SWEF Enterprise Fund

SWEF logo

This fund has been created to support young entrepreneurs (aged 18-30) to get their business ideas off the ground. 

If you are working on an early-stage business or commercial activity, the SWEF Fund may be for you. Applications that clearly explain how a grant will transform your business and take it to the next stage are the most likely to be successful.

Grants available: up to £2,000

Who can apply?

Individuals aged 18-30 who:

  • are resident in or whose business is in the Buckinghamshire administrative county area (excluding Milton Keynes),
  • have been operating their business for no more than 2 years OR are in the development/ pilot stage and expect to start trading within 6 months,
  • own 100% of the business or are a majority shareholder,
  • work or plan to work full-time on the business.

 

Priorities

The funders SWEF Enterprise and Heart of Bucks are committed to the principles of equity, so the priority for this fund is to support those with less advantage in their early life, who may not be able to generate funding from other sources.

Applications for ‘match funding’ are particularly welcome.

What can I apply for?

Funding is available to support a broad range of business costs, providing that you can demonstrate how the expenditure will support the growth of your business. For example, grants could be given for:

  • Equipment that will help a business bring in a second revenue stream
  • Equipment that will help a business increase production where there is proven demand. 
  • Materials/stock for a new product line
  • Prototypes
  • Website/booking system build
  • Training
  • Product development

 

What can’t be funded?

  • Unethical, illegal or immoral business practices or activity (including but not limited to: gambling; armaments/weaponry; tobacco/vaping products; pornography; depictions or acts of violence against people or animals; discriminatory/abusive behaviour or activity)
  • Activities promoting a particular religious or political belief;
  • Overseas travel;
  • Projects/costs which are already completed/paid for;
  • Any activity which is a statutory responsibility of a public body
  • Salaries
  • Debt repayment
  • Rent and utilities
  • Stock for an existing product line
  • Ongoing software subscriptions
  • New computers, phones, tablets
              NB On a match funded basis, we can consider applications for refurbished technology. 

 

Applications for just ‘business ideas’ will not be considered. You must be able to give evidence of significant steps taken to get your business off the ground.

What will I need to make my application?

You will need:

  • Photographic proof of identity (Driving license, Passport, citizenship card etc)
  • Current cashflow/profit and loss
  • A Business plan including:
  • Financial forecast (the income and expenditure you are expecting)
  • Evidence of market research that supports your business idea and revenue projections.
  • Proof of a business bank account (dated no more than 3 months ago)
  • You must answer all the questions on the application form

If available you should also provide:

  • Your business registration certificate
  • Your management accounts

Why do you ask for information about my personal circumstances?

We know it can be difficult answering questions about your personal circumstances openly, especially those about your school/work history and any disadvantages you may have needed to overcome. But we ask them because we are aiming to empower those whose start in life has been less advantaged. We support the principle of equity of opportunity and recognise that each person has different circumstances so it is important that we tailor the resources and opportunities provided, to reach an equal outcome for all. By asking these questions, we can ensure the funding goes to those who are less likely to be able to get support from other sources.

We and the funders SWEF Enterprise will always take good care of your information and will hold it securely so it cannot be accessed by anyone outside of this programme without your consent.

How do I apply?

Click on the ‘APPLY HERE’ button below and complete the application form. You can save the form as you go and return at a later time if you need to. You will also have the opportunity to upload documents in support of your application if appropriate.

What happens next?

Your application will be reviewed by Heart of Bucks Grants Team, and we will ask you for clarification of anything we are not quite clear about.

Thereafter your application and contact details will be shared with the funders at SWEF Enterprise who will look at your application and invite you to an online meeting if your application meets the criteria. You will receive a grant decision soon after the meeting has taken place.

You will usually receive a decision within four to six weeks of submitting the application.

If the funders do not feel able to award a grant, they will explain why and may give you some feedback on how to improve your business case.

If a grant is agreed, it will be paid to your business bank account by Heart of Bucks.

You will be expected to have fully spent the grant within 1 month of the award and you will be asked to provide an end of grant report after 12 months, with details about how you have spent the award, and what you have achieved.

Our first grant has already changed the life of one young Buckinghamshire entrepreneur – Lewis from Primary Pressure. 

Lewis had a successful pressure washing business but was keen to expand. The SWEF grant allowed him to extend the services he offers clients and he now has his first employee. 

Lewis said: “I’m really pleased with my grant from SWEF which has enabled my business to expand at just the right time. The process was simple and straight forward and I’d encourage anyone in my position to apply”.