ImpactU Pathfinder Award

What is the ImpactU Pathfinder Award? 

A dynamic initiative designed to catalyse social ventures across English universities. Our mission? To empower you  to create lasting impact in your communities and beyond.


Social Ventures can apply for up to £40,000!

How Does it Work?

Pathfinder Awards: We provide pre-seed awards to kickstart your journey. These awards are more than just funding, they’re a vote of confidence in your vision. 


De-Risk and Accelerate: We understand that every venture faces risks. Our support helps you turn obstacles into stepping stones.


Returns for Re-investment: Any returns generated by your venture will be reinvested into our shared pot. You success fuels future impact! 

Why Choose the ImpactU Award?

Tailored Support: We recognise that each venture is unique. Our personalised guidance ensures you receive the right resources at the right time. 


Up to £40,000: Social Ventures can apply for up to £40,000! Lets build bridges not piers! 


Community Change makers: Join a vibrant network of like minded individuals who share your passion for positive change. 

Are You Eligible? 

Your university is a member of ImpactU
Your co-founders are associated with a member-university

You have a social mission statement in the company’s Articles of Association

The company (Company Limited by Shares, Company Limited by Guarantee or a Community Interest Company) has been or is soon to be incorporated

Be ready with a business plan and financial cashflow

Your company is pre-investment (equity or debt)

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 ImpactU funding cannot be used for: 

Academic/scientific research 

Legal incorporation costs 

Investment Criteria

An embedded social purpose
A strong founding team
An innovative solution
A strong market understanding
A sustainable business model
Will funding de-risk the business?

Universities: Why Become a Member of ImpactU? 

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Access to Training: As a member, your university will gain access to specialised training and resources. Equip your faculty, staff and students with the tools they need to create meaningful change. 


Eligibility for ImpactU awards: Only English Universities (we are working it) are eligible for the Pathfinder Awards. These awards provide vital pre-seed funding to social ventures, helping them thrive.


Pre-Screening Criteria: We value quality and impact. To ensure best fit, we ask member universities to conduct pre-screening on applicants for the pathfinder awards.


Support for Unsuccessful Applicants: We believe in resilience. Even if an application in not successful, we are committed to providing support. A designated main contact at your university will receive feedback and guidance for unsuccessful applicants.



The Governance Team

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Eleanor Browne, Coventry University Social Enterprise 
Richard Hazenberg, University of Northampton

Emily Arnold,  Cambridge Enterprise

Charlotte Rowan, LSE Innovation
Emma Salgard Cunha, 
Cambridge Enterprise
Pippa Christoforou, Oxford University Innovation