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Sustainable Start-up Award FAQs

What does PNE Enterprise define as 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 Sustainable Development Goals (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 about the SDGs can be found on the UN's website. It is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the SDGs before making your application for the Award.

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.


Who is eligible to apply for the Award?

To be eligible for the Award, you must:

·        Be aged between 18-30 (inclusive) and reside in the North East of England

·        Have a business idea that supports at least one of the SDGs

·        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 twelve months


Please note: grants are aimed at the business 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 areas makeup the North East of England?

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Country Durham and Teesside.


What are personal assets?

Personal assets include property (your own home, rather than rented accommodation, for example), land, vehicles and savings.


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(s) who meet 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 and lease costs.


What is the application process?

Applications for the Sustainable Start-up Award can only be made via the online application form.


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 grant application has been successful, we will send you a confirmation email which will inform you of how much you have been awarded and what costs are 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 the original receipt(s) to our office, we will then verify it/them and ask you to complete a bank details form. PNE Accounts will then reimburse your bank account the agreed sum of money within three to five 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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