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Wednesday , October , 21 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

Nesta's New Prize Supports the Vulnerable to Access Post-COVID Jobs and Finance

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Nesta has identified what it describes as an 'urgent need' to support people at risk of losing their livelihoods and financial security in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The Rapid Recovery Challenge has been launched to stimulate innovation in the fields of employment, skills and financial services. The programme will support tools and services that improve access to jobs and money for people across the UK, focusing on those hardest hit by the economic shock resulting from COVID-19.

The Challenge will support solutions that positively impact those in low paid or insecure roles and young people, through two streams:

  • Job Recovery Stream - supporting solutions that connect younger workers or those in (or who have recently lost) low-paid or insecure work into open jobs that match their skill sets.

  • Financial Recovery Stream - supporting solutions that help younger workers or those in (or who have recently lost) low-paid or insecure work to access financial assistance more easily, manage their cash flow or access affordable, responsible credit.

There is a total prize fund of £2.8 million available, with funds being released in increments, as follows:

  • In May 2021, six finalists (three in each stream) will each receive £150,000.

  • In September 2021, two winners (one in each stream) will each receive £200,000.

  • In December 2020, 12 semi-finalists (six in each stream) will each receive £125,000.

Registered UK entities, including businesses, charities, community interest companies, community groups and public bodies may apply. Applicants should (at minimum) have a well-functioning prototype of their solution that has been piloted with at least 1,000 users. 

The deadline for applications is 26 October 2020 (12:00 GMT).

How To Apply

Applications are made online at the programme website. More details can be accessed here

Those who have questions can get in touch with Nesta by emailing [email protected]


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