Feel free to get in touch with any questions you have:
As we receive questions from applicants, we will publish them in this section.
I think I’m eligible but I’m not quite sure…?
Have a go! The form is short and simple, so there’s no harm in trying. If after reading your application we don’t think you’re a good fit for this award, we can direct you to other opportunities for support.
I know someone great, can I nominate them?
The application should be written by the candidate themselves, but you can of course encourage them to apply and support them to draft their application.
My project is very early stage, am I eligible?
The prize is for extraordinary people who already have a track record of social impact, to help them further develop their own leadership capacity in order to fuel new growth or set off in a new direction.
The prize aims to support winners into the next phase of their work, whether that’s continuing to grow or pivoting into new work. So, while your current project might be new, we would expect to see a previous record of proven social impact over the past five to 10 years.
My project is a charity, am I eligible?
The prize rewards social impact through business. Many charities do use business models in order to create impact, but we are looking here for organisations/projects which are fuelled by self-generated revenue, rather than those with philanthropic or donations-based funding models.
I am in the UK, but my work impacts people living abroad, am I eligible?
No, the prize is intended to support people whose work makes an impact here in the UK.
What do you mean by ‘social impact’?
This is of course very open to interpretation! Being academics, we quite like the definition of social innovation proposed by Phills et al in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (2008): “A novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals.”
All sorts of social impact are important, regardless the scale, location or nature of your intervention. Your work might be making a deep impact in a disadvantaged community, it might be a national-scale project making structural change, it could be environmental rather than social.
So long as you can articulate your intended social impact and provide some evidence for the change you’re making, we can consider you.
Can the money be used as seed funding?
No, the prize is not intended to be ordinary project funding. Our intention is to support extraordinary leaders to grow personally and scale their impact, for example, through ongoing professional development.
I don’t have the right documents, what can I send instead?
We don’t want you to spend hours and hours creating new documents just for us! Because we’re looking for those with fairly advanced projects, we would normally expect that people would have to hand documents such as an annual report, a board/trustee update, or an impact report. In rare circumstances we understand that you may not have these to hand – please email [email protected] to discuss.
I’ve just started working on my project, am I eligible?
The prize is intended for people who already have a track record of using business to create social impact. This means five to 10 years’ work and some evidence of previous impact, significant turnover or a large team. The prize could support them to scale-up, or it could be used to refocus on a new project.
If you’re just starting out on your journey then our Social Venture Weekend or incubator programme would be a better fit.
Can my co-founder(s) and I apply together? Can my whole cooperative apply?
We encourage applications from teams and cooperatives, however, we would ask that you nominate one or two people to represent your group – perhaps someone with a particular interest in strategy, or one of the original co-founders.
The leadership development support can be used for team development, and the stories we will write about your work will reflect nature of your partnership. We won’t try to create ‘hero-preneurs’ out of you, if that’s not true to your partnership.
Is this a lifetime achievement award?
No, this award is best suited to people who have worked for five to 10 years on a social business/project. But this does not necessarily mean young people! If you have pivoted later in life to work in the social sector, then we would welcome an application from you.
If you’ve been building your company/project for longer than 10 years but feel the support and community would still be useful to you, then please do apply!
My venture has an environmental mission rather than a social mission, am I eligible?
Yes, we do support ventures with an environmental focus. The questions on the application form are written with social impact in mind, so please do interpret questions like ‘who are you trying to help’ in whatever way makes most sense for your venture.