UnLtd Awards

Awards to help start and grow your social enterprise

UnLtd offer support for enterprises with a social or environmental aim at the core of what they do. They have two types of awards available at present, for which expression’s of interest close on the 27th March 2018. Although this deadline is soon, award cycles run three times throughout the year, so good to keep in mind for future too!

Do It Awards

For those who want to create social change and would like to start working on an idea. Award includes 1-to-1 support, expert advice and access to resources including some funding.

Grow It Awards

For those who have identified a social issue and are committed to tackling it and have experience relevant to grow a venture. Award includes support to grow your venture and up to £15,000 funding.

For more information on UnLtd awards, visit their website.


Thrive: A Social Accelerator

‘Help your venture to Thrive’

Thrive is a new social accelerator run by UnLtd, aiming to help ambitious social ventures to scale. The programme will include six months of intensive support along with an opportunity to secure up to £50,000 for your venture.

20 social ventures will be supported each year and for their first cohort they are looking specifically for ventures which are working to improve access to employment for those distant from the labour market.

If you would like to find out more about the accelerator or are interested in applying, Cathryn Chrimes from UnLtd will be coming in on Thursday the 15th of March to talk to potential applicants. This information session will take place from 12-2pm in Learning Zone Pod 4. You can also read more about the accelerator online. 

Week 19 Enterprise Events

Get Involved

Tuesday 13th

Share It Lab with Dan Ghita, 2-3pm, Learning Zone Pod 4

Dan Ghita is a current Management student, developing a new business based around cycling holidays in Eastern Europe.

Dan will be joining us for a session to share his personal entrepreneurial story, talk about the power of storytelling, importance of not following the crowd and how to generate business ideas.

Come along to find inspiration and advice for your own venture and ask Dan any questions.

Book on Target Connect

Wednesday 14th

Art, Film, LICA Alumni Event, 12-2pm, Bowland North SR 6

Interested in freelancing in the Arts after graduation? Join this panel event for LICA students – come and listen to Lancaster University graduates of Art, Design and LICA subjects talk about their jobs and the routes they took to get their dream job. Find out more about working in the arts, media, freelance work and portfolio working.

Book on Target Connect

Design Thinking Sprint – From Inspiration to Ideation, 2-5pm, Bowland North SR 7

This is the second of three design sprints. In this session you will work on design challenges focusing on two aspects of the process:

Inspiration – looking at research methods that are used in Design Thinking to unpack a problem space.

Ideation – looking at techniques that are used to visualize, brainstorm and evaluate ideas in order to reach a viable choice.

Don’t worry about having attended the last session – each session can be attended as a stand-alone as well.

Book on Target Connect

Thursday 15th

UnLtd – Thrive accelerator information session for social enterprises, 12-2pm, Learning Zone Pod 4

Thrive is a new social accelerator run by UnLtd, aimed at supporting ambitious social ventures to scale. For their first cohort, Thrive are looking for ventures with the aim of improving access to employment for those distant from the labour market.

Cathryn Chrimes from UnLtd will be coming in to potential applicants, so if you would be interested in finding out please come along.

Book on Target Connect

Spaces 4 Change

Transform an unused space

Spaces 4 Change is a programme aiming to find, fund, support and connect young people aged 16-24 to start and run social ventures using currently unused or under-utilised spaces for the benefit of the local community, in particular other young people.

From 2016-2019, 100 awards will be available for young leaders including up to £5,000 project funding, a dedicated award manager providing tailored support, cohort support, and peer to peer networking opportunities for sharing knowledge and learning. Those aged 18-24 will also have the opportunity to crowd fund alongside their award with the support of Spacehive.

Expression of Interest Deadline: 10th December

Click here to find out more and apply.

North Lancashire PIP Awards 2016

Which local projects deserve funding and support? YOU decide.

shared futures2North Lancashire PIP Awards evening; Thurs 4th Feb 2016, 6pm – 8.30pm, The Storey, Lancaster.

A couple of weeks ago we let you know about a funding opportunity with Shared Future CIC for local social enterprises. Nine applicants have now been selected to present at the Awards evening on Thursday 4th Feb, with the opportunity to win between £1,800 and £3,000 for their projects.

With a total of £18,000 to give away on the night, Shared Futures are now calling for participants to help decide which projects should benefit. There are limited spaces available and registration is necessary: click here to register.

For more information: email angela.diggle@sharedfuturecic.org.uk

How to Make It Happen as a Social Entrepreneur

Are you a Social Innovator?

Social entrepreneurs aren’t that different from other people making things happen; they take their passions, motivations and enthusiasm and create a business.

In the video clip above, UnLtd Award winner, Rosie Ginday, discusses how her passion for cooking has evolved into a successful social enterprise, supporting the rehabilitation of offenders and disadvantaged individuals with employment and training.

What are your passions and hobbies? Maybe the traditional entrepreneurial path does not inspire you to take the plunge and create your own career; would your motivations change, however, if you knew that you were making a difference to other people’s lives and supporting them to find a better future?

If your answer is yes, absolutely – why not come along to the “Are U a social innovator?” event during Make It Happen? You’ll meet other people already making a difference in the North West and learn what social challenges are felt most acutely in the area. You might even find other students to collaborate with to start making things happen whilst your at University. Sign up via Target Connect to secure your place.



Have you seen our Make It Happen events are now on Target Connect?

APPLY NOW: Summer Social Innovation Project

Summer Social Innovation Projects

Image courtesy of Stamford University
Image courtesy of Stanford University 

A unique opportunity for summer 2015 to apply your ‘imaginative spark’ in a team working on a challenge in a local social enterprise- we require six student volunteers and two Lancaster Social Enterprises.

We’re facing challenging times, but with every challenge there is an opportunity to thrive. This requires innovation and this is where a team of Lancaster University students could make a difference working with Lancaster’s social enterprises.

What is the opportunity?

This summer a group of colleagues across campus have pooled resources to test a brand new model for a volunteering project, supported by a student ‘Volunteership Enterprise Award’. It’s an opportunity to develop future student project leaders and find the people with the potential to become future leaders in the social enterprise sector.

How will it work?

  • Teams of 3 students will work on a challenge being faced by a Lancaster Social Enterprise, to develop possible solutions to test or roll out as projects, either during the pilot or during the following academic year.
  • The pilot project will take place in a period of 4 weeks from 6th July to 31 July 2015
  • Students will volunteer to work on a challenge for 18 hours per week, and will receive a ‘Volunteership Award’.
  • The hope is that these students will go on to lead mini student projects teams in collaboration with LUSU and the sector in the following academic year.

Learning for everyone involved:

The Social Enterprise gets a group of bright young minds working on one of their organisation’s challenges For students it’s a journey in the social enterprise sector an opportunity for action research, creativity and designing and developing solutions to support innovation in social enterprises | a chance to share design and creative thinking tools and put them to the test in the field.

What do I need?

We’re not looking for perfectly formed innovators, just students and organisations who are willing to learn by doing and can offer, demonstrate and bring along some of these qualities :

  • An enquiring mind and the capacity to reflect and learn in a peer group
  • Openness to creativity and new ways of working
  • An interest in action research, learning and doing
  • Flexibility to think laterally, solve problems
  • Passion and ambition to make a difference for people
  • Ability to build relationships, encourage collaboration and the right conditions to excel.

Please apply by 12th June. For project timelines, details on how to apply and the student volunteership award, please click the links below:

For students click here.

For details on how to apply Lancaster Social Enterprises should click here.

Social Enterprises can also download our organisational fact find here. This form helps us to understand more about your organisation.

 Thank you to all partners for donating their time and resources to making this pilot possible:

Kate Jackson, Community Engagement Officer LUSU, Dr Matt MacDonald, Senior Research Associate LUMS and Social Entrepreneur in Residence, Gerasimos Balis, High Wire, Candace Davis, Lancaster University, Amanda Brooks, The Enterprise Team, UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.


Could you provide expert advice and support to social entrepreneurs?


Interested in becoming a mentor?

Would you be willing to volunteer some time to:

  • Work one-to-one with a social entrepreneur?
  • Run a workshop or online webinar for a group of entrepreneurs?
  • Make introductions to people in your network?
  • Help someone take an important commercial step forward?

If so, then thank you! Please get in touch with enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk

Help people grow –  More than anything else, social entrepreneurs want someone to listen to them and help them put their ideas into action. By asking questions, making suggestions and encouraging someone to act, you will help them build skills and self-confidence which they’ll take with them wherever they go.

Be inspired –  Working with a social entrepreneur will introduce you to issues you might not have known about and challenge your way of seeing and doing things. It will teach you to listen and to let someone find their own solutions. And you’ll be inspired by people’s passion and determination.

Drive sustainability –  Whether you listen to someone’s ideas and ask them challenging questions or help someone sort out their cash flow, or advise them on the appropriate legal structure for their business, you are giving practical support so that they can make their social enterprise more solid than it would be without your help.

Feel good Working with a social entrepreneur is a great way to pass on your experience and expertise and to give something back to the community around you.

Tools, Tips and Webinars for Social Entrepreneurs by Unltd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs


Through their SEE change Programme (Social Enterprise in Education), Unltd the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, are supporting universities to help social entrepreneurs to change the UK for the better. Lancaster University are Partnering with Unltd to find, fund and support inspiring individuals who want to bring about social change

Through their competitive awards programme Unltd offer support for social entrepreneurs at various stages of their journey and a comprehensive guide to developing a social enterprise  including a tool kit offering practical guidance and working models for every stage of social entrepreneurship from initial idea, setup and piloting, on to longer term sustainability, growth and replication.

Unltd regularly run free webinars hosted by experts in various fields to help social entrepreneurs. The 2013 webinars can be found here. Unltd will be Launching a 2014 series, the details of which will be announced soon.

For information about how to apply for Unltd funding and an application pack, please visit the Unltd page on our website. If you have any questions please get in touch with us at enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk

A fifth of adults are ‘hidden entrepreneurs’, reveals survey. Support is needed to ‘normalise’ entrepreneurship as a career path, says UnLtd

UnLtd_2012_Logov2One in five UK adults uses their spare time to grow a new business or earn some extra income – making them Britain’s ‘hidden entrepreneurs’.

The surprise findings are revealed today by the latest RBS Enterprise Tracker, carried out in association with UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.

According to the survey, two-fifths of adults have a hobby or pastime that could or does provide them with a second income, and of those nearly half treat their hobby as a way of earning extra income or hope it will develop into a full-time business. These ‘hidden entrepreneurs’ – 20% of adults – are spread evenly across all regions of the country.

The survey also reveals a large ‘ambition gap’ between people who say they want to start a formal business or enterprise (38%) and 6% who actually do. Some are put off by perceived practical barriers – such as the state of the economy (41%) and where to find the cash (41%), while others lack confidence: 55% of respondents had ‘fear of failure’ on their minds while half (49%) assume they lack the skills for the job. Only 12% of people are put off because they couldn’t see a market opportunity.

Cliff Prior, chief executive of UnLtd, said: “Hidden entrepreneurs are natural entrepreneurs. These figures tell us that people want to create businesses out of their hobbies, passions and interests – which is where many social entrepreneurs start – but don’t feel they have the support or confidence to do so. As a nation we need to get far better at nurturing our entrepreneurial talent and normalising entrepreneurship as a career path from an early age. At UnLtd we know that trying social entrepreneurship can give vital life skills for the future.”

Thom Kenrick, Head of Sustainability Programmes at RBS, said: “We’ve believed for some time that lots of people are undertaking enterprising activities without associating themselves with being an ‘entrepreneur’. This research shows there is an untapped potential right across Britain of people who could be successful in business. Through Inspiring Enterprise, RBS is working with organisations right across the UK to help more people, in more communities, release their enterprise potential.”

The quarterly RBS Enterprise Tracker, conducted last November by Populus on behalf of RBS Group, measures people’s attitudes towards starting up their own business or social enterprise. The poll interviewed 3,789 people.

The survey also shows that people’s appetite for social enterprise remains strong, with 20% of those who would like to start their own business saying they would choose to set up a social enterprise. These people are more likely to think that business training would be most helpful in setting up their own business than the population generally (27% compared to 20%).

Read the full report of the survey findings and the summary report here