A new pilot scheme will offer financial support to budding Welsh social businesses to get trading or investment ready, plus technical support to embed climate friendly practices.
Launched today, 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.
The scheme is now open to 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.
The pilot scheme will help establish if the support can make a difference in producing exemplar start-up businesses across a range of different product or service providers within the voluntary sector.
AIMS OF THE SCHEME
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 recent COP26, and 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’.
WHAT SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS WILL GET
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.
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
HOW TO APPLY
This is a pilot project with an initial grant pot of £150,000 to support 12 social enterprises. Demand is expected to be quite high, and it will be subject to competitive selection.
Find out more on our Net zero carbon start-up grant page.
The deadline for applications for the first round is 10 March 2022, 11.59 pm, but applicants will need to complete an Expression of Interest before applying.
The Net zero carbon start-up grant is funded by Welsh Government and managed by the Social Investment Cymru team at WCVA.