My enterprise is trading across the whole of the UK. Is this eligible? There are no geographical restrictions on trading. However, as Start It is funded by the Scottish Government, the majority of the social impact must be delivered in Scotland. This means that the majority of people who will benefit from the good work […]
My enterprise is trading across the whole of the UK. Is this eligible?
There are no geographical restrictions on trading. However, as Start It is funded by the Scottish Government, the majority of the social impact must be delivered in Scotland. This means that the majority of people who will benefit from the good work of the enterprise must live in Scotland
I need funding for more than one salary. Can this be covered?
Build It can over up to £20,000 for a single salary and a further £5,000 for additional essential costs. It can also cover multiple salaries up to the maximum of £25,000 award. For example, an application could be for £20,000 for a single salary and £5,000 for additional costs (equipment, rent etc.), or it could be for £25,000 split between two or more roles. Any roles funded by Build It should be new, permanent roles. We cannot fund sessional/casual staff or established roles that require funding to continue.
What is direct social impact?
When a social enterprise carries out work or provides services itself for the good of its beneficiaries (this could be individuals, a community, or even the environment) we define this as ‘direct social impact’. On the other hand, when a social enterprise provides services to other organisations, who then go on to do the work with beneficiaries, this would be defined as ‘indirect social impact’.
For example: an enterprise providing counselling services to a vulnerable group would be seen as direct social impact; an enterprise providing counselling training to a charity who then provides this counselling to their beneficiaries would be seen as indirect social impact.
My enterprise was incorporated over two years ago. Does this mean I can’t apply?
The focus of Build It is to support enterprises that are still at a relatively early stage. If the enterprise was incorporated over two years ago, and has been trading since then, it won’t be eligible. However, if you can demonstrate that your enterprise has been trading for less than two years, then we may be able to accept an application. Please note that you should provide details of this in your application.
My enterprise is still relatively new. How much evidence of income generation and social impact is required?
We would usually expect to see a track record of around a year, especially if the enterprise has a seasonal business model. However, this is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and some successful Build It applicants have been awarded based on potential and proof of concept with a shorter track record of trading and social impact.
I am a sole trader/registered as a private company limited by shares. Am I eligible for Build It funding?
While Firstport funds individuals as opposed to specific types of organisation, we give priority to applications where the intended legal structure reflects a stronger commitment to social enterprise principles – i.e. where there is a clear intention to reinvest profits back into the organisation and its social aims. The sole trader / private company limited by shares model is more common in traditional commercial organisations as it allows profits and assets to be distributed externally to private individuals or bodies.
Competition for Build It funding is particularly tough, and most of the applications we receive relate to enterprises with legal structures which prevent assets or profits being used for any other purpose than furthering social impact. For this reason, sole traders and private companies are highly unlikely to be supported at this level. We have however previously funded Community Interest Companies that are also limited by shares where there have been asset locks in place.
We would always strongly encourage applicants to base their choice of legal structure on what is best for the business, as opposed to being influenced by eligibility criteria for any particular funding stream – via Firstport or any other source. Please contact us if you would like further advice on this subject.
I already have a detailed business plan that I would like to submit as part of my application. Can I do this?
Yes, as long as it covers all of points detailed in the guidance and is no longer than 12 pages.
I already have a detailed cashflow projection that I would like to submit as part of my application. Can I do this?
No. You must use the template provided and submit as an Excel spreadsheet.
What’s the difference between an Executive Summary and a Pitch Document?
An Executive Summary is usually the first-page summary of a business plan and therefore relates to information contained in that business plan. Your Pitch Document should be a summary of the application as a whole and be understandable to a reader who will not have access to your application form, business plan, or cashflow projection.
I have received Build It funding in the past for another idea. Can I apply for a new idea?
No. Given the level of demand for Build It funding, we must prioritise new applicants who have not already received a Boost It investment.