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Grants and External Funding

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Open 4 Business Portal

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Carlisle City Council is providing local businesses with free access to its local business support and grant portal provided by Open4Business. This is tailored for the Carlisle area and includes local, regional and national schemes.

Business can also search for funding relevant to their size and sector. To use the portal, you will first need to register with Open4Business.


Grants and Funding


AI for Social Impact Programme

10 December 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

The scheme is looking for organisations that support the UK healthcare, manufacturing and resources industries to recover faster and better from COVID-19.

Fund Information

Funding body:

Social Tech Trust

Maximum value:

£ 18,500 

Application deadline:



This programme is provided by Social Tech Trust, in partnership with Microsoft and Microsoft for Start-ups.

Objectives of Fund

The AI for Social Impact 2021 programme helps purpose-driven ventures in the UK advance their artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to create positive social change. Microsoft for Startups UK and the Social Tech Trust will select a cohort of organisations with a commitment to a social mission to a four-month programme.

The scheme is looking for organisations that support the UK healthcare, manufacturing and resources industries to recover faster and better from COVID-19. Impact should include improving the lives of patients, communities, employees and customers, in these sectors, in the following categories:

Future-proofing healthcare in the areas of:  

  • Prevention and early detection of cancer and other conditions

  • Revolutionising healthcare settings

  • Ensuring equitable access to healthcare

Revolutionising manufacturing & resources in the areas of:

  • Creating more sustainable supply chains

  • Building the factory & workforce of the future

  • Transforming water & energy through renewables

The Microsoft AI for Social Impact Cohort is delivered remotely.

Value Notes

Successful ventures will participate in a four-month programme, starting in March 2021 and will benefit from resources, advice, and one-to-one support to help them grow and scale the impact of their purpose driven AI initiative.

Benefits include:

  • Being part of a four-month programme with a bespoke approach for each venture and a peer community.

  • A non-equity programme, with up to $25,000 of Azure cloud services credits.

  • Advice from experts on AI, technology, commercial development and social impact to take an AI for Social Impact solution / service to the next level.

  • Workshops and 1:1 coaching from Microsoft for Startups and Social Tech Trust, and a network of advisors to help meet key milestones.

  • Access to Microsoft for Startups and Social Tech Trust online events to network with UK tech community.

  • Support to explore post-accelerator funding and investment options, and join the Social Tech Trust portfolio and gain access to a network of leading social tech ventures and advisors.

Who Can Apply

Applicants must have or want to embed a purpose-driven approach to their business activities including measuring social impact. They must have a minimum of £750,000 of funds raised or £400,000 of annual revenues. They should be a registered B2B/B2B2C company or charity, less than seven years old.

Applicants must have an in-house tech lead who is committed to participate for the full duration of the programme.

How To Apply

Applications close on 15 January 2021.

Applications are made online at the programme website.

More details can be accessed here

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. Enquiries
    Microsoft for Startups UK
    Email: [email protected]


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