Social Enterprise Development Grant

This fund will be targeted at Social Enterprises that are looking to diversify, grow or expand as they continue to recover from any negative impacts associated with trading during the pandemic. Businesses operating within this field are expected to have a social or environmental mission that brings wider benefit to the local area. Organisations will be looking for financial support to pursue a growth, diversification or other development project or procure specialist business support.
Grant expired on:
8 November Closed: 12:00

How much can I apply for?

Applicants can apply for grant assistance of £2,500-£5,000.

What if I have a project above or below the threshold?

We cannot support projects above or below the project thresholds.

What type of projects are we looking to support?

We are looking to support project that will have a direct impact on the applicant’s business growth and recovery plans. The fund is not intended to fund existing day to day running costs. The fund is intended to support the development of the applicant.

These will either be through the introduction of a new service, purchase of new equipment, or the procurement of specialist services to support business growth and recovery.

What projects will the fund not support?

The fund cannot be used to support:

  • Staff wages / salaries
  • Stock
  • Purchase of company cars or vans
  • Rental, hire purchase, or lease of equipment
  • Rent, lease, mortgage payment
  • Any associated bills or utilities or general day to day running costs
  • Events

This list is not a full list of ineligible projects. Any applicants who are unsure of a project’s eligibility are advised to contact us.

Specifically, how can the grant be applied to Social Enterprises?

The grant fund is designed to directly support business growth and recovery for Social Enterprises.

Can the funds be used to support a community event?

No. The funds are to be used to help ensure business survivability by providing them with grant funding to grow, recover and become more resilient.

How can I check if my project is eligible?

All applicants who are considering applying for the Social Enterprise Development Fund are heavily encouraged to contact us before they apply to discuss project eligibility

Can I use the grant to pay for staff time?

No. The grant monies must be spent with a 3rd party business not linked to the applicant. All purchases will be checked in due diligence.

Can I apply for staff training and/or course under this fund?


Can I purchase computer equipment under this fund?

This fund is not intended to support the purchase of new computer equipment that seeks to replace and/or update older equipment.

As applicants have been given discretion in how they would like to deploy the funds, and if the business can clearly outline the reasoning for purchasing new computer equipment, they are still able to submit an application.

However, applications applying for computer equipment will not be prioritised. If an applicant would like to purchase computer equipment through the fund, they will be required to outline in detail the business advantages that will come from the purchase over and above that existed previously.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • New contracts they will be able to generate
  • New services they will be able to introduce
  • Advantages to the business
  • Forecasted turnover increase

How many quotes am I required to submit?

Applicants are required to submit 1 quote per supplier, up to a maximum of 2 quotes if the applicant is purchasing goods or services from 2 different suppliers.

How many items can be included on each quote?

Applicants can have multiple items built into each quote, up to the maximum grant request of £5,000.

Do the quotes need to be dated?

YES. All quotes must be dated on or after Tuesday 14th September.

Eligibility & Additional details

This fund is open to existing social enterprises only. These will be businesses that are driven by a social/environmental mission and who reinvest profits into creating positive social change.

The most common legal structures used in the sector are:

  • Unincorporated association (which may also be a registered charity)
  • Company limited by guarantee (which may also be a registered charity)
  • Company limited by shares
  • Industrial & provident society
  • Community interest company- CIC (shares or guarantee)

The fund will primarily be targeted at such organisations that want to diversify, grow or expand as they continue to recover from any negative impacts associated to trading during the pandemic. Such organisations will be looking for financial support to pursue a growth, diversification or other development project.

This fund seeks to directly support business growth and their recovery strategy

The aim is to encourage organisations develop new services, expand into new markets, introduce new systems i.e. website, CRM or similar systems, introduce new processes or ways of working. Applicants can use funds to support the purchase of small capital expenditure or to access specialist support

It is for businesses to identify what issues they seek to address or opportunities they wish to exploit. Organisations will be required to adequately answer the questions in the application form to access the grant funding.

The grant funding is for 100% of project costs. No match funding contribution from businesses is required.

The project will only allow business to purchase equipment, goods or services from a maximum of two providers, to the maximum grant threshold of £5,000 for VAT registered business, and £6,000 for non-VAT registered businesses.  For example:

  • A VAT registered business could seek to purchase new capex for £3,000 (Exc.VAT) from provider 1, and a new service from provider 2 for £2,000 (Exc.VAT). The applicant business would therefore be eligible to apply for a £5,000 grant.
  • A non-VAT registered business could seek to purchase an item of capex for £6,000 (Inc.VAT). Of which the cost of the item would be £5,000, and the VAT would be £1000. For a total project cost of £6,000.

Please read the specific fund guidance and FAQs before completing an application as this details all the submission requirements.

Download guidance notes

The Council expects a high level of interest for the fund and will prioritise those applications that meet requirements. Once submitted, we aim to notify applicants of the outcome within 20 working days.