UnLtd joins forces with City & Guilds Group to help social entrepreneurs to thrive

A new partnership between UnLtd and City & Guilds Group will provide funding for social entrepreneurs with bold ideas to create positive change in society.

Funding from City & Guilds Group will be used to support UnLtd’s Thrive programme, which aims to improve access to employment by providing more employment and training opportunities for people furthest from the labour market.

City & Guilds Group, the global skills development body, has joined forces with UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs, in a new partnership that will provide funding and expert support for social entrepreneurs to scale up and achieve greater impact.

Financial support from City & Guilds Group will be made available to entrepreneurs that run social-purpose businesses which aim to get more people into jobs and training.

Whilst current unemployment figures in the UK are low, not everyone with the desire to work is able to gain appropriate, meaningful employment. This is particularly the case for people furthest from the labour market, such as disabled people, refugees, care leavers, ex-offenders, single parents and those who are homeless.

Unltd’s Thrive programme offers a mix of finance, six months of tailored expert advice and pro-bono support to help social-purpose businesses to build connections, secure further investment, and really scale their operations. It builds on the learning from UnLtd’s Big Venture Challenge work, a similar programme which supported 120 ventures and raised more than £13 million of investment.

Mark Norbury, CEO of UnLtd, said: “I am thrilled that UnLtd is working with City & Guilds Group, a global organisation with a rich and successful history of investing in education, learning and skills development, on our Thrive programme.  Our partnership demonstrates a real commitment between our two organisations to improve access to employment for people distant from the labour market and help reduce the disability employment gap.

“Inspirational organisations such as Exceptional Individuals, who placed more than 300 talented dyslexic and neurodivergent people into meaningful work in 2018, are helping to change the mind-set of employers by showing that there are significant advantages to creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces. Yet we know that ventures like this need support to grow and scale up to really maximise their social impact. This exciting new partnership will enable us to provide more funding and support to help ventures to make a lasting positive impact.”

Chris Jones, CEO of City & Guilds Group said: “Our purpose is to give everyone the chance to develop the skills they need to find meaningful jobs. For so many people, their ability to find lasting work is hindered by circumstances, which too often results in a vicious cycle of unemployment.

“The partnership with UnLtd will help us deliver genuine interventions to a social system that leaves behind some of the most vulnerable people. Working with innovative and dedicated entrepreneurs who are driven by the need to make a lasting impact on lives – and economies – is a privilege and we look forward to supporting those who share our vision.”

Launched in 2018, Thrive was backed by the then minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton. Examples of ventures on UnLtd’s Thrive programme include: CrackedIt, a smartphone repair service staffed by young ex-offenders; Exceptional Individuals, an employment partnership that gets dyslexic and neuro-diverse people into employment; Fat Macy’s, a catering business that provides employment and training for unemployed homeless people; and Offploy, an organisation that is helping people with criminal convictions into meaningful work.

For more media information contact comms@unltd.org.uk or press@cityandguildsgroup.com

About UnLtd

UnLtd finds, funds and supports social entrepreneurs with bold ideas to tackle the key issues facing society.

Since 2002 UnLtd has given out more than 15,000 awards of support and funding, direct and through partners, to social entrepreneurs to start up and scale their impact. It supports individuals running ventures firmly rooted in delivering positive social change.

UnLtd has developed a vibrant network of supporters and is at the heart of a thriving movement for social change. UnLtd brings together research, insight and innovation to support social entrepreneurs and help them to change the UK for the better.

For more information about UnLtd visit www.unltd.org.uk

Twitter: @UnLtd

Facebook: www.facebook.com/unltd

About the City & Guilds Group

The City & Guilds Group is a world leader in skills development. Working in over 100 countries across the globe, our purpose is to enable people and organisations to develop their skills for growth. From setting the standard for on-the job training through to supporting skills development around the world, the City & Guilds Group has 140 years’ experience in preparing people to contribute to successful businesses and thriving economies.

Our brands support people into a job, on the job and into the next job.

Skills credentialing: City & Guilds, ILM and Digitalme are together devoted to setting the standard for skills. They have a 360 degree view of skills; from developing the expertise needed in today’s workplace, testing and assessing this through robust qualifications, through to the recognition of in-house training programmes and digital badging of skills and experience

Corporate learning: Kineo and The Oxford Group are our corporate training and development brands, supporting everything from large-scale training programmes, workforce management and elearning through to bespoke management training and executive coaching

Technical training: Gen2, our newest brand, is a technical training provider delivering skills training in engineering and technology for the UK civil nuclear industry.