thirdbridge has been announced as one of the winners of this year’s Big Venture Challenge, a programme for ambitious and scalable social ventures that is run by UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.
After a competitive process, with over 450 social ventures expressing their interest in being part of the programme, and a resulting 110 submitting full business plans, thirdbridge has been announced as one of the 40 to be part of this year’s Big Venture Challenge. The final stage of the application process required each entrepreneur to pitch in front of a Dragon’s Den style room full of investors and various business leaders including ex-BBC The Apprentice judge Margaret Mountford.
SME’s account for over 47% of private sector employment and over 33% of private sector turnover in the UK underlining the importance of this sector to our economy. Almost a quarter of all SME employers consider themselves to have a social or environmental objective, and with UnLtd alone supporting over 1,000 social entrepreneurs each year, social entrepreneurship and the growth of social ventures is clearly playing an increasingly significant role in the UK.
The Big Venture Challenge will provide thirdbridge with support in scaling the business as well as the ability to pitch for up to £100,000 of match funding which can be used to leverage up to £500,000 of social investment.
“We are incredibly proud to be a part of the Big Venture Challenge – it is recognition that the vision and mission of thirdbridge is shared by people that can make it a reality. We want to use this programme as a launch pad to reach more organisations across the private and third sectors, helping them to increase their positive social impact and improve the lives of thousands of people.” Rick Benfield, CEO, thirdbridge