Funding Round-up – Business and Employment (part 2), September/October 2021

Here is another 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.

Reaching Communities Funding Programme from National Lottery Community Fund
Large grants of over £10,000, for up to five years, are available to voluntary and community organisations for projects that make positive changes in their communities.
During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Reaching Communities programme is supporting people and communities most adversely impacted by the crisis.
Organisations can apply for funding to:
  • Continue to deliver activity - whether the community needs crisis response, recovery or business as usual activity
  • Change and adapt, becoming more resilient to respond to new and future challenges
This is a Continuous Rolling Programme, so there is no deadline and applications can be submitted at any time.
More details are available at the National Lottery website.

Kent Community Foundation - Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund
The Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund (KSELF) offers Kent’s charities and social enterprises unsecured loans of between £10,000 and £100,000, with Investment readiness and business support also provided by Kent Community Foundation’s (KCF) dedicated Investment Fund Manager throughout the whole process.
The aim of the Fund is to spread the culture of social enterprise and break down the barriers which prevent enterprising social businesses from accessing finance.
This is a Continuous Rolling Programme, which means there is no deadline and applications can be submitted at any time.
For more information and how to apply, visit the KCF website.

Financial Support for Apprenticeships – continued Employer Incentive from UK Government
The Government’s Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have re-issued financial support available to help employers in England hire new apprentices in a move aimed at improving employment prospects for young people following the COVID-19 outbreak.
The scheme now provides £1000 to employers that hire a new apprentice in addition to the payments of:
  • £2,000 for each new apprentice aged 16-24
  • £1,500 for each new apprentice over the age of 25
The Government says if an employer takes on new apprentices by 30th September 2021, they can apply until 30th November 2021.
More information is available on the Government website.

The Back2Business Grant Programme from Fiserv
International consulting organisation Fiserv recently launched a programme in the UK, part of a $50 Million global initiative to support small, ethnically diverse businesses to thrive post-pandemic.
Being administered by the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the Back2Business UK programme will offer:
  • The opportunity to apply for £10,000 grants
  • Expertise
  • Access to leading technology solutions
  • Connections to community partners
Successful grant applicants can use the grant for any purpose they choose, including technology investment, operational costs such as rent and payroll, premise re-design or marketing.
Fiserv advise that applications to this programme must be received no later than 31st December 2021.
More information and how to apply can be found at the AEO website.

Charities Grant Programme from the Thomas Wall Trust
The Thomas Wall Trust’s Grants for Registered Charities scheme is offering funding of up to £5,000 for projects or core activities that support literacy, numeracy, digital and additional skills for learning that are likely to assist employment prospects.
The deadline for applications (expression of interest) is Monday 27th September 2021.
For more information visit the Trust’s website.

Exclusive! - Recovery Loan Scheme from UK Government
A loan scheme has been launched by UK Government to support access to finance for local and national businesses as they grow and recover from the disruption caused by the pandemic.
Organised by Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and HM Treasury, the following types of finance will be available:
  • Term loans and overdrafts will be available between £25,001 and £10 million per business
  • Invoice finance and asset finance will be available between £1,000 and £10 million per business
The finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose - This can include growth and investment.
The organisers of the scheme advise that interested parties must apply by 31st December 2021.
More details and how to apply are available 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.