Frequently Asked Questions


  • Preparation and Follow Up

    • How do I prepare for the session?

      To get the most out of the session we'd recommend you prepare a short verbal summary of you, your venture, its impact and the issue you'd like to discuss. It will be useful to have examples of solutions you've already thought of and tested and specific topics you've like to cover. An hour is a long time, but it can go in a flash – It's worth preparing to make sure you both have enough material to discuss, and also that you have sufficient structure that you get through everything that matters to you.

    • Do I meet the Expert before the session?

      No, you'll meet them on the day for your hour-long session. We'll make sure that they're briefed on your company and why you want to talk to them. Also we'll help brief you on how to get the most out of the session before it happens.

    • Can I talk to someone after the session if I have more questions?

      We hope that you will keep in touch with your Expert independently after the session, however nothing further is required of you or the Expert.

    • What, if anything, do you need me to do after the session?

      We will be back in touch a few months after your session with a few short questions of how your venture is progressing and to find out what the impact of the advice and contacts from your session was.

  • The Session

    • What happens in an Expert Impact 'Human Lending Library' session?

      You get to spend an hour with one of our Experts. You can talk about anything you'd like with the one house rule that you cannot ask the Expert to invest in your venture. You get the chance to build your network and borrow the brain of a high profile successful entrepreneur to find new perspectives and interesting solutions to your business issues. We will also mention your venture in our communications and invite you to events to meet other entrepreneurs.

    • Can I ask for introductions?

      You most certainly can, we expect that our Experts will have a lot of helpful contacts that will be relevant to you and your business. Ask away!

    • Where do I need to be?

      You can be based anywhere at all, but we can't cover your travel costs to the sessions at the British Library in London.

    • Does it cost me anything?

      No, there's no cost for taking part in the Human Lending Library. 

    • Can I ask for investment?

      No, this is not an opportunity to pitch for investment to our Experts. This is a chance to ask their advice and get them to share their experience and connections with you. There are many sources of finance out there for businesses, there are not many people who have been there, done that and succeeded as entrepreneurs!

  • The Application

    • Am I eligible?

      Does your work make a demonstrable social impact in one or more of these areas: the arts, education, the environment, healthcare, poverty allieviation or scientific research? Then YES.

      We are looking for entrepreneurs (whether their ventures are for-profit or not-for-profit) who are looking to make a big impact and have a specific issue they'd like to discuss with one of our Experts.

      Your venture needs to be at a post-launch stage, and ideally be ready to scale. You can be based anywhere in the world, but for now* you need to be able to attend the meeting in London in person.

      *Let me know about new locations when they open

    • How do I apply?

      You need to complete the short online form telling us about you, your venture and the area you'd like help with. If you're a good fit for one of our mentors we'll then follow up with a short phone call. And if you're shortlisted we'll start setting up a meeting with one of our Experts.

    • Is there a deadline for applications?

      Applications are considered on a rolling basis, but do get in touch sooner rather than later as each Expert only holds a limited number of sessions.

    • Can I specify which Expert I’d like to meet?

      We cannot guarantee introductions to specific Experts, but we do spend a lot of time and energy thinking about who would be a good fit for each venture and issue. If there is someone you'd specifically like to meet, feel free to mention this in your application explaining why you think they would be the best person to help you.

    • What’s an example of a business question I may have?

      Typical requests for support cover areas from customer acquisition, HR and team growth, business development, strategic planning, raising investment, good governance or technology.

    • What if it’s a confidential issue?

      Everything you share during the sessions is protected using the NDA agreement that everyone in the programme signs. You can speak freely - that's the point of the exercise!

    • Is there any other ongoing support available?

      Once you have taken part in the Human Lending Library you automatically join our Alumni Network made up of hundreds of other founders who are also making social impact through their work. We run a Peer to Peer mentoring programme where you can connect with other Alumni for ongoing support or ideas and can attend one of our exclusive Alumni networking events. 

      We also have a large network of other organisations offering great support to the social enterprise sector and we are happy to make introductions, you just need to ask. 


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