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Wednesday , September , 30 2020
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Grants and External Funding

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Open 4 Business Portal

Open 4 business logo image

To support our businesses during the current COVID-19 crisis, and into the recovery phase, Carlisle City Council is providing free access to Open 4 Business. Open4Business is designed to support businesses locate relevant up to date funding opportunities.

The portal is updated regularly with new local, regional and national funding announcements and can be easily searched by businesses on the basis of their industry, region and business size. The portal then provides information on how to apply for funding and contact funders directly. To search for grants for your business you will first need to register on the Open4Business website


Grants and Funding News

Beyond the Bag Challenge

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Innovators from across the world are being challenged and funded for their innovative new design solutions that serve the function of today’s single-use plastic retail bag, delivering consumer convenience and lessening environmental impacts.

Fund Information

Funding body:


Maximum value:

£ 76,000 (100,000 USD)

Application deadline:



This programme is a part of the global Beyond the Bag Initiative, launched by Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy with Founding Partners CVS Health, Target, and Walmart. Kroger joins as Grocery Sector Lead Partner and Walgreens as a Supporting Partner alongside Conservation International and Ocean Conservancy as Environmental Advisory Partners. OpenIDEO is the Consortium's Innovation Partner.

Objectives of Fund

The Beyond the Bag Challenge seeks to identify innovative new design solutions to create a system that serves the function of the current retail bag, providing customers with convenient, accessible, hygienic, and environmentally-sound solutions.

Successful solutions will strive to be compatible in diverse retail environments, deliver the ease and convenience of the single-use plastic bag, and reduce or eliminate the environmental impact. Solutions may include:

  • Reusable Models

  • Bagless Solutions

  • Innovative Materials

Solutions must transport goods from retailer to final destination while replacing the single-use plastic retail bag with an improved solution. They may explore point of sale checkout, in-store pickup, local delivery from retailer or other key moments along the 'retailer to destination' journey.

Value Notes

Winning ideas are eligible to receive a portion of US $1 million (approx. £760,000) in funding, participate in a Circular Accelerator programme to receive further assistance in scaling, and access testing and potential piloting opportunities.

Innovators will be supported across multiple stages of development, as follows:

  • Emerging Innovator Award: Early stage concepts: Up to US $50,000 (approx. £38,000).

  • Mid-stage Innovator Award: Growth stage concepts: Up to US $100,000 (approx. £76,000).

  • Advanced Solutions Award: Established companies with innovation solutions will be considered for financial and in-kind support for testing and piloting.

‍The most promising early- and growth-stage winners have the option to advance to the Beyond the Bag Circular Accelerator to receive further assistance in scaling their solutions. These solutions will receive access to the retail and recovery-system industries to test and enhance their solutions.

Who Can Apply

Individuals, teams of individuals, and legal entities from all countries and territories are welcome and encouraged to participate.



How To Apply

Applications opened on 3 August 2020. The deadline for submission of applications is 4 September 2020.

To apply, interested parties are invited to share their ideas through an online platform, accessible at the funder's website

If you have questions, please email us at [email protected]


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