UnLtd - Resilient Communities
UnLtd’s mission is to find, fund and support social entrepreneurs across the UK to help them grow their social impact and sustainability to tackle the UK’s most pressing challenges. It was formed in 2002 by seven organisations who believed that social entrepreneurs had a much bigger contribution to make to our economy and society. They were among the first to back individuals with their own ideas to create social good.
Funds were awarded in support of UnLtd’s Resilient Communities Programme. Resilient Communities brings together locally trusted people and organisations to create more local opportunities for social entrepreneurs who are deeply committed to transforming the places they live in, focusing on those who can respond to and grow sustainable solutions to the social challenges in their local area. This could be unemployment, poor health, loneliness, poverty, access to food, green spaces or meaningful integrational activities. Thanks to support from the players of People's Postcode Lottery through the Postcode Innovation Trust, the programme was delivered in Crumlin & the South Wales Valleys, Stoke, Dundee and Brighton.
The programme has supported a total of 36 new social enterprises. They have stimulated social enterprise activity in all four areas - supporting untapped talent and helping individuals build ideas to solve local social problems and building support and strategic networks around social entrepreneurs.
The individual support, combined with connecting social entrepreneurs to anchors, champions and each other, has had a marked effect on local people. Feedback from the social entrepreneurs shows that their lives have been changed by, for instance, attending a learning journey, or by being given pitching opportunities. Having someone else say ‘that sounds good’ for the first time really builds confidence, which has a lasting positive impact.
For individual social entrepreneurs, there is evidence of:
- Increased confidence of own skills and abilities, support for ideas that have not been given credence elsewhere
- Individual capacity in business skills and knowledge
- Improved local and wider networks and networking skills
- Improved confidence and leadership skills
- A strengthened sense of belonging and feeling that they are developing relevant products and services, and creating deep local impact