Inclusion statement

Discover how we made the Social Enterprise Support Fund inclusive

UnLtd, Resonance, Big Issue Invest, the School for Social Entrepreneurs and Key Fund are proud to join forces in delivering essential support to social entrepreneurs across England. The aim of the Social Enterprise Support Fund (SESF) was to provide funding to England-based social entrepreneurs, enabling them to survive the immediate funding crisis, to become financially resilient and to have the opportunity to thrive.

The fund has now closed. Learn about its impact and meet the social enterprises that were funded.

We wanted all social enterprises in England to have the opportunity to access this funding and this is reflected in the Fund’s values:

  • Responsive: Funding should reach social entrepreneurs swiftly
  • Inclusive: There is an equitable process for accessing funding
  • Transparent: It is clear how the money has been allocated
  • Flexible: Social entrepreneurs can use the money according to their needs
  • Fairness: We will endeavour to make fair judgements when making tough decisions  
  • Collaborative: A sector-wide approach to supporting social entrepreneurs through COVID-19

Research shows that this crisis is disproportionately hurting communities who already experience social and economic inequalities.

The fund was committed to inclusion, working to ensure that the grants reach groups that are led by:

  • people from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities; 
  • LGBTQ+ communities; 
  • people with disabilities; 
  • and/or leaders with lived experience of the issues that the social enterprise is addressing.

All partners made the following commitments to inclusion:

  • We will abide by the values of the fund.
  • We will undertake regular inclusion audits of grants applied for and made – with a goal of circa 30% people who use their first-hand experience of a social issue to create positive change for, and with, communities and people they share those experiences with. We call these people leaders with lived experience.
  • We will actively encourage applications from social entrepreneurs who are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, are disabled and/or identify as LGBTQ+. Each individual partner will have specific plans for reaching out to key target groups and allocating funds accordingly (see below).
  • We acknowledge that representation matters and will ensure that decision-making processes include at least two people from these groups wherever possible.

Each partner also considered how they put these principles into practice through the funding they give out and in accordance with their own diversity, inclusion and equity strategies.

You can read more about these on their websites:

  • UnLtd - here
  • School for Social Entrepreneurs - here
  • Key Fund – here
  • Big Issue Invest – here (Word download)
  • Resonance - here

Other recent updates