This section of our site contains information and links to the latest funding support and opportunities available to Dorset-based businesses in addition to those outlined on our government financial support page.

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Last updated: 29/06/20

Crowdfund Dorset Business

Dorset LEP has partnered with Crowdfunder and Enterprise Nation to support small businesses in generating essential cash flow during the coronavirus pandemic.

Crowdfund Dorset Business provides match funding of up to £5,000 for the self-employed and for small businesses to help them keep trading. This could provide a much-needed cash injection to help businesses bounce-back from the effects of COVID-19. The allocation is available to all businesses in need of cash flow, for example this could fund businesses moving online, pre-selling goods or even introducing PPE equipment into offices, shops or cafes.

Businesses can check eligibility and apply for this fund by visiting Crowdfund Dorset Business and signing up to Crowdfunder. Once set-up, businesses can start crowdfunding by pre-selling goods and services or offering concessions, discounts or rewards to loyal customers. Advice and support are available from Crowdfunder, Enterprise Nation and Dorset Gateway - Dorset LEP’s growth hub. Businesses can set a financial target to meet and coaching is provided by Crowdfunder, once the sum of money is met the money is released to the person or small business.

If you are a small business or know someone with a small business in this situation Crowdfunder can help to keep you trading. Further information is available here

Live + Learn Webinars
This course is the latest piece of educational development released by Crowdfunder. It's a brilliant and very straight forward tool that you can use to ensure you have the very best chance of success.

Topics covered in each Live + Learn webinar are: 

  • What is crowdfunding?
  • Benefits of crowdfunding
  • What makes a good crowdfunding project?
  • Three steps to success
  • Accessing advice and support
  • Extra funding available across the UK

The next dates for general access webinars are as follows and can be booked at www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/crowdfunder-9831814290 

  • Thursday 25 June, 12pm
  • Wednesday 22 July, 1pm
  • Tuesday 25 August, 4pm

Learn Platform
Crowdfunder's new Learn platform is available free of charge to provide additional support through the process. It can be accessed here.

RBS Social & Community Capital £1million Coronavirus Response Fund
At midday on Monday 22 June, RBS Social & Community Capital launched their £1million Coronavirus Response Fund. They are offering £5,000 - £50,000 grants to social enterprises across the UK that employ people from vulnerable or disadvantaged groups.

You may be eligible for one of their grants if your organisation:

  • employs people from vulnerable or disadvantaged groups
  • generates at least 30% of revenue from trading income
  • has an annual turnover is between £50,000 to £1 million
  • has suffered a loss of trading income since March 2020, caused by lockdown restrictions.
  • was founded and trading prior to 1st January 2019
  • is constituted, operating and delivering impact in England, Scotland, Wales, and/or Northern Ireland
  • has one of following legal structures: Community Interest Company, Company Limited by Guarantee, Community Benefit Society, Co-operative Society, Unincorporated association, Charitable Incorporated Organisation, Charitable Trusts, Registered Charity

Applications closed at midday on Monday 29 June. They may open applications again depending on the number of applications they receive and whether they reach their funding capacity. Further information is available here.