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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?
To be eligible for an Award, you must:
  • be aged between 18-30 (inclusive) and reside in Tyne and Wear
  • have a business idea that supports at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • have received at least 12 hours of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) business support within the last two years
  • be able to demonstrate a clear ‘need’ for grant assistance
  • have less than £15,000 in total personal assets
  • be pre-start or have been trading officially for less than three months
Please note: grants are aimed at businesses or processes/functions within the business that will be (or are) working towards achieving at least one of the UN's SDGs; they are not aimed at the applicant(s) themselves. 
What are personal assets?
Personal assets include property (your own home rather than rented accommodation, for example), land, vehicles and savings.
What is a ‘sustainable’ business?
A sustainable business is one that is socially, economically and/or environmentally responsible. Sustainable businesses ensure that their business operations do not negatively impact the environment or society.
What are the SDGs?
The SDGs are a set of 17 universal goals set by the United Nations (UN) which act as a framework for political policies and agendas in 193 countries. The SDGs cover a wide range of economic and social development issues including, but not limited to: poverty, health and wellbeing, gender equality and education. More information on the SDGs can be found on the UN's website. It is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the SDGs before making your application.
The SDGs work in the spirit of collaboration and require everyone, from government to small businesses, to work together if they are to be effective.
Must I have received 12 hours of ERDF business support?

If you have not yet started to trade officially, you must receive (or be in the process of receiving) at least 12 hours of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) business support from a recognised local enterprise agency, for example PNE Enterprise, BIC or TEDCO. This support is likely to be in the form of business courses and/or 1-2-1 appointments with a business advisor. Your business advisor will need to support your application for a Sustainable Start-up Award.

PNE Enterprise acknowledges that some businesses may have commenced trading without the support of an ERDF business start-up programme. In such circumstances, and providing the other eligibility criteria are met, in particular the demonstration of 'need', we will accept applications and they will be assessed on their own merits.
Can my business partner(s) also apply for the Award?
To support as many businesses as possible, only one application per venture can be accepted. If a business has more than one registered owner, at least 50% of the enterprise must be owned by an individual (or individuals) who meets the eligibility criteria.
What costs are covered by the Award?
The Award can be used to support costs you may incur when starting up your business. These include but are not limited to: tools (that will enable the business to achieve its sustainability objectives), equipment, insurance, and marketing activities to promote the sustainable aspect(s) of your business.
The Award cannot be used to fund: working capital, servicing or restricting of debt (both business and personal), recurring overheads or rental or lease costs.
What is the application process?
Applications for the Sustainable Start-up Award can only be made by downloading and completing the Application Form. It is strongly recommended that you familiarise yourself with the SDGs before writing your application.
If you are receiving, or have received, ERDF business start-up support from a local enterprise agency (such as PNE Enterprise, BIC or TEDCO), then your business advisor needs to complete an advisor commentary form. This can be emailed separately to your application but please note we will not process applications until we have received a completed Application Form and Advisor Commentary Form.
All completed application forms must be submitted for assessment to
What if my application is unsuccessful?
If your application is unsuccessful, you will be notified via email. The email may provide feedback on your application and in some circumstances, you may be advised to re-apply.
My grant application has been successful, what happens next?
If your application has been successful, we will send you a confirmation email. This email will let you how much you have been awarded and what costs will be covered.
You then need to purchase the agreed item(s) and bring the original receipt(s) to the PNE Enterprise office in Newcastle upon Tyne. Copies of receipts will not be accepted.
Please note: receipts must not be dated earlier than the date on the confirmation email. Grants will not be issued for items you have purchased prior to approval of your application.
When you bring your original receipt(s) to our office, we will verify it/them and then ask you to complete a bank details form. PNE Accounts will then reimburse your bank account the agreed sum of money within three working days. 
If you cannot see an answer to your question or have any additional queries about the Award, please email us at or call 0191 230 6410


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