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Winston Churchill Fellowship

Awarded independently to founder Tom Shirley to spend six weeks travelling to meet leaders in social finance and use this knowledge to benefit people in the UK.

This is a research grant that was awarded independently to Tom while he was running the business as a self-employed individual. Although it is not an Illustrating Impact project Tom expects that it will have a fantastic influence on the impact of the work in the future.


The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust runs the Churchill Fellowships, which are “a unique programme of overseas research grants. They support UK citizens from all parts of society to travel the world in search of innovative solutions for today’s most pressing problems.”


This was great honour as fewer than 10% of applicants are accepted and the Trust describes them as being for “outstanding individuals … chosen not for their past achievements, but for the power of their ideas and their potential to be change-makers”. Tom is also grateful to the Rank Foundation who are the sponsors of the ‘Social Enterprise' category of awards that he received.


Tom is planning to travel in March 2020 and is currently making requests to meet with inspirational projects in the Netherlands, Finland and America, where he plans to visit New York, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.


His focus will be on innovative ways to combine impact analytics with financing models in ways that both support novel approaches to social enterprise as well as offer a clear route to scale for projects that show promising impact. Tom will be blogging about his experience on this site.

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