Funding Round-up – Business and Employment (part 1), September/October 2021

Here is a collection of funding rounds from local and national organisations focusing on business and employment themes aimed at helping charities continue their work in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Due to the varying nature and progress of the pandemic, MVA do advise that some of the information below may have changed since the time of its issue, and ask that readers please check each organisation’s website for the latest information.

Innovate UK (IUK) SMART Grants
Smart grants are available from Innovate UK (IUK) for game-changing and disruptive ideas from business, through a regular, competitive application process.
UK-registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 Million for game-changing and commercially viable research and development innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.
Relaunched recently, the closing date for applications is 11am on 6th October2021, with further rounds likely to be announced in later seasons.
Full opportunity details on this funding can be found on the IUK’s dedicated website.

Kent Community Foundation - Employability, Skills and Enterprise
Grants of up to £5,000 are available from the Foundation for projects which raise the aspirations and increase the skills and opportunities of people who are far from the labour market.
The theme supports projects working with:
  • Young people/NEETs,
  • Young parents,
  • Ex-offenders,
  • Ex-forces,
  • Those with financial barriers and
  • Those with learning disabilities, mental health issues or physical disabilities.
The Foundation says the fund is looking for projects that provide accredited training, apprenticeships, meaningful work experience and life skills/employment skills workshops for the disadvantaged; and will also support strategic projects which aim to prevent young people from becoming NEETs.
The deadline for applications is 30th November2021, with further dates to be announced later.
More information can be found at the Foundation’s website.

Flexi-job Apprenticeship Offer from UK Government
The Government has allocated £7 Million in funding over the next two years to establish ‘flexi-job’ apprenticeship agencies in targeted business sectors, giving apprentices the opportunity to work on different projects or with multiple employers during the period of their apprenticeship.
Organised by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, the scheme aims to allow an apprentice to work across a range of projects and with different employers to gain the full skills and experience required to complete their programme.
The grant funding is available to support the start-up, development or diversification costs of the new agencies, or existing Apprenticeship Training Agencies (ATAs) looking to become a flexi-job apprenticeship agency, where organisations can apply for between £100,000 and £1 million each.
The deadline for enquiries is 6th October 2021.
Further details and how to take part are available at the Government website.

Crowdfund Kent
A new digital crowdfunding drive has been launched in Kent to enable community-led ideas to become more vibrant, resilient and connected during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
In partnership with Spacehive, Kent County Council (KCC) has launched Crowdfund Kent to help fund community-led COVID-19 recovery projects across the county.
The Council is committing £500,000 into the programme, with up to £20,000 available per project to boost fundraisers towards their funding target.
Aimed at helping local organisations and groups take projects and ideas forward to improve their local area, the Council advises that to be eligible for funding applicants must be from a registered charity or similar organisation and the project must benefit the wider community.
At the time of writing there was no deadline specified, suggesting applications for the funding could be made at any time.
For more information and how to apply, visit the KCC website.

New Jobs for Young People – The Kickstart Scheme from UK Government
Employers across the UK can access funding to create new jobs for young people aged 16 to 24 who are claiming Universal Credit.
The jobs created should give young people the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace and to gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work.
Launched recently, the Government says applications accepted at any time as the scheme will continue until December 2021.
More information can be found at the Government website.

Future Farming Resilience Fund (FFRF) from UK Government
The UK Government is offering specific and personalized business support for farmers during the agricultural transition period.
Being delivered by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (defra), the Future Farming Resilience Fund is offering grants to organisations who help farmers and land managers to:
  • Understand the changes that are happening
  • Identify how, what and when they may need to adapt their business models, and
  • Access tailored support to adapt.
The aim of the programme is to give farmers and land managers the direction and support they need to make the best decisions for their farms, families and future.
At the time of writing there was no deadline specified, so enquiries to apply for the funding could be made at any time.
More details and how to apply can be found at the Government website.

If you would like to see coverage of specific funding or grant rounds to help your charity, your project, your community group or enterprise, you can get In touch by email at, you can also contact MVA via the website.