Here at One Manchester, we're always looking at ways to support new and growing businesses in our area. To kick off 2020, we have allocated almost £50,000 to do just that by investing in all 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 your business successful

Applications are now closed! Successful applicants will be contacted soon.

Don't forget to add these key dates to your diary:

  • 13 January 2020 - applications open
  • 24 February 2020 - deadline to get your application in
  • 9 March 2020 - shortlisted applicants will be notified
  • 1 or 2 April - pitching will take place 
  • 3 April - award decisions will be made

Want to find out more? Check out the information below or email us at with your contact details and some brief information and we'll call you back.


If you're a locally based business, then we want to hear from you! We will accept applications from:

  • Enterprises operating, or seeking to operate, in our area of benefit (see the map below for our areas of operation).
  • Individuals seeking to set up new businesses benefiting these areas.

We will consider:

  • 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. (You can see our social investment priorities here).
  • Enterprises that demonstrate potential for partnership working with One Manchester.

We will consider funding:

  • Start-up 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 and 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).

Sorry, 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 (see the map below).
  • 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 funding here).

Subject to agreement, we intend to make formal grant offers in April, with initial payments being made shortly after that. Your grant payments may be made in stages. All funding should be able to be spent within 12 months of receiving your award.

Shortlisted projects will be asked to pitch their idea, however if you need support or advice to develop your pitch, or have any concerns please speak with us and we may be able to make arrangements to suit your circumstances.

Expressions of interest will be scored by a panel and assessed with consideration to the following factors:

  • How relevant and significant the proposal is to our target area (please refer to the map below).
  • How realistic the demand or market is for paying customers (we want to be convinced that there are people, or businesses, out there that will be prepared to buy the services or products you are proposing to sell).
  • How appropriate the funding request is for the proposal (we want to see that what you are asking for is reasonable, good value, and necessary to develop your business).
  • How significant an impact on the business this grant is likely to have.
  • Potential for job creation (we will favour proposals that demonstrate realistic aspirations to create and sustain new jobs).
  • Potential for additional social impact. We love business ideas that do good!