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Santander Seed Fund

Got a business idea? Need some financial help to get it off the ground? Access up to £1,000 to kickstart your business idea or freelance venture.

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Santander Universities Seed Fund which will provide a small equity-free grant to aspiring University of Sunderland Entrepreneurs and Freelancers.

We recognise that one of the potential barriers to students looking to launch a business is access to equity-free funding to help get their idea off the ground. Whether you need to pay for insurance or accountancy costs, networking or professional memberships, or simply some materials or equipment to kick start your business, all proposals will be considered. You will need to explain in your application why the grant is needed for your business and how this will make a difference to you.

Who can apply?

  • Current students and graduates of the University of Sunderland who have a business idea or freelance venture.
  • International students are not eligible to apply.
  • International graduates who are endorsed on the Start-up Visa scheme can apply within the first six months of their Start up Visa.
  • You don’t need to be a registered business, but must be committed to testing and launching your business within six months of application to the fund.
  • We can support businesses up to 12 months from the start of trading.
  • You will be offered Enterprise Place support alongside your grant and you must be prepared to engage with the support available to you. 


How much can I apply for?

The fund is a competitive pot of money with a limited allocation for each round. Awards will be made up to a maximum of £1,000. The panel have the ability to make partial awards where they feel appropriate.

Guidance for applicants

  • Please ensure you complete all questions on the application form.
  • Make full use of the word limit given for each section.
  • The panel will be looking for a clear and thorough explanation of your business/idea. What is your offer? Who are your target customers? How will you reach them? How will you make money?
  • Include a clear rationale for the items you are requesting in your proposal. Why it is essential for your business to launch/operate?
  • You may include any images, portfolios or additional information to support your application.
  • A full business plan is not required.
  • The panel will compromise of the Enterprise Place team as well as an independent representative.


Application deadlines:

  • 30th April 2021


Please email enterprise@sunderland.ac.uk to request an application form.

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