepreneurs, and raising public awareness. We also disseminate the results of our work for the benefit of national policy makers to bring about changes in society at large and internally for business development purposes.
We are extending our reach all the time, through new programmes and partnerships. Examples of current programmes include the UnLtd Sport Relief Awards (funded by Comic Relief); the RISE refugee programme (50% funded by the Home Office); Young UnLtd (supported by the Big Lottery Fund, Vodafone Global Foundation, V and DCSF), and a series of locality based schemes in deprived or isolated neighbourhoods. UnLtd employs over 60 staff, based in seven offices throughout the UK.
Our Award Winners UnLtd Award Winners come from diverse backgrounds, cultures and locations; what they have in common is a desire to change the world. That doesn’t mean they necessarily develop complex, global solutions to large-scale issues; often, social entrepreneurs simply take a problem in their own community and make a commitment to tackle it. This may lead to something bigger, or it may not; what makes a true social entrepreneur is that they have the will to make a difference, the vision to know how to go about it and the determination to make that vision happen.