Groundwork is the national partner for this sector. They can help to explain the programme, support you with applications to join it, and have a key role in helping successful applicants to progress their ideas and grow their enterprise activity.

For any questions about the programme or to be notified about future application windows, please contact enterprisedevelopment@groundwork.org.uk  


Application Windows

Tuesday 19th April – 10amStage 1 Applications Open
Monday 16th May – 10amStage 1 Applications Close
Tuesday 17th May – 10 amStage 2 Applications Open
Wednesday 8th June 5pmStage 2 Applications Close
Monday 25th July – 10amStage 1 Applications Open
Monday 15th August – 12 noonStage 1 Applications Close
Wednesday 17th August- 10 amStage 2 Applications Open
Friday 9th September – 12 noonStage 2 Applications Close
Tuesday 18th October – 10amStage 1 Applications Open
Tuesday 8th November- 12 noonStage 1 Applications Close
Thursday 10th November- 10 amStage 2 Applications Open
Monday 5th December- 12 noonStage 2 Applications Close


Eligibility Criteria for Environment sector applicants

What types of organisations do we expect to support?

The programme will be aimed at supporting Environmental not for profit voluntary or community organisations (including registered charities/companies) whose primary purpose is to deliver environmental programmes and projects.  We are expecting that organisations will vary in size, environmental focus and enterprise type. These will range from environmental conservation charities, Community growing CIC’s, community energy partnerships, Reuse and Recycle projects. We would expect that organisations applying are already delivering activity which has the ability to become a business enterprise. They should also be able to clearly show, senior management support for the application, planning, and sustainability.

Eligibility Criteria

Organisations applying to programme must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a registered organisation with a clear stated mission to support environmental issues (as indicated in your organisation’s governing/constitutional documents or mission/visioning statements). This can include climate change, biodiversity, natural heritage, conservation, reducing waste, food security, reducing CO2, reducing use of natural resources, etc. This does not include organisations who do not have an environmental mission who wish to develop an environmental trading model.
  • Must be a social enterprise, charity or not-for-profit company registered and operating for at least 2 years. The programme does not support sole traders or private businesses.
  • Must be based in and delivering work in England with the majority of beneficiaries and customers also in England.
  • Able to provide the last full year of accounts.
  • Have an annual revenue of no more than £1.5M.
  • Distribute less than 50% of post-tax profits and reinvest at least 51% of surpluses into pursuing a clear social mission and have a constitutional or contractual lock on their social mission, dividend, and surplus distribution policy (also known as an asset lock).
  • Income from statutory bodies is a maximum of 80% of your total income (i.e., highlighting a diversification of income streams rather than a single source of income).
  • Be interested in exploring new trading business models to help build financial resilience but require an initial grant and learning support to get these ideas off the ground. The long-term goal of applicants may be to take on social investment but that isn’t a requirement for a place on EDP.
  • Should be able to commit to taking an active part in the training and network opportunities for a minimum of 12 months, contributing to the learning and research aspects of the Programme, which can be shared within the sector. We expect this to be a maximum of 6 hours per month.
  • Can evidence current trading activities, which require support / development and commitment from senior management and the Board.
  • Have appropriate policies relevant to your organisation and services or a commitment to put in place (e.g., Safeguarding, DBS checks, volunteering, health and safety, risks etc.).
  • Funding cannot be used for activities that promote religious or political purposes.
  • If you are a faith-based organisation, you can apply but your services must be open to people of all or no faith.
  • Priority will be given to organisations that can evidence the involvement / influence of lived experience or coproduction in development of services and enterprising activities.

Application Guidance