Funded Travelling Fellowships for people involved in Enterprise

Published: 12 May 2016

Funded Travelling Fellowships for people involved in Enterprise

In 2017, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) will be investing around £1.3 million in British citizens, by awarding 150 Travelling Fellowships.

This will directly support British citizens who want to travel overseas to gain knowledge, experience and best practice to benefit others in their UK professions and communities, and society as a whole.

This year, Travelling Fellowships will be awarded in a new Enterprise category. The application process is now open.

In 2015, social enterprises outperformed their mainstream counterparts in terms of turnover growth and job creation1, suggesting consumers are increasingly favouring initiatives that marry enterprise with public benefit.

Both WCMT and the Rank Foundation, who are WCMT’s partners for this category, see enterprise as a positive force in society that produces financial sustainability and enables social good. Enterprise increases the opportunity for organisations to improve their double bottom line, an important development in relation to measuring financial performance alongside social impact.

Applications are welcomed from people working within organisations with a social purpose, including charities, and commercial organisations embedding social good across their working practices. Individuals with a passion to find positive social solutions and policy makers or enablers from institutions that have a macro influence are also encouraged to apply.

The partnership with the Rank Foundation to award Fellowships in this category is running in 2017 for the first year of a three year programme.

In 2013, Roger Warnock travelled to Brazil and the USA to study entrepreneuship programmes in disadvataged areas, and the crucial role local community based organisations play in assisting economic development in these communities. He aimed to understand how local people, particularly disadvantaged individuals, are encouraged to become entrepreneurs, and to observe different models for incentivising and supporting such individuals to participate in wealth creation. Since he has returned to the UK, Roger has worked in partnership with another Churchill Fellow, Paul McMinn, to form a management consultancy specialising  in social enterprise with the aim of assisting vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and groups to become economically viable and self-sufficient. Using the knowledge gained from their Fellowships, Roger and Paul designed a new programme for the Northern Ireland Department of Justice to set up a social enterprise that will employ up to 36 young ex-offenders over the course of three years. The contract for this programme is worth £375,000.

Successful applicants must demonstrate the commitment, the character and the tenacity to travel globally in pursuit of new and better ways of tackling a wide range of current challenges facing the UK, and upon their return work to transform and improve aspects of today’s society.

A travelling sabbatical for people with the drive, determination and desire to help others, can further their leadership and role model abilities.

Employees who are awarded Fellowships bring great benefits to their employers, not only in terms of the positive impact on their personal development, but also with the advantage of their enhanced knowledge, new ideas and examples of best practice that they bring back to the organisation.

Applications are judged purely on project merit, and these opportunities are available to all UK residents over the age of 18, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Successful applicants will receive an average Fellowship grant of over £6,000, covering return airfare, daily living costs, insurance and travel within the countries being visited, for approximately six weeks overseas.

Notes to Editors

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established shortly after Sir Winston’s death in 1965, as his national memorial and living legacy. Since then it has awarded over 5,250 Travelling Fellowships.

The application process for travel in 2017 is now open, and there are 14 varied categories in which people can apply.

Churchill’s beliefs and passions are still living on through the Fellows – who are remarkable individuals, representing a wide range of backgrounds, qualifications, interests and professions, but sharing the desire to do something for the improvement of individuals and communities in the UK.

The deadline for the 2017 applications is 5pm on Tuesday 20th September 2016.

In total 150 Fellowships were awarded in the UK in 2016, an investment of over £1.4 million. The Fellows are currently travelling to 52 countries between them, across 6 continents, carrying out a wide range of projects.

To maximise the impact of the Fellowships partnerships have been developed with other organisations, focused on specific areas of concern and relevance for the UK today. Lessons learnt from overseas travel are effectively coordinated and disseminated, and incorporated into best practice in the UK for the benefit of others in similar communities and professions.

The Enterprise category is the second joint partnership with The Rank Foundation. The partnership aims to support enterprise linked with social impact and will fund Fellowships from 2017 to 2019.


1. From State of Social Enterprise Report 2015, Social Enterprise UK, 2015