Calling Social Entrepreneurs – Big Venture Challenge 2014

Calling Social Entrepreneurs – Big Venture Challenge 2014

So you are an ambitious social entrepreneur? UnLtd in partnership with ClearlySo, Shaftesbury Partnership and the Social Investment Business Group wants to help you rapidly scale your impact.

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 Big Venture Challenge is an intensive 12 month programme that is designed to help you raise external investment (debt or equity) of between £50,000 to £250,000. This means working with you to build a compelling growth story, finding investors, making strategic connections and supporting you as an entrepreneur during the journey.

About the programme

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.

Big Venture Challenge is co-delivered by a group of core partners, bringing together key players in the sector to build the early stage social investment marketplace in a connected way. The partnership is led by UnLtd and includes ClearlySo, Shaftesbury Partnership and the Social Investment Business Group.



  • Ambition: You are highly ambitious to scale up the impact of your social venture at a rapid pace.
  • Social Impact: You have a true commitment to delivering measurable social impact directly to disadvantaged communities in England.
  • Team: You and your core team have experience and strong professional networks in the industry in which you work.


  • Your venture tackles a clearly identified social problem with a scalable and disruptive solution
  • Your venture is ideally less than 5 years old
  • You want to raise £50-250k in investment over the next 12 months to achieve your ambitions
  • Your revenue model is scalable and sustainable
  • You can to point to a compelling performance to date and / or You have a logical and appropriate plan for rapid growth to reach national or international scale


Your venture will get;

  • A Development Manager – Personal Support
  • A Networks Manager – Connections
  • An Investment Manager – Funding


Big Venture Challenge will open again in January 2014 – with a focus on social ventures working in the Midlands and those working to help educate young people. You can register your interest in applying in 2014.