I first came across UnLtd four years ago when I was Co-Director of Solutions for the Planet looking for support and funding. At the time UnLtd were one of the few organisations who seemed to understand what we we're trying to achieve, by selling our programme to corporates with mutual (albeit different) benefits to them and the young people we worked with.
We were successful with a Do It Award and then as part of their Fast Growth programme. Since then I've told every social entrepreneur I've met to check them out!
It was therefore great to get the opportunity to talk to Jane Ryall, Wales Manager for UnLtd and ask her about the support they currently provide, as well as the unique opportunities available in Wales for new start-ups and social entrepreneurs looking to scale.
UnLtd is UK-wide charity "helping to make the world a better place". Jane's role as Wales Manager is to help identify social enterprises need support and raise the profile of UnLtd's support & Awards for individuals in Wales, who are trying to improve lives and communities for other people.
Importantly UnLtd funds individuals not organisations and focuses on supporting the Founder of social enterprises lead as a social entrepreneur.
Jane shares her journey to UnLtd, including her experience of running her own freelance business for 7 years, UnLtd's Awards (funding) and the key trends shes observed about the social enterprise sector in the UK and Wales specifically. Jane also shares her insights of how individuals setting up their own enterprise or project should look after themselves as much as those their seeking to help through their business. (Further details of their awards are included below).
UnLtd provide funding through three levels of Award:
- Try It Award (up to £500) for people who want to try out a social action project or try out an idea they have for a social enterprise
- Do It Award (up to £5000) cover any essential start up costs except time/salaries
- Grow It Award - aimed at individuals delivering solid social impact at a local level but want to scale up what they do such as reach new markets, diversify income streams etc
There are three impact areas which UnLtd focus on (UK wide):
- Solutions for an ageing society
- Employability - helping people access work or trying
- Building resilient communities - making your place and community better (with a focus in certain places, identified where there is a very strong network of people working there already on improving their area)
Key points we discussed in this podcast:
- Jane's personal journey to becoming Wales Manager for UnLtd
- UnLtd's three Awards available across the UK
- UnLtd's key impact areas for giving Awards
- Trends in the social enterprise sector nationally (UK) and in Wales specifically
- Reasons why people are becoming social entrepreneurs and setting up social enterprises
- What Jane's noticed about where people need support at the start-up stage
- Challenges and opportunities facing new social enterprises
- Specific opportunities in Wales including our unique geography, industrial history and changing policy decisions
- The importance of focusing on your own well-being as well as earning a living from your venture
Find out more about UnLtd (including information about their Awards): www.unltd.org.uk