Chief Executive of UnLtd, Mark Norbury, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss social entrepreneurship and ways of backing social ventures and entrepreneurs
Chief Executive of UnLtd, Mark Norbury, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss social entrepreneurship and ways of backing social ventures and entrepreneurs.
UnLtd is a UK-based organisation that supports social entrepreneurship. They’ve helped out about 20,000 social entrepreneurs since 2002; they have an endowment of £150 million, a turnover of £8 million and a team of 75 staff.
They support social entrepreneurs in a variety of ways, including advice, networking, coaching, practical support and financing.
It’s important for them to find and back individuals who are very rooted in the issue each one of them is trying to address – this is something Mark calls ‘lived experience’. People who have lived through, discrimination, poverty and other issues.
When asked to define what social entrepreneurship means to UnLtd, Mark notes that they’re very relaxed about the actual type of legal structure one may have and rather, for them, it’s about whether your organisation has social impact, a sustainable business model, and that you have a growth mind-set.
UnLtd really cares about leadership, mission, impact and sustainability, and they back a wide range of organisations in diverse ways.
UnLtd is always happy to hear from philanthropists and they do accept funding from external sources. Every year, UnLtd is trying to raise approximately £3 million from external sources, such as corporations, foundations and high net worth individuals (HNWIs).
Mark provides insight into Harry Specters luxury chocolates, a successful organisation UnLtd has supported that provides gainful employment to autistic individuals and, in the process, adds value to people’s lives, the market, and the UK economy.
Success in the next 10 years for UnLtd: they’d like to continue the core of supporting social entrepreneurs and would like to further break down the barriers these individuals face, such as access to capital and access to expertise. They’d like to shift the systems in which these barriers exist, though policy, education and developing a supportive infrastructure.
Mark’s key takeaway: bring together leadership, impact, sustainability and purpose, in whatever realm you’re in, and you’ll give it your best.
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