UnLtd: The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs

Michael Norton played a leading role in deciding to bid for the Millennium Legacy, in setting up a consortium to make that bid and in designing the proposals to the Millennium Commission.

In July 2000, the Millennium Commission asked proposals to be submitted for a Millennium Legacy of £100 million to endow a foundation which would make grants to individuals.

The winning consortium comprised Ashoka Trust (UK), Changemakers, Comic Relief, Community Action Network, Scarman Trust, School for Social Entrepreneurs and SENScot (a Social Entrepreneurs Network in Scotland). After lengthy negotiations with the Millennium Commission and preparatory development work, UnLtd made its first awards in February 2003.

UnLtd makes awards of up to £5,000 towards project costs and personal development to people with an idea for changing their community or changing the world. Larger awards of up to £15,000 enable people to take a year off to develop their idea. And at the top of the “staircase” , UnLtd Ventures provides consultancy support to help projects replicate and achieve their full potential.

UnLtd supports around 1,200 people a year all over the UK. In 2005, UnLtd received funds from the Big Lottery Fund to launch The Big Boost, a programme of youth awards run in partnership with Changemakers and Prince’s Trust

Within just a few years, UnLtd has established itself as an important funder of individuals with ideas for creating social change.

Michael Norton retired as a trustee of UnLtd in 2010. He is currently helping establish an older people’s challenge which will provide awards for social ventures and also seek solutions to the problems of ageing from older people, the next generation and through intergenerational activity. He is also taking the initiative in developing parallel foundations in other countries.

For more information visit www.unltd.org.uk