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External Funding Opportunities

Dragons' Den
Dragons' Den

Dragons' Den gives entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their proposals to a panel of the UK’s most successful business people.

They have pledged to invest their own money in the best ideas.
If you are an entrepreneur, with a fantastic business idea or product that is investment-ready, then Dragons' Den want to hear from you.

Find out more at www.bbc.co.uk/dragonsden/about

HEFCE UnLtd Social Enterprise Awards in partnership with UCL
Unltd, hefce

HE Support is a joint initiative from UnLtd and HEFCE to help establish an effective eco-system for the development and growth of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise activity within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in England. UCL is one of 56 HEIs to partner with UnLtd and HEFCE on this initiative.

Find out more at www.ucl.ac.uk/enterprise/funding/hefce-unltd-social-enterprise-awards


Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme competition

Biotechnology YES aims to raise awareness of the commercialisation of bioscience research amongst postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. Participants compete in teams to develop a hypothetical business idea with the help of expert mentors from the biotechnology sector. Workshops are held throughout the UK, feeding into a National Final with a prize of £1000 for the winning team.

For more information and an entry form see: www.biotechnologyYES.co.uk

BBSRCroyal society of edinburgh

Enterprise Fellowships: Developing commercial potential of research

BBSRC and The Royal Society of Edinburgh seek proposals to the Enterprise Fellowships scheme to support researchers who wish to play a key role in the commercialisation of their research. The Fellowships provide salary and formal business training, allowing the Fellows to focus on developing the commercial potential of their research over a 12-month period.

For more information and application forms, see:
www.royalsoced.org.uk/research_fellowshp/bbsrc.htm  and www.bbsrc.ac.uk/business/commercialisation/enterprise_fellowships.html


Aspire - Supporting Women Led Businesses

The £12.5m Aspire Fund targets support for Women led businesses across the UK. The fund is able to make equity investments of between £100k and £1m, on a co-investment basis, in order to help strong businesses grow. It will consider start ups where the product and market are proven. The Fund is not able to invest to rescue failing businesses.

Download 'Aspire Fund – A Quick Guide' (PDF, 303 KB)
or email aspire@capitalforenterprise.gov.uk


Business for Women
Centa, Herbert Smith LLP and King's Cross Central

Business for Women will support four female entrepreneurs in its pilot year. They will be entitled to free membership of The Hub – a local workspace and networking venue – given access to coaching and tailored professional advice to meet their needs, as well as receiving financial support toward their business expenses.

The programme is targeted at women who are looking to contribute to the business community in King's Cross and the wider Camden area.

Find out more about the Business for Women programme together with the application process

carbon trust

Energy Efficiency Loans
Carbon Trust

Unsecured interest free loans
The Carbon Trust’s Energy-Efficiency Loans are designed to reduce carbon emissions by enabling businesses to overcome the capital barrier of purchasing energy saving equipment. Loans are interest free, provided on an unsecured basis and are typically for £5,000 to £200,000. Repayments are offered on a 12 to 48 month basis.

Download 'Interest free loans from the Carbon Trust' (PDF, 184KB)

design council

Designing Demand Innovate
Design Council

Designing Demand Innovate is an intensive support service helping early-stage technology ventures use design to commercialise new technology.

Designing Demand Innovate has been developed for technology ventures between pre-seed and early stage which are developing technology with potential applications in sectors including telecoms, IT, life sciences, energy, electronics and industry (eg, aerospace). To get the most out of the service, participants need to be open-minded about their strategic direction and positive about the use of design.

Download 'Innovate' (PDF, 90KB)

There is also a Technology Venture workshop related to this support scheme.

Download 'Technology Venture Workshop' (PDF, 70KB)