Build It

Up to £25,000 for individuals who have tried and tested an idea and want to turn it into their full-time job.

Who's it for?

Social entrepreneurs who have tested a social enterprise idea and want to make it their full-time career.

What do I get?

Up to £25,000 towards salaries and some essential costs.

Where do I apply?

The next Build It deadline is noon on Thursday 25 January 2024

All applicants must be available for the Build It Panel Pitch on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 March 2024

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What is the funding for?

Build It is for social entrepreneurs who have tried and tested a social enterprise idea and want to turn it into their full-time job. Typical requests at this level are:

  • Up to £20,000 for a single salary, with a further £5,000 to be spent on additional essential costs.
  • Up to £25,000 split between two or more salaries.

Who can apply? 

Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria set out below.


Applications must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The applicant is aged 16 or over.
  • The applicant is a permanent resident of Scotland.
  • The enterprise operates primarily for the benefit of people or communities within Scotland.
  • The enterprise and its activities do not involve political campaigning or the advancement of religion.
  • The enterprise is an independent organisation and not the project or subsidiary of an existing body.
  • The enterprise provides direct social benefit to individuals, communities, and/or the environment.
  • The enterprise has been trading for two years or less.
  • The enterprise has a track record of income generation and social impact.
  • Profits from the enterprise are reinvested in the business and its social aims. No assets or uncapped dividends are transferred out of the organisation to private individuals or bodies.

How we assess your application 

After the application deadline, we assess the applications against our criteria and the strongest applications are then shortlisted. All applicants will be notified within 2-3 weeks of the deadline date.

If your application is shortlisted, you will be expected to attend a Practice Your Pitch and Cash Flow Challenge sessions in the lead up to a compulsory pitch to our panel. More information on these sessions can be found in the guidance.

Funding priorities:

Anyone who meets the eligibility criteria can benefit from a Build It award and we assess each application on its merits. The panel are looking for evidence that the Build It award will allow an enterprise to establish new, permanent roles while increasing both the income generation and the measurable social impact during the funding period.

Upcoming deadlines:

  • Noon, Thursday 25th January 2024, with pitching panels on the 18th and 19th March 2024
  • Noon, Thursday 4th April 2024, with pitching panels on 28th and 29th May 2024

Start-up support

You can get free business advice for your social enterprise idea by accessing our start-up support through Just Enterprise. You can get advice before applying for one of our funding programmes, or at any stage after you have made an application. We find that applicants who work with our advisors through start-up support submit stronger applications, giving them a better chance of securing an award.

Find out more about our start-up support we offer

Have a question?

If your question isn’t covered by the guidance or our FAQs, please get in touch via our Contact Us page or by phone.


  • Build It Guidance Word Document

    This document guides you through each section of the application form and what happens once we receive your application. It also provides information about the supporting documents required for an application.

  • Build It Guidance PDF

  • Cashflow template - Build It

    Use this template to outline your cash flow projections as part of your Build It application. Please note that other templates will not be accepted.

  • Build It - Draft Application - Word Document

    Use this form to draft your application


Success stories