Social Ventures

Our opportunity to make a difference

If you’re looking to develop your academic research for public benefit rather than private gain – perhaps to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged people, address environmental issues or reinvest profits back into the community – we should be talking.

We’re proud to be pioneers among technology transfer organisations for developing social ventures. In fact, we were the first to appoint a Business Manager for this important sector and have a comprehensive capability to help you. This ranges from idea assessment, business plan development, and contractual, company formation and intellectual property (IP) advice to social impact measurement guidance and help in reaching out to the right social investors.

Social venture – a genuine win-win-win situation

First and foremost, ordinary people benefit from the creativity and hard work you put into a social venture. Such ventures enable you to deliver the Impact Agenda and carry out research with clear, positive and practical outcomes for humankind.

Furthermore, social ventures are also good for UCL and our people. Innovative projects create good publicity and help to increase the reputation of our academics. This generates additional research and income to fund everything from scholarships to professional development.

Last but far from least, we know UCL’s people want their research to make a difference. So if you want your work to benefit society, a social venture spin-out is the way to achieve your goal.

All of which dovetails perfectly into UCLB’s vision, which you can find here.

We define social ventures as businesses that:

  • Have a clear social and/or environmental mission
  • Generate the majority of their income through trade by selling goods and/or services
  • Reinvest the majority of their profits back into their business or the community

Are you a UCL academic looking to develop your academic research for public benefit – to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged people, improve access to services, make a product or service more affordable for underserved communities, or address an environmental issue?

You can now apply for up to £20,000 funding and support to develop your idea further!

To apply please complete the Social Ventures Funding Application form or for more information, please contact Ana Lemmo Charnalia on

UCLB PoC for Social Ventures – Criteria

  1. The applicant is UCL staff/researcher
  2. The product/service is arising from UCL research/ there is UCL IP involved.
  3. The project is an entrepreneurial solution to a social problem
  4. The applicant has or is committed to gain an understanding of the need and customer demand for the proposed product and/or service
  5. The proposed project activities can be achieved within the proposed timeframe and budget
  6. The project has potential for creating social impact
  7. There is a clear plan for progression beyond the period of the award
Social Ventures Funding Application Form

Need advice?

Contact our dedicated Social Venture Business Manager, Ana Lemmo Charnalia.

Case Studies