Exclusive: New start-up grants announced

Non-repayable micro-grants available for entrepreneurs

Startups can exclusively announce the launch of a new grant fund for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Fund101 will provide non-repayable micro-credit, in sums ranging from £50 to £500 via an online application process.

The scheme, which launches today with an initial fund of £50,000, was devised by Enterprise Nation, in conjunction with Intuit and PayPal.

Speaking exclusively to Startups, Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones said the fund fills a gap in the market for people looking for relatively small amounts of capital to get their businesses off the ground.

She told Startups: “Our research has shown that a lot of people only need a small amount of capital to get going – whether that be to buy a camera to take pictures of the products that they’re going to sell or to buy their first laptop. Of course there are people looking for £50,000 or more, but Fund 101 is very much for those people who need that first £500 to get going.”

To apply, entrepreneurs must complete an online application, explaining how much money they require and for what purpose.

They must then raise an equivalent number of votes to the grant they are seeking – if they need £100, they must engage 100 people to vote for them.

When the target is met, the funds will be deposited into the entrepreneur’s PayPal account.

However, they must agree to be profiled on the Fund101 webpage in a few months’ time, to explain how the grant has benefited their business.

The initial pool will contain £50,000 and this will be topped up by £5,000 each month with funds provided by Intuit and Paypal.

Established business owners will also be able to contribute sums starting from £50 to support the next generation of entrepreneurs, via a ‘send money’ button on the Fund101 website.

Sally Revell, head of marketing at Intuit UK, said: “This fund will help thousands of people start and grow a business by providing them with hundreds of pounds. Not only do you receive money, applicants will also become part of a small business community from which to access help, support and advice as the business develops. Funding plus peer support is a powerful combination in the early stages of any business.”

For more information and to apply for a grant, visit the Fund101 website or for those in need of more than £500, read our article on grants for starting a business for information on other types of grant funding available for entrepreneurs.

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