Support for local community groups and small businesses is available through a wide range of sources at One Manchester. Below, you can see a few of the options available.

The One Manchester Community Fund (Community Soups) was launched in 2015 and allows local community groups and businesses to pitch for up to £5,000 in funding to support their projects and voting takes place within the community.  So far, we have invested over £325,000 in over 150 projects, benefiting thousands of local people.

We take Community Soup applications from:

East (ClaytonOpenshaw, Beswick)

South (Moss Side, Fallowfield, Longsight, Rusholme, Levenshulme

Central (Ardwick, Hulme, GortonAbbey Hey)

The Catalyst Fund is slightly different in that it is there to help local start ups and small businesses only. Launched in 2017, 22 businesses have so far received up to £5,000 each in funding to help launch or move their businesses to the next level.

Take a look at the more detailed information below. If you aren't sure which type of funding is right for your business or community group, or you just want advice or a chat, we're always here to help.  Why not call 0330 355 1000 or email and we will find the right person for what you need.


Are you a group or individual with innovative plans to make a difference in our neighbourhoods?

This can be making the best of local resources or public spaces, addressing environmental issues or helping improve people’s wellbeing. We want everyone in our communities to have the opportunity to access positive activities that promote health and wellbeing, bring the community together and help reduce loneliness and isolation.

Applications are assessed internally for shortlisting and are judged on how well the project aligns with One Manchester's vision, whether the project is sustainable and how well the project demonstrates social innovation. You must be available for the appropriate date to pitch should your project get shortlisted.

The idea is based on a project that’s had brilliant results in Detroit. We invite people and groups with creative ideas that will make a difference in their communities to pitch to local people at one of four events across the city. After enjoying a bowl of soup (or some equally lovely hot food) and listening to the pitches, the audience then vote for the projects they think should get the funding. 

But how exactly does it work?
If you’ve got an idea to pitch at our soups, complete the form to tell us which area your project will benefit, more about your project and how it will make a difference. We will then invite those we think will make the most difference to pitch their idea at their local One Manchester Soup. We’ll provide help to get your four-minute pitch ready for the community audience. The pitches then get voted on by local people in the audience and the successful projects will be given funding.

For more information and to join our Facebook events, visit our page.

Community Soup winners - July 2019

Community Soup winners - March 2019

Community Soup winners - October 2018

Community Soup winners - May 2018

Community Soup winners - October 2017

Community Soup winners - July 2017



Here at One Manchester, we are always looking at ways to support new and growing businesses in our area and we have allocated £50,000 to do just that. For more information on our social investment strategy, click here.

To kick off 2020, we will be investing in the best business ideas that will support our communities. We are offering:

  • 7 awards of £5,000
  • 7 awards of £2,000
  • Support and advice to give you the best chance in making a success of your business

Interested? Check out the information below or email your questions to with your contact details and some brief information, and we'll call you back.

Please note: Applications are currently closed and will reopen in January 2020.

Who can apply?

  • Enterprises operating, or seeking to operate in our area of benefit. Click here for details on our social investment strategy and our areas of operation.
  • Individuals seeking to set up new businesses benefiting these areas.

What sort of proposals will be considered?

  • Proposals that demonstrate potential for growth and employment opportunities.
  • Socially purposed businesses that are able to demonstrate how they can contribute to our social priorities, or provide benefit to the local community in other ways. See One Manchester's social investment priorities here.
  • Enterprises that demonstrate potential for partnership working with One Manchester.

What we will consider funding:

  • Start-up capital costs, e.g. materials or equipment to enable you to start trading.
  • Development costs to test, and establish the feasibility of your ideas.
  • Contribution to start up running costs during initial few months of trading until your business starts generating its own cash.
  • Learning and development costs to skill you up to make your business a success.
  • Support to employ or offer paid work placements targeted to unemployed people (we require anyone seeking to employ staff to offer at least the real living wage of £9/hour).

What we won’t fund:

  • Businesses operating outside of our area of benefit that don't have specific plans to establish trading activity within our area (click here to see our area).
  • Businesses that we believe to be unethical, or don't have a positive impact in our communities.
  • Service delivery or running costs for established or ongoing activities
  • Charitable activities that do not involve trading of services or products. If you are seeking grant funding for charitable activities which will not generate an income, please see our Community Soup fund (above).

We are working with other partners who can provide support or grants to local enterprises.

If you would like to find out more about other support available please contact our business support advisor, Wayne Wilson:

Tel: 0161 227 1294

Mob: 07471 142 875


Find out more about self-employment.

The other partners we are working with are:

  • GMCVO: The Greater Manchester Social investment fund can provide investment of between £10,000 and £50,000 to eligible social enterprises across Greater Manchester. They are also an access point for support and advice to social enterprises. Through our start up fund we hope to encourage and enable more people to apply and be successful in securing investment from this fund. For more information, please click here.
  • Manchester City Council: This fund has been developed in discussion with the work and skills team, and has adopted an “Our Manchester” approach. For more information, please click here.

Between us we will seek to refer applicants to other relevant sources of support including.

  • My ventures – An online resource with useful information for anyone looking to set up a business. Please click here for more information.
  • The Business Growth Hub provides a range of fully funded business support services, they are available on this link.

Download the Expression of Interest questions template here.

Catalyst Fund winners 2018

Catalyst Fund winners 2019

Sometimes it’s more valuable to help community groups and organisations to crowdfund to get their projects off the ground or take them to the next level. That’s why we’ve provided support to more than 30 community groups wanting to learn how crowdfunding can help them raise funds and support for their projects and activities.

What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a way of raising money by using the internet, social media and local connections to ask lots of people for a small amount of money each. People choose to give money because they believe in the cause, so it can be a great way for community projects to get off the ground. Projects can choose to thank people for their contributions by providing rewards such as tickets to events or public ‘thank yous’. Crowdfunding campaigns can also create great publicity for your project and there are often match funding pots available. One Manchester can help you put together your campaign, and for projects that meet our priorities may also agree a match funding pledge before you start to give your campaign a boost.

If you have a project in our communities you think might benefit from a crowdfunding campaign but don’t know where to start; if you’re wondering whether you should apply to pitch at one of our Community Soups; or you want to see whether there are other ways in which One Manchester can support your project, please phone our Customer Involvement team on 0330 355 1000 or email

If you would like to be added to our email list to find out about other external funding streams, email with the title 'Funding list' and provide the following details:

  • Your name
  • Name of group or organisation
  • Preferred email address
  • Phone number

For information about other support available to local organisations see Manchester Community Central, click here.

We have set aside £150,000 to invest in projects that have the potential to significantly impact on our social priorities and we want to allocate grants and/or loans to the best ideas, as well as offering other support.

Our social innovation calls are designed to generate solutions to specific social problems that are an issue in our areas, but that we know require fresh thinking as the current model isn't working for everyone.

For more information on social innovation calls, please click here.

Within One Manchester we have a range of expertise relating to:

  • asset management
  • employability support
  • marketing and communications
  • finance

Plus, many other areas where we can support you. If your organisation would like our support to develop and grow, we are happy to speak to you about how we can help.

For more information on courses and events that are run to help businesses, please click here.

Community Soup Applications are now closed.