About the New Venture Fund Pilot:
The New Venture Fund Pilot was launched in July 2021. It aims to advance self-sufficiency and resilience to a changing society and environment, and to encourage enterprise within the Carron Valley and District Region. The fund is currently in an 18 month Pilot to establish its value to the community.
The New Venture Fund is designed to:
- Increase resilience for individuals, households, and the community by reducing reliance on goods and services from out with the region.
- Support entrepreneurship in the region by providing small scale seed funding together with advice on financial and business skills and confidence, specifically dealing with funders, providing repayments and developing simple business plans.
The fund will usually build on a successful VRG’s Household Small Grant application which will have supported resilience and self-sufficiency.
It can provide up to £1,000 as a 50% grant and a 50% repayable interest free loan, to new entrepreneurial ventures operated by residents of the Carron Valley & District Region which have a focus on sustainability: enhancing economic resilience, increasing wellbeing and reducing environmental impact.
Match funding, which can include in-kind support, is required from applicants and technical support and guidance for the venture can be provided by VRG’s Project Development Officer.
Examples of venture which could be eligible for funding via this scheme include:
- Mending/Making Clothes/Items:
- Stage 1: A sewing machine purchased via the Small Household Grant for mending and making clothes.
- Stage 2: Additional equipment, supplies, training to enable mending others’ items or selling items via New Venture Fund.
- This venture reduces environmental impact and enhances economic resilience.
- Wool Products:
- Stage 1: Carding/spinning equipment via the Small Household Grant for turning raw fleece into a usable item.
- Stage 2: Additional equipment to enable making of products from and/or selling wool/yarn via New Venture Fund
- The venture reduces environmental impact and enhances economic resilience.
- Bed and Breakfast
- Stage 1: Food Safety and Hygiene certificate training via the Small Household Grant
- Stage 2: Equipment materials to ready kitchen/rooms via New Venture Fund
- This venture enhances economic resilience.
NEW VENTURE FUND PARTICULARS
What is Available:
A grant and a repayable interest free loan, up to a combined maximum of £1,000, to new entrepreneurial ventures operated by residents of the Carron Valley & District Region which have a focus on sustainability: reducing environmental impact, enhancing economic resilience and increasing wellbeing. The total value of a successful application will be awarded as 50% Grant and 50% repayable loan.
Match funding of the application is required. This may take the form of personal contribution or in-kind support, such as labour, or funding from other sources. Match funding must be detailed in the New Venture Fund Application form.
Repayment of Loan:
The interest free loan portion (50%) of funding provided will be due to be repaid within 12 months of receipt of funding. A six month repayment holiday may be available at the start of the agreement with the loan then being repaid over the following six months. Repayment can made in equal monthly instalments over 12/6 months. If requested alternative arrangements for repayment may be able to be agreed prior to receipt of funding.
A repayment schedule will be provided to successful applicants, along with a Funding Agreement. Recipients will be required to sign and return the Funding Agreement and set up a Standing Order as agreed within the repayment schedule prior to receiving funding.
Technical Support and Guidance from VRG
The VRG Project Development Officer is available to provide support and guidance throughout the process of a New Venture Fund application, and the development of the venture going forward, including sign posting to National and Regional Support where relevant to further enhance projects.
All successful applicants are asked to provide reporting information to VRG 12 months following the receipt of their funding. This reporting will be in the form of a short report and completion of an evaluation form. The short written report should summarise outcomes, successes, challenges and future plans for your venture. This reporting and evaluation is designed to ensure VRG’s funding schemes continue to provide value and impact for the community. During the Pilot period of this new fund further feedback on the funding mechanism may be requested from applicants.
APPLYING TO THE NEW VENTURE FUND
Application to the New Venture Fund is a two-stage funding process.
- Stage one: a successful application to the Household Small Grant scheme. Full details on applying to the Household Small Grant scheme can be found here.
- Stage Two: submission of a completed New Venture Fund Application Form and a simple Business Plan. An example business plan is available here. The Business plan should include, as a minimum: Business Details, Vision, Strategy, Marketing, Operations and Finance (Start-up Costs and min 12 Month Cash Flow).
Eligible projects will meet the following criteria:
- Be from a permanent resident living in, or a micro-business based in the Carron Valley & District Community Council area.
- Be submitted by someone 16 years of age or over.
- Likely to have received a Household Small Grant for the project/venture with in the past 12 months.
- Be for a new activity not previously undertaken.
- Have the potential to lead to new income generation opportunities.
- Fulfil one or more of the following:
- Enhance economic resilience:
- Increase Self sufficiency
- Open new income stream
- And/or Promote positive wellbeing:
- Increase community connections
- Increase knowledge and skills
- And/or Reduce environmental impact:
- Increase biodiversity
- Reduce waste
- Reduce water use
- Reduce carbon emissions
- Enhance economic resilience:
The procedure for making a grant application is as follows:
- Contact VRG Project Development Officer to chat about a potential venture opportunity via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Read these guidelines in full and ensure your venture meets the eligibility criteria outlined.
- Complete a simple Business Plan (an example template can be found here) and the New Venture Fund Application Form.
- Complete the New Venture Fund application form and send it with the completed Business Plan to the VRG Admin Officer via Admin@valleyrenewables.co.uk.
The Grants Sub-committee will review applications, a response will typically provided to the applicant within four to six weeks. This timeline is for guidance since the VRG is run by unpaid volunteers who give their time voluntarily to the group.
The Board reserves the right to decline to support an application which they consider does not address the VRGs Objectives or is ineligible. Applicants refused funding will be entitled to receive an explanation for the decision and the Board’s decision will be final. The guidelines specify the upper limit of any award to be made.
Any award made will be subject to the following conditions:
- Awards will only be made to permanent residents operating within the Carron Valley Community Council area.
- Valley Renewables shall be entitled to reclaim any funds that it considers to have been used inappropriately.
- VRG is in no way responsible for tax, legal, health and safety or planning advice or consent which may occur due to the activities of any funded venture.
- While VRG Cannot be held responsible for any losses or adverse effects from commercial decisions the venture makes.
- Applications are required to agree to replay the loan portion of a successful application (up to £500) in full within 12 months of receipt. Failure to do so may result in the applicant no longer being eligible for any VRG funding.
- Completion of evaluation forms provided by VRG 12 months after funding provided (additional evaluation may be requested during the pilot)
- Return of a signed repayment agreement with VRG.
- Evidence of match funding available on request.
If you would like to discuss a possible New Venture Fund Application, or have any questions about the fund please get in touch with VRG’s Project Development Officer via email@example.com
 The proportion of the total funding received by applications will be split evenly between grant and repayable loan. i.e. if a successful applicant requires a total of £400 towards their new venture they would receive a £200 grant and a £200 repayable loan.
 Previous recipients of the Household Small Grant within approximately the last 12 months will be eligible to move immediately to stage 2 of the fund
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