That is – to quote from the website of UnLtd – are you someone with vision, drive, commitment and passion, who wants to use the Internet to change the world for the better?
If so, you could be eligible for one of more than 80 grants which UnLtd plan to distribute this year, as part of the “Better Net Awards” programme being managed by UnLtd and funded by the Nominet Trust.
I recently met with Analia Lemmo from UnLtd, who explained to me how the programme works.
Throughout 2010, the programme will be making awards, at two levels:
- Level 1 is for awards of between £500 and £5,000 (expected average of £2,000) to startups;
- Level 2 is for awards of up to £15,000, for people who have already put their idea into practice, and who now want to expand it.
The key criteria for people to receive one of these awards is that:
- You must have a project in mind to use the Internet for social impact;
- Your project must be sustainable, that is, the grant should enable you to move the project to a level where it won’t need additional grants to keep it running;
- Your project should be run from the UK, and should have an impact on a community of people in the UK.
The process to apply for a grant is explained on the UnLtd website:
- UnLtd run regular information sessions, at various locations around the UK;
- After taking part in one of these sessions, you should decide whether to proceed to fill in an application form;
- Candidates may then be interviewed to check details of the proposal;
- The final decision is made by a board of trustees.
Projects should fall within the following range of areas:
- Digital inclusion – encouraging and assisting more people to acquire an online presence;
- Education about the Internet;
- Improving the environment;
- Improving healthcare;
- Online safety for children.
In a press release, Nominet explained their goals in providing this funding:
Teaming up with UnLtd allows Nominet Trust to source often hard to reach entrepreneurial individuals and community groups around the UK, and support their efforts to create, develop and implement Internet-based projects that benefit society.
UnLtd will provide hands-on support and resources alongside awards of funding to individuals and small groups who are creating new projects that reflect the objectives of Nominet Trust. The projects will focus on the safe use of the Internet for social benefit purposes such as education and inclusion. All awards in the partnership programme will be jointly approved by Nominet Trust and UnLtd.
Cliff Prior, chief executive at UnLtd, says: “UnLtd has a history of finding fantastic people with talent and a passion to transform the world in which they live, and supporting them to become successful social entrepreneurs – over 16,000 people to date. The Nominet Trust awards programme will enable UnLtd to build on this success by helping a new wave of people create social benefit through the Internet.”
Examples of previous winners of UnLtd awards are highlighted on the UnLtd website, and include:
- Action for Sustainable Living, which supports people to live more sustainably in the context of their local community, so that local sustainability issues and priorities are tackled and resolved locally;
- MOTIV – which works with primary and secondary schools to improve attendance and raise children’s aspirations;
- The Big Green Idea – a charity dedicated to showing people how sustainable living can be easy, healthy, inexpensive and fun;
- BabyGROE – the first free UK-wide magazine to inform new parents on ways to raise children which save money and protect the environment;
- The Calma project – which provides support and training to individuals, families and carers who are affected by the challenging behaviour associated with autism, Asperger syndrome, learning difficulties, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and related conditions.
In contrast to the general awards available from UnLtd, the Better Net Awards programme will have a special emphasis on Internet-based solutions. If you think you could qualify – or if you think you could be a useful partner who can help UnLtd to identify potential award winners – then please follow the contact links on UnLtd’s site.