We help social entrepreneurs
raise capital

Press release: Big Venture Challenge

London, Thursday 29th November 2012

The Big Venture Challenge supports ambitious entrepreneurs with access to business support, powerful connections and match funding to help them raise investment and deliver social impact at scale.

The programme is led by UnLtd and funded by the Big Lottery Fund and began with a successful pilot in 2011. ClearlySo are delighted to be announced as a delivery partner for 2013’s programme, which will be offering 30 of England’s most ambitious social entrepreneurs the opportunity to work with an expert team to raise investment in their ventures.

ClearlySo will be one of three delivery partners and are responsible for leading the brokerage of investment for the Big Venture Challenge winners. The Shaftesbury Partnership and The Social Investment Business will also be working closely with social entrepreneurs.

As a social finance intermediary, ClearlySo help social entrepreneurs raise capital and our goal is to grow the social investment marketplace and help build a more social economy. The capital raising team provide corporate finance and financial advisory services to develop, strengthen and articulate an investment case.

The ClearlySo investor network incorporates institutional and individual investors, including the UK’s first impact angel group focused on social and environmental businesses. ClearlySo is also a Provider under the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund (ICRF) and are currently working with former Big Venture Challenge winner Reds10 on an ICRF grant award to raise £500k+ of investment capital.

The Big Venture Challenge aims to support social entrepreneurs who are looking to raise between £50,000 and £250,000 of investment in order to rapidly grow their ventures. By the end of 2015, the initiative will have supported a total of 100 new social entrepreneurs.

Dan Lehner, head of ventures at UnLtd, 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.”