What is the funding for?
Boost It is designed to help social enterprises that have been trading for up to three years to strengthen their business to reach a point of sustainable trading. It can also help new social enterprises if they need an injection of capital to get their business up and running.
You can apply for any amount between £30,000 to £50,000 as a repayable grant. This can be spent on a variety of costs including (but not limited to): salaries, stock, large capital purchases, or investing in digital infrastructure.
What is a repayable grant?
A repayable grant is a blended finance product, with all repayments recycled through Firstport to help more social enterprises in the future. Highlights of the repayable grant include:
- 0% interest
- No repayments in the first year of the award.
- Flexible repayment terms. Repayments will be made on a monthly basis, but these can be either a flat rate across the five years (i.e. £833.33 per month for a £50k Boost It) or staggered (with lower repayments initially, rising over the five years). Lump sum repayments will also be considered in addition to monthly repayments. Repayment plans should be indicated in the application and will then be confirmed if successful. Full repayment is expected within five years.
Who can apply?
Boost It is the right fund for you if:
- You have a social enterprise but need a large injection of capital to get started. You must already have a legal structure in place.
- Your social enterprise has been trading for up to three years but needs further financial support to increase trading activity and become sustainable.
If you are social enterprise or an individual based in South Tyneside or Sunderland who is looking to apply for the Social Enterprise Boost Fund please tap here.
You must also meet the eligibility criteria below.
Applications must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- The applicant is aged 16 or over.
- The applicant is a permanent resident of Scotland.
- The applicant is applying on behalf of an incorporated social enterprise.
- 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.
- Profits from the enterprise are reinvested in the business and its social aims. No assets or uncapped dividends may be transferred out of the organisation to private individuals or bodies.
- The enterprise is an independent organisation and not the project or subsidiary of an existing body.
- The enterprise has been trading for three years or less.
- The enterprise is able to demonstrate a track record of income generation or the potential for income generation.
- The enterprise is able to demonstrate a track record of direct social impact or the potential for direct social impact.
- The enterprise intends to repay the Boost It award within 2-5 years.
How does the Boost It application process work?
Boost It is designed to help all eligible enterprises receive the finance they need. If you are interested in applying, you should submit an Expression of Interest. After we receive this, you will go through the following steps:
- An Expression of Interest Review meeting: This is a one-to-one meeting with one of our Relationship Managers. At this meeting you will discuss your business proposal and learn what is required for a successful application. If your enterprise could benefit from additional business support, you will then be referred by the Relationship Manager.
- Business Support: You will receive up to three sessions with our business support team to work on key areas of the application / proposal. This will help you to submit the strongest application possible.
- Submit your application: At the Expression of Interest Review meeting stage, you will receive a link to the online application form. It is up to you when you apply, but we always recommend taking advantage of the support available and apply only when you feel confident that your application meets the Boost It requirements.
- Assessment and Panel Pitch: Your application will be assessed by a Relationship Manager and a pre-panel coaching session arranged. Following this session, you will be expected to attend a compulsory pitch to our panel. This process currently takes around 2-4 weeks but is dependent on demand. You should receive the outcome of your application a few days after your pitch.
Any enterprise that meets the eligibility criteria above can benefit from a Boost It repayable grant and we assess each application on its merits. The panel are looking for enterprises that can show evidence of income generation and measurable social impact, as well as those that can realistically service repayments over the 2-5 years.
Have a question?
If your question isn’t covered by our FAQs, please get in touch via our Contact Us page or by phone.
If you are social enterprise or an individual based in South Tyneside or Sunderland and are looking to apply for the Social Enterprise Boost Fund please tap here.