Social Entrepreneurs Fund – Start It

Up to £5,000 of start-up funding for individuals with a business idea that addresses a social, environmental, and/or community issue.

Who's it for?

Individuals who have a business idea that addresses a social, environmental, and/or community issue.

What do I get?

Up to £5,000 towards the start-up costs of your social enterprise idea.

Where do I apply?

You can apply to our Start-It Fund here:

Apply now

Funding Details

What is the Funding for?

A Start It award can help you pay for start-up costs. The kind of costs we can cover are quite wide-ranging; typical examples include:

  • Legal fees for setting up a legal entity for the enterprise, and/or registration as a charity or Community Interest Company
  • Rent
  • Website, branding, logo design and marketing materials
  • Stationery
  • Insurances

Who can apply? 

You can apply for Start it if you have an idea for a social enterprise but need some funding to get it up and running. The idea should be new, not a continuation of something already existing.

You must also meet our eligibility criteria, which can be found on the first page of the application form.

How we assess your application 

On receiving your application and if your idea is eligible, we will contact you within 2-4 weeks to undertake an assessment. This informal assessment occurs over the phone or video conferencing tool and provides you another opportunity to tell us about your idea, motivation, and plans.

After the assessment, your idea goes to an independent panel who make the funding decisions. We aim to get back to you within 12-14 weeks of the date you submitted your application. 

During very busy periods or when there are spikes in demand, it may take us a bit longer to give you a decision.

Funding priorities

Anyone can benefit from our Start It funding and we assess each application on its individual merits. However, we will prioritise applications from individuals who have never had an award from us before.

Check out our Success Studies for examples of enterprises that we have supported. 

Have a question? 

Read the Guidance Notes below or check out our Frequently Asked Questions. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, get in touch via our Contact Us page, by phone or use our LiveChat feature.

You can read our Guidance Document online and/or download the Word version of the form below.


  • Social Enterprise Ecosystem Map

    A map to help you navigate the social enterprise ecosystem

  • Guidance Notes - Start It

    This document guides you through each section of the application form and includes frequently asked questions.

  • Start-It Drafting Document

    You can use this Word document to prepare and draft your answers before completing the online application form. If you have any accessibility requirements, you may also submit this form as your main application.


Previous winners of Start It funding