Grants worth up to £2,000 are now available for people aged 18 to 30 across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire who need support with business start-up costs.
The Community Foundation for Staffordshire 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 and owned by people aged 18-30, are asked to apply here.
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.
In addition, 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 looking to support those who are not in education, employment or training.
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.
Full criteria including what business owners can’t apply for is on the Community Foundation website.
Leanne Macpherson, Head of Programmes at The Community Foundation for Staffordshire 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 much 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.”