unltdUnLtd is the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK and offers the largest such network in the world. UnLtd resources hundreds of individuals each year through its core Awards programme. In 2011 UnLtd launched its new investment readiness pilot programme, the Big Venture Challenge funded by the Big Lottery Fund. 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.

Our Roles and Delivery:

Venture-Specific Role

Intentionality provided the Big Venture Challenge (BVC) enterprises with social impact support for the entrepreneurs and their ventures during the course of the programme. Work so far has included running a series of practical social impact workshops exploring topics such as ‘how to create a simple impact report’ and ‘how to use your impact for competitive advantage’, as well as offering one-to-one advice surgeries and support to individuals.

During 2013 we helped (among others):

  • MyChoicePad in presenting and reporting the data from their first round of a customer survey, and then helping to develop their second round of surveys. The surveys combined questions to find out how the product is being used and by whom, as well as including questions on outcomes so that it would be useful for reporting on social impact but would also aid business development.
  • REDS10 in developing their impact measurement capacity and engagement with their stakeholders
  • Racketys in how to make the most of their existing Customer Feedback surveys to gather, quantify and report impact information

We have also provided tailored support to many of the ventures, from helping with bid proposals and reporting to investors, reviewing questionnaires and impact reports, to giving guidance on tools and systems available for measuring and recording data.

Programme-Wide Role

Across the whole of the Big Venture Challenge cohort, we’re assisting in creating a Learning Paper and a Summative Report of the impact of the programme, in order to share lessons learned, best practice and the story of the impact of BVC. This is an exciting piece of research that we hope will be valuable to the social enterprise community.

The current Big Venture Challenge programme finishes in March 2014. Keep posted for an update of our work here and on the UnLtd website.

When looking for social impact experts to help the work of the Big Venture Challenge programme I wanted a team that knew the principles and tools of impact evaluation inside out, but also understood the practicalities of running a small business. Intentionality have always impressed me with their integrity, passion and expertise but, above all else, their flexibility and pragmatic approach to a sector that can sometimes be overly prescriptive. They are a team capable of building strong relationships and adapting their support offering to a range of different organisations and levels of internal expertise. I would thoroughly recommend their work.

Dan Lehner, Former Head of Ventures at UnLtd and Big Venture Challenge Programme Manager