Royal London launches innovation programme with social entrepreneurs to find bold solutions to build resilience to life shocks

Published  19 April 2021
   4 min read

Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual life and pensions company, has launched a social innovation programme working with social enterprises, dedicated to creating and investing in bold new ways of building financial resilience to life shocks.

The Changemakers programme aims to develop innovative solutions to life shocks by bringing Royal London together with experts in social innovation and people with personal experience of life shocks.

A financial life shock can be described as a major life event which can have a deep and detrimental impact on our lives. These include personal shocks like bereavement, serious illness, separation or divorce, and job loss, but also societal shocks such as COVID-19 or the effects of a transition to a low carbon economy. Such changes happen quickly and can affect anyone. They can have a rapid and lasting impact on peoples’ financial stability.

The mutual insurer will work with key partners Year Here and The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) to find and support 10 individuals and 10 social enterprises to develop and scale up potential solutions. 

These social enterprises will receive grants awarded by a panel including individuals who have also faced life shocks, as well as financial inclusion experts, and representation from flagship charity partner, poverty experts Turn2Us.

As well as receiving funding, the changemakers will benefit from Royal London’s insight and business support as well as the expertise of Year Here and SSE in driving change through social innovation.

Recruitment for existing social enterprises begins on 19th April through SSE with the first cohort of changemakers being announced in June. More information and details of how to apply can be found here  

Commenting on the launch Royal London’s head of mutuality and impact, Nadia Al Yafai, said:

“Life shocks can affect anyone at any time, and as a mutual we have to play a role in building long term solutions for both our customers and for wider society, to protect today and invest in tomorrow. That is why we are collaborating with our expert partners and changemakers over the coming months and working with them to drive social innovation based on lived experience and deep insight.

“We look forward to welcoming our changemakers and being mutually responsible in making a positive impact.”

Year Here’s fellowship director, Anna Markland, said:

“Year Here is excited by this opportunity to work on life shocks, a theme which cuts across so many social issues. With Royal London's support, we are able to give our Fellows access to deep, on the ground insight about the challenges people face and inspire them to come up with transformational social innovations.”

School for Social Entrepreneurs’ managing director Nicola Steuer, added:

“SSE has a proven track record in supporting social entrepreneurs to grow and scale, as well as working with corporates in the financial sector. Royal London understands the importance of social enterprise as a sustainable model for societal change. 

“The pandemic has escalated society’s inequalities and we’re hoping the social entrepreneurs on this programme will have a huge impact on supporting vulnerable groups out of further financial hardship.”

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £147 billion, 8.7 million policies in force and 4,232 employees. Figures quoted are as at 31 December 2022. 

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For further information please contact:

Neil Cameron, PR Manager