Pounds for Purpose Guidance

All the information you need to submit a Pounds for Purpose application.

Pounds for Purpose Guidance for Applicants, please note that you can download a word version of this webpage at the bottom of the page.


Pounds for Purpose is a small awards programme for individuals aged 16-26 looking to make a positive change in the issues that matter to them.  The funding is designed to cover the costs of getting an idea up and running, while business support can help to turn the idea into a business.  This guidance will help steer you through the application form.

Who Can Apply?

You can apply for Pounds for Purpose if you are aged 16-26, have an idea to generate positive change, and need some funding to get your idea off the ground.

Check out our Success Stories for examples of young entrepreneurs that we have supported.


Applications must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The applicant is 16-26.
  • The applicant is a permanent resident of Scotland.
  • The idea is operating primarily for the benefit of people or communities within Scotland.
  • The activities of the idea do not involve political campaigning or the advancement of religion.
  • The project is not already up and running.
  • The applicant is developing the project independently or with the help of a small team of individuals and is not applying on behalf of a pre-existing, established organisation.
  • The applicant will be able to spend the award budget and report on the project within 6 months.

If the application does not meet these criteria, it will be ineligible for Pounds for Purpose.

If you have any questions about eligibility that aren’t answered below, please contact us via email at info@firstport.org.uk or via phone on 0131 564 0331.

About You

This is where you fill out your basic contact details.

If you have any accessibility requirements, please tick the box.  Firstport endeavour to make the assessment process as accessible as possible, so it’s important for us to know if you have any requirements.

If you have engaged with one-to-one business advice through Firstport/Just Enterprise with a view to applying, please let us know.

If you are developing the idea with someone else, please give further details.  Please remember that we fund individuals and so you will be the main point of contact.

About your enterprising idea

If you don’t have a name for the proposed enterprise/idea, that’s fine – just put n/a.

We don’t expect you to have already set up a company or charity to carry out your project, but if you have, please let us know the legal structure and the charity/company number if applicable.  You can find this number on OSCR (charities) or Companies House (companies).

Your idea may work across multiple sectors, but there should be a main sector which fits the idea in the drop-down list.  If there isn’t, please select the closest fit.

As above, some ideas are carried out in one specific local region; others work across a wider area.  If your project will not be restricted to a specific place, please select ‘Scotland Wide’.

The introduction to your idea/project should be brief and factual.  Please include:

  • What your idea is (a product, a service, an event, a campaign, or other) and what activities you will carry out.
  • Is it likely or possible that you can generate some income from the idea?
  • The social or environmental issue you are tackling and the positive impact your idea may have.

Pounds for Purpose Application Questions

Tell us about yourself

Firstport funds individuals not projects, so we’re interested in what makes you the right person to take this idea forward.  Passion absolutely counts, but it’s also worth considering the following:

  • Do you have personal/lived experience of the social problem you’re trying to address?
  • Do you have any qualifications that will help you deliver your idea? If you’re working with vulnerable people, do you have professional/personal experience?  Do you have business experience?
  • What kind of support network do you have?  What skills do they have?  What skills do you lack?

You don’t have to answer all of the above, but you should show that you have considered some of the points.

What is the positive change or impact of your idea?

If you are trying to solve a particular problem, tell us how this affects people or the environment and the scale of the issue.  Ideas funded by Pounds for Purpose include:

  • Tacking inequality.  Breaking down barriers in society due to age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, economic deprivation, or any other unjust reason.
  • Bringing people together.  Creating events or social spaces that are inclusive and welcoming, reducing isolation and building connections.
  • Promoting positive mental health.  Battling stigma and prejudice and helping people with mental health issues to reach out.
  • A greener world.  Reducing negative impact on the environment and creating a more sustainable future.
  • Caring for others.  Working to support and look after the more vulnerable members of our society, including children, the elderly, the sick, and individuals affected by financial hardship or homelessness.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  If you have an idea that doesn’t fall under the above themes, we’re still excited to hear about it.

Is there potential for your idea to keep the good work going by generating an income of its own?

We are particularly keen to support projects that have some way to generate income and continue making a difference over the long term.  Don’t worry if you haven’t thought about this in any detail – this is something Firstport can help you with – but if you have ideas on how to generate income, let’s hear them.

How will you show success?

We’re also keen to support projects that can deliver a measurable difference to society.  Again, don’t worry if you haven’t thought about this in any detail, but if you have an idea of how you’ll measure the difference you’re making, please provide details here.

How you will use the money

Please provide us with a list of the items you want to spend your award money on, and how much each will cost.  This request will form the basis of your award if you are successful.

Any costs associated with delivering your idea are eligible, but we’ll let you know if anything doesn’t fit the bill.  While we don’t require quotes at application stage, the more specific these costs are, the better.

Bank Details

Here you need to provide us with your bank details to ensure swift payment if you’re successful.  The details provided should be your personal bank account.

Bank Account Name

This should be the account holder’s name as it is presented on your bank statement, not the bank/building society name.

Account Number and Sort Code

These should be the same numbers as presented on your bank statement. Please note that the sort code should be a single 6-digit number with no spaces or dashes.


You will need to provide details of two referees who know you and support your enterprising idea.  Referees cannot be a friend, relative, partner, or be involved with your idea, and you should provide details of one supervisory referee.

Suitable Supervisory Referees

The following people may be used for supervisory references:

  • Established employer of the applicant
  • Teacher / lecturer or former teacher/lecturer
  • Doctor
  • Youth worker
  • Probation officer
  • Youth Offending Team member
  • Police or prison officer
  • Minister of religion
  • Asylum support worker
  • Employment services/job centre advisor
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Local authority officer
  • Community development worker

Referees will only be contacted in the event of a successful application, but payment of the award cannot be made until both references have been obtained.  You should therefore ensure that both referees are able to provide references in a timely manner, or this may result in delay to the award payment.

Equal Opportunities

We only use equal opportunities information for statistical purposes, and it will not form part of your application assessment.

If there are any questions that you would prefer not to answer, please leave the field blank.


And you should now be ready to submit!  If you’ve missed any required fields, the form should let you know. 

If you’re having issues submitting your application, please email us at info@firstport.org.uk or give us a ring on 0131 564 0331.

What Happens Next?

You should receive an email confirming that we have received your application.

If your idea is eligible, we will then contact you within 2-4 weeks to arrange a chat.

The chat will take place over the phone or – if you are happy to do so – via Zoom.  Zoom is a video-conferencing tool, and we will provide you with a link ahead of the meeting.   To use Zoom, you should have a webcam, microphone, and access to the internet – you don’t need a computer to use it; a mobile phone will do.  This will provide you with an opportunity to tell us more about your idea, your motivations, and your plans for the future.  If you have accessibility requirements that would make a phone or Zoom call difficult, just let us know and we’ll try to arrange something more suitable.

Your application will then go to an independent panel who make the funding decision.  We aim to get back to you within 6-8 weeks of the date you submitted the application, though this may be longer during very busy periods.  If this is the case, we will let you know.

If your application is not successful, we will notify you by email with panel feedback.

Once you’re up and running, we will ask you to complete a brief written report, confirming how you have spent the £500 and attaching photographs or videos of your project in action.

Any Questions?

If you have any queries at all or would like to speak to us before applying, please give us a call on 0131 564 0331.  Good luck!


  • Pounds for Purpose Guidance 2020