Delivering social enterprise support overseas

Business and Investment Readiness programme (BiR) pilot 2015/16 

The British Council is calling for applications from UK social enterprise support organisations able to provide consultancy services to social enterprises overseas. 

These support services are being offered through a new strand of our Global Social Enterprise programme called the Business and Investment Readiness (BiR) programme that will be piloted in nine countries in the financial year ending on 31 March 2016 with a view to expanding in future.

This new initiative is designed to enhance the quality of support services for social enterprises and create opportunities for UK social enterprise intermediary organisations to enter foreign markets and expand their overseas networks.

It will do this by matching selected UK social enterprise support organisations with counterparts in participating countries. Working together, they will provide consultancy services to social enterprises in those countries in order to help them to strengthen their organisational capacity, better measure and communicate their impact, and successfully bid for grant and investment funding.

Travel and delivery grants; partner in-kind contributions

The British Council will offer grants to as many as 9 selected UK based organisations to take part in the BIR programme in 2015-16.

These will include travel grants to undertake scoping visits and meet with their foreign partner as well as delivery grants to undertake their joint project. The latter grants will only be awarded after the UK partner has submitted a detailed proposal which has been approved by a BiR selection committee.

Context and legacy

The UK has a uniquely vibrant social enterprise ecosystem and there is strong interest from foreign social entrepreneurs and support organisations – as well as from social investors, policy makers, academics and other sector stakeholders – to learn from the UK’s experience and expertise.

Through the partnerships it creates, the BiR programme will help to strengthen the support services infrastructure in the participating countries and thus enhance the sector’s future development.

BiR has been developed and supported by a number of key strategic partners, who all have a keen interest in growing the social enterprise sector globally.

Strategic Partners for 2015/16

  • The UK Government's Cabinet Office
  • Social Enterprise UK
  • Social Value UK
  • Social Investment Business

Participating countries

  • Bangladesh
  • Pakistan
  • Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • The Philippines
  • Ghana
  • Malaysia
  • Vietnam

For further information and to apply 

Please download the BiR guidance notes and application form below. These provide comprehensive guidance on the programmes, eligibility and selection criteria, and application requirements.

If you have further questions, please email social.enterprise@britishcouncil.org by 26 June 2015.

The application deadline is 2300 on Friday 10 July 2015