The Fellows Future Fund is now open. Applications close at 5pm on October 6th. 

If you have any questions about the Fellows Future Fund please contact Alisha,

The Fellows Future Fund

As a Fellow of SSE, you have already demonstrated your passion and commitment to social change. We want to support you to innovate and experiment with an eye towards tackling society’s most serious issues.

We are now seeking to back SSE Fellows with grants of £5000 to help their organisation tackle inequality and/ or poverty.

Download the Fellows Future Fund Guidance Notes

What we are looking for

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, around 14 million people in the UK lived in poverty, representing approximately 22% of the population. Inequality figures are equally disturbing, with the country’s richest 10% bringing in 50% more income than the poorest 40%. Poverty and inequality are complex and multidimensional issues, deeply linked to and driven by structural oppression, and further exacerbated by the current crisis.

This round of the Fellows Future Fund invites Fellows to propose initiatives that will support their organisation’s capacity to tackle inequality and/or poverty. We are looking for a commitment to combating these most fundamental issues, and an appetite for exploring new ways of thinking or working.

We know you cannot solve these issues overnight. This grant of £5000 can, however, provide your organisation the opportunity to explore its approach to addressing poverty and inequality, learn more about how these issues manifest in the communities where it operates, or innovate to meet these challenges.

If you are successful in winning a grant, you will have 12 months to complete delivery of this initiative. After this, we will invite you to present your findings to a supportive audience of Social Partners and other stakeholders who support social enterprises.


“It feels very special to have received this funding as our company is going through a period of significant growth” Jenny Young, Blue Cabin

The Grant

The grant is only available to SSE Fellows (graduates of a six month or longer programme) who graduated at least 12 months prior to the application round. It can be used towards any initiative that develops or deepens your organisation’s ability to tackle poverty and/or inequality. For example, it could be used to pay researchers or software designers, or for delivery costs of a pilot programme for a new beneficiary group.


Grant Process

In this grant round, up to 10 organisations will be chosen to present a short pitch to our Social Partners, after which, three to four organisations will be selected to receive the grant. These organisations and the proposed initiatives will then be presented to SSE’s grants sub-committee, and, if approved, a grant will be distributed up to four to six weeks after the initial selection.

You will receive the grant up front, and all we ask in return is that you complete the initiative within 12 months and provide us with a short report. If possible, we might also ask you to present your initiative at an event.

Please note, you must attend the pitching event to be considered for the grant. There will be another application round in February-March 2021,so if you are unable to attend the November pitching event, we ask that you wait to apply for a round when you will be able to attend. The dates for the pitching events are:

• This round: 12th November 2020 (held virtually)
• Next round: 30th March 2021 (held in person, if possible


Read about the latest SSE Fellows to have been supported by the Fellows Future Fund

Should you apply?

We are seeking applications from SSE Fellows who have completed long SSE programmes at least 12 months ago. You will be from an organisation working with disadvantaged communities that is already making a significant difference to people’s lives. Your organisation will be established and is likely to have an income of at least £25,000. The organisation must be based in the UK but could be working anywhere in the world.

You will have already demonstrated that the business model can work, and now want to improve on this. You are committed to improving, refining, or expanding your organisation’s approach to tackling poverty and/or inequality and will use this grant towards this goal.

The purpose of the Fellows Future Fund is to provide opportunities for experimentation and learning – areas that are rarely funded. Therefore, we are less inclined to fund traditional impact or research reports, and instead seek to support initiatives that innovate. There are no other parameters on what sort of initiative this grant must be used towards, and we encourage creativity when considering how this grant could support you to fight poverty and/or inequality.

You can read more about the criteria for applications in the Fellows Future Fund Guidance Notes

How to apply

Please read the Fellows Future Fund Guidance Notes and then complete an application form using the link below. The deadline for applications is 5pm on October 6th.

Apply now