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Deadline extended – Additional funding for social start-ups

Published : 15/03/23 | Categories: Funding |

Social business start-up grants offer financial support to budding Welsh social businesses to get trading or investment ready, plus technical support to embed climate friendly practices.

*We’ve been able to secure an extension to the deadline for the current round – the deadline is now 3 April 2023, 11.59 pm*

The Net zero carbon start-up grant is a pilot scheme which aims to help get social business ‘start-ups’ off the ground, while at the same time embedding climate friendly practices.

Round 3 of the scheme is now open with a tight window for applications from any up-and-coming social business or trading voluntary organisation in Wales. You don’t need to be an environmental or climate change focussed group to apply.

We apologise for the limited window for applications. Rounds 1 and 2 of the fund proved very popular so we’ve now been granted a further £50,000 to support an additional four social enterprises, provided applications are assessed and awarded by the end of April 2023 (however please be assured that applicants would not be required to spend the money within that time period).

The deadline for applications is 3 April 2023, 11.59 pm.

The grant is run in partnership with Cwmpas and DTA Wales who are supporting organisations with climate change action.


Getting social start-ups off the ground

We recognise that there is a lack of funding opportunities for emerging social enterprises.

With unproven revenue streams, repayable finance is difficult to obtain and may be inappropriate at this point in your business’ development. We know there is a significant cost, however, in bringing a product or service to market and establishing the demand base to make the business fully investment ready.

Without private means to support yourself and your businesses through these early stages, there is a danger that good, impactful ideas for social businesses will fail to be realised due to a lack of funding.

Making climate friendly the norm

With the climate emergency we face the carbon footprint of all businesses is rightly under scrutiny.

This is central to Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, and it is one of the key manifestations of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.

Many of the efforts in this area are focussed on retro-fitting climate friendly behaviour into existing businesses. We believe that if all new businesses were to adopt an environmentally sustainable approach from the start, the more costly overhauling action could be avoided and minimising carbon emissions could become ‘business as usual’.


Financial support

Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to £12,500 to help them achieve the formal launch of trading or make the business investment ready. This is to be spent on getting the business to one of these points and is not restricted to use on carbon reduction activity.

Technical support

Organisations in this pilot scheme will also get support from a climate change consultant to embed climate friendly operating practices within the business from the outset. This will involve:

  • Assessing the existing business plan to estimate the likely carbon emissions of operating ‘as normal’
  • Re-designing key operating practices to reduce likely emissions
  • Support and guidance to implement the revised practices
  • Designing and supporting the use of relevant carbon footprint measurement for the business to adopt for the future


Find out more on our Net zero carbon start-up grant pageThe deadline for applications is 3 April 2023, 11.59 pm.


Our Social Investment Cymru team are happy to help you improve your application. Provided we receive it early enough in the process, we will do our best to help you make your application as good as it can be ahead of submitting it to the assessment panel.

This is subject to the team’s capacity so the sooner the application is made the better your chances of us being able to help. Please don’t leave it until the last minute.

The Net zero carbon start-up grant is funded by Welsh Government and managed by the Social Investment Cymru team at WCVA.

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