Inclusion statement

Discover how we are making 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 support to social entrepreneurs across England. The aim of the Social Enterprise Support Fund 2021/2022 (SESF) is to provide funding to England-based social entrepreneurs, enabling them to rebuild; in particular, to help them to restart or grow their trading income, as well as to support their communities to recover from the crisis. 

We want 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 

  • Fair: 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 is committed to inclusion, working to ensure that the grants reach groups that are led by: 

  • people from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities;  

  • LGBTQIA+ communities;  

  • disabled people;

  • and/or leaders with lived experience of the issues that the social enterprise is addressing.

Our commitments

All partners have made the following commitments to inclusion: 

  • We will abide by the values of the fund. 

  • We will actively encourage applications from social entrepreneurs who are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, are disabled and/or identify as LGBTQIA+. Each individual partner will have specific plans for reaching out to key target groups and allocating funds accordingly. 

  • We acknowledge that representation matters and will ensure that decision-making processes include at least two people from these groups wherever possible. 

  • We will undertake regular inclusion audits of grants applied for and made – and aim to meet the following goals at national level: 

    • Award more than 50% of grants to organisations led by people who are from a Black, Asian, minority ethnic background and/or are disabled. 

    • Award more than 6.6% of grants to organisations led by people identifying as LGBTQIA+ based on national estimates of representation. 

    • Award at least 50% of grants to organisations led by people who are women and/or non-binary gendered or intersex.  

    • Award at least 60% of grants to organisations working in the 40% most deprived communities 

    • Prioritise proposals that demonstrate the leadership’s lived experience of the issues they are seeking to address. 

    • Seek to ensure fair regional distribution of the grants, so the people from across England benefit from the funding. 

  • We will also endeavour to meet the following goals at regional level: 

    • Make awards to organisations led by disabled people and/or people with a long-term health condition in proportion to estimates of regional representation. 

    • Make awards to organisations led by people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds at 1.5 times the estimates of regional representation. 

    • Make awards to organisations led by people who have personal experience of the social issue that the organisation is seeking to address, at double the rate of regional socio-economic disadvantage. 

Our methodology 

Our baselines are based on statistics gathered from public sources, including the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Specifically, we have used the 2011 national census for establishing our baseline for regional representation of ethnicities; 2018 statistics produced by the ONS on prevalence of disability across regions (see reference 1); a 2017 review of available data on the representation of people identifying as LGBTQIA+ and a methodological paper on modelling estimates published by Public Health England (see reference 2); and statistics on household income levels by region published by the ONS for 2020 as a measure of socio-economic disadvantage (see reference 3). 


1. We use the widely accepted definition whereas a person is considered to have a disability if they have a long-standing illness, condition or impairment which reduces their ability to carry out day-to-day activities. This includes both physical and mental health conditions, disabilities and neurodivergence.

2. We have used a high LGB estimate of 5.89% across the population. Little reliable data on people identifying as transgender, intersex or non-binary is available, with estimates ranging from 0.30% - 0.75% of the population - we have adopted a value close to the higher end of this estimate.

3. We use the widely accepted relative poverty threshold as households with incomes below 60% of the national median, after housing costs. 

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