Get involved in the design of an online tool for Mission-Led Business

What is it?

UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs and the law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite are designing an online tool that entrepreneurs running limited companies can use to create company articles and governance that reflect their purpose. The aim is to make it easy for social entrepreneurs and mission-led businesses to declare and commit to a purpose beyond profit. The tool will cater for start-ups as well as more established businesses, and for businesses that have a primary social purpose as well as those who wish to create social impact alongside commercial goals. The project is a direct response to the recommendations of last year’s Mission-Led Business Review.

What is the problem it’s trying to solve?

Evidence suggests that one in four people starting a business want to make it social in some way. The vast majority of businesses use the standard company articles and very few make the most of the flexibility of UK company law to define a purpose beyond profit. Ways of doing this are not always clear and few entrepreneurs are able to access legal help.

What will this look like? How will it be done?

First, they will see a set of “best practice” articles that entrepreneurs can use, in language that meets the needs of entrepreneurs. It will be tested with entrepreneurs to ensure it is not just something that works in theory. At the same time, they will test out how an online tool will work and consult entrepreneurs to design something that is based around their needs. This is bringing the best of design thinking into policy making. The mock-up for the tool and user testing should be done by the summer. The focus will then turn to the product build and building a supportive campaign around it.

How can I get involved?

Fill out our survey If you are an entrepreneur who has set up/is in the process of setting up a business in the UK, please fill out the survey here: https://goo.gl/abtLim by the 21 st of April. The results will help to understand the current behaviours and preferences of individuals when setting up a business. If you fill out the survey you also have the chance to win an Experience Day of your choice up to the value of £250.

Attend a focus group Should you wish to contribute more to the design process, please join one of the focus groups. Please get in touch via KatieThorlby@unltd.org.uk.

Become a partner This collaborative project is co-funded by the Office for Civil Society, and UnLtd and BWB are working with Companies House and other relevant organisations. They invite other partners to join them. Please contact policy@unltd.org.uk for more information.