Grants of up to £2000 are now available for people aged 18-30 across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin who need support with business start-up costs. 

The Community Foundation for Shropshire is managing the grant scheme for SWEF, a fund that invests in the business initiatives of young people with the aim of producing 500 entrepreneurs across the UK every year.  Companies and sole traders  less than two years old, owned by people aged 18-30, are asked to apply via this link SWEF - Enterprise & Business Grants - The Community Foundation for Shropshire as soon as possible.

Applicants must be able to give evidence of significant steps taken to get their business off the ground and demonstrate a financial need for the grant. The funds will only be available for stock, equipment and materials, product development, one-off costs for developments plus rent or business-related bills. The scheme is particularly wishing to support those who are not in education, employment, or training. This is not a loan scheme and recipients do not need to pay the grant back. The full criteria including what business owners can’t apply for is on the Community Foundation website.

And the successful companies will also have access to an online business forum with other organisations that have been awarded a grant. The forum offers a space to exchange ideas, experiences and learn.

Managing the scheme, The Community Foundation for Shropshire has been operating since 2001 and has awarded more than £2.5 million in grants across Shropshire.  An approved distributor across Shropshire of grants funded by government, local authorities and statutory agencies, plus national charities like Arts Council England, and businesses such as Nationwide Building Society and the Co-op.

They are also the first to respond by way of emergency appeals.  Over the last few years, they have managed several high profile appeals in Shropshire and Telford, to help with winter fuel costs, covid, local floods, the cost-of-living crisis, and Ukrainian refugees.

The Community Foundation for Shropshire are members of UKCF (United Kingdom Community Foundations) and are accredited to exceptionally high standards through the UKCF accreditation system, and the ISO9001 management standards.  They have the experience, expertise, regional and nationwide support to manage multiple, large scale grant giving initiatives across Shropshire.

Leanne Macpherson, Head of Programmes at The Community Foundation for Shropshire said, “Starting a business is challenging emotionally and financially and we hope this scheme will help make that leap of faith into entrepreneurship that little bit easier.

“And we want to make the application process simple, not taking up too time that could be used to develop the business. So, I ask interested people to contact us to ensure their application is the best it can be.”

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