The Shaftesbury Partnership is delighted to announce that it will be a delivery partner in the next phase of Big Venture Challenge, running for three years from January 2013.
The Big Venture Challenge supports ambitious, high potential, social entrepreneurs to raise investment and rapidly grow their ventures by providing them with access to business support, expert connections and matched funding.
The Shaftesbury Partnership will support the ability of Big Venture Challenge winners to develop effective and strategic networks, building on our own experience of growing ventures by working with stakeholders from across sectors. The programme is led by UnLtd, in partnership with The Big Lottery Fund, and we are one of three social venture intermediaries acting as delivery partners for the new phase alongside ClearlySo and The Social Investment Business.
The first round of the Big Venture Challenge enabled 12 businesses to secure £1.2m in investment – with two-thirds coming from private sector ‘angel’ investors who had never made a social investment before. Over the next three years, a total of £5m in new funding will be made available to 100 early stage social ventures with high growth potential. This funding will attract at least another £5m of new external investment into these companies.
Dan Lehner, UnLtd’s Head of Ventures, said “To date, social investors have shied away from backing innovative start-ups and early-stage social ventures – but with the Big Venture Challenge, all that’s now changed. We’ve shown that with the right support and our offer of matched funding, a range of investors are willing to back early stage social ventures – and expect commercial returns. That’s got to be good news for the long term sustainability and maturity of the sector.”