Grants of up to £2,000 are now available for people aged 18-30 across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire who need support with business start-up costs.
The Community Foundation for Staffordshire is managing the grant scheme for SWEF, a fund that invests in the business initiatives of young people with the aim of producing 500 entrepreneurs across the UK every year.
Companies and sole traders less than two years old, owned by people aged 18-30, are asked to apply via this link SWEF – Enterprise & Business Grants – The Community Foundation for Staffordshire as soon as possible.
Applicants must be able to give evidence of significant steps taken to get their business off the ground and demonstrate a financial need for the grant. The funds will only be available for stock, equipment and materials, product development, one-off costs for developments plus rent or business-related bills. The scheme is particularly wishing to support those who are not in education, employment or training. This is not a loan scheme and recipients do not need to pay the grant back. The full criteria including what business owners can’t apply for is on the Community Foundation website.
And the successful companies will also have access to an online business forum with other organisations that have been awarded a grant. The forum offers a space to exchange ideas, experiences and learn.
The Community Foundation for Staffordshire is a team of locally based grant managers with extensive knowledge of local needs. They create and administer benevolent funds and grant giving schemes for philanthropists, businesses, central Government, and local authorities that want to improve their reach into local communities. The Community Foundation manages more than £10m of charitable funds each year, which are designed to create a lasting local legacy.
Leanne Macpherson, Head of Programmes at The Community Foundation for Staffordshire said: “Starting a business is challenging emotionally and financially and we hope this scheme will help make that leap of faith into entrepreneurship that little bit easier.
“And we want to make the application process simple, not taking up too much time that could be used to develop the business. So I ask interested people to contact us to ensure their application is the best it can be.”