This prize will be awarded to an individual or organisation that has developed a ground breaking new product, concept or service that will make a positive social impact on disadvantaged groups or communities.

Entries for the William Sutton Prize in 2019 are now closed. The winner of the Prize for Social Innovation will be announced later this year.

Please make sure you read through the eligibility and assessment criteria before starting your form. Entrants do not need to be employed in the charity or third sector, but must be able to specify how their idea will make a positive social contribution.

The below guidance information will help you shape your application and provide you with a more detailed understanding of how applications will be shortlisted.

Social Innovation Eligibility Criteria [downloadable PDF]

Social Innovation Assessment Criteria [downloadable PDF]

Read through our Prize FAQs for further information on how to prepare your application and understand more about the entry and shortlisting process.


Case Study: 2018 Winner – Micro Rainbow International

Micro Rainbow International aimed to provide a holistic approach to integration for LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees, and expand the number of safe homes available. Set up in 2012 as a community interest company, the first safe home opened in October 2017 and the organisation now has five properties, which can support up to 40 refugees. By 2021, they plan to manage 40 properties across the country and house 320 refugees.

The new holistic approach can be scaled and replicated, and after a successful pilot in London, MRI has replicated it in the West Midlands. The concept also presents real potential to be replicated for other vulnerable groups, for example, trafficked women.

Since winning the William Sutton Prize in 2018, Micro Rainbow have been able to hire new housing outreach officers, scale the project with new safe houses, and secure social investment for further expansion. Over a six month period, they answered 200 requests for support and provided over 4,000 bed-nights to LGBTI asylum seekers who were at risk of violence and homelessness.

Sebastian Rocca, Founder and CEO of Micro Rainbow said:

“We work with a vulnerable group that is often unpopular.  It combines sexuality, gender identity and immigration issues.  These are issues that often make companies, funders and individuals uncomfortable to support.  This was not the case for the Clarion Housing Group.  They proudly recognized our innovative and sustainable approach to the widespread issue of homelessness and violence faced by LGBTI asylum seekers with the 2018 William Sutton Prize for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship.  Such recognition increased our profile, allowed us to connect with various departments within Clarion Housing Group, and injected much needed resources to support the growth of the project.  We would very much encourage other social enterprises and charities to apply.”

Read about all our finalists from 2018 for inspiration.

Read The William Sutton Prize Terms and Conditions