This week, Four Communications launched UnLtd’s Big Venture Challenge, a competition to find 25 of the nation’s most ambitious social entrepreneurs and give them the chance to fast-track their ventures to the next level. The initiative offers more than £1.2m of capital investment to the winners of the nation-wide ‘Dragons Den’ style competition.
The competition runs in three stages. In stage one the search is on to find 25 winning entrepreneurs. These winners will receive funding of £25,000 each and intensive business support, including support from the competition’s corporate partners, including Accenture, Deutsche Bank, Hogan Lovells, Coutts and The Supper Club.
Of these 25, the best ten ventures will receive a second round of £50,000, with a final two which demonstrate the fastest growth receiving an additional third round of £100,000 – a potential additional £150,000, but only if applicants can match it with loans or equity from co-investors. This mix of investment capital and grants is unusual in such a competition and reflects one of the competition’s main ambitions to attract new investors to the social capital market place.
The campaign runs until the end of June. Applications opened on 9 May.