Equally Ours is the national partner for this sector and can help explain the programme, support with your application, and will have a key role in helping successful applicants progress their ideas and grow their enterprise activity.

Aimee Dorsett Browne, Social Enterprise Development Manager at Equally Ours, is on hand to answer any questions you may have. Reach her on Aimee.Dorsett-Browne@equallyours.org.uk.

The Equality strand of the Enterprise Development Programme will take a pan-equality approach. It will focus on organisations or partnerships working to advance equality and human rights in relation to women, Black and ethnic minority people, LGBT+ people, or disabled people; and organisations working across more than one of these groups or intersectionally.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the equality strand of the programme, you must be a legally consituted charity, voluntary sector organisation, or social enterprise,

  1. whose primary aims, mission, purpose or strategy is to
    1. achieve systemic social change by advancing equality and/or human rights in policy or in practice in relation to race, disability, LGBT+ and/or women’s equality, or combination; and/or
    2. address discrimination, prejudice or inequality, or lack of human rights because of race, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex, or a combination of these; and

This mission must be evidenced by and stated in your organisation’s governing/constitutional documents

  1. who demonstrates a desire and potential to generate income through enterprise; and
  2. can demonstrate clear social impact; and
  3. is based in England along with the majority of your beneficiaries.

It includes organisations whose primary aims, mission, purpose or strategy is about race, sex, disability, and/or LGBT+ inequality and socio-economic inequality.

It does not include organisations whose aims, mission, purpose, or strategy is about addressing vulnerability, disadvantage or socio-economic inequality through service provision or mitigation.

For example an organisation whose service users include women and people from ethnic minorities, but whose mission or purpose does not tackle discrimination, sexism or racism (whether at an individual or structural level) would not be eligible. This is because there are other funds available, and there is a lack of funding to meet the specific needs of equality organisations.

All organisations applying to the prorgamme must also be able to demonstrate that they are an eligible charity or social enterprise.  This means that organisations need to

  • Have a clear social mission
    • Distribute less than 50% of post-tax profits and reinvest at least 51% of surpluses into pursuing their social mission, and
    • Have a constitutional or contractual lock on their social mission, dividend and surplus distribution policy (also known as an asset lock)

Contact the Enterprise Development Manger on Aimee.Dorsett-Browne@equallyours.org.uk if you have any questions about your eligibility.


Application Windows

This application window is open to organisations working within the Equality sector who meet the eligibility criteria outlined above.

Applicants are initially required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Once this has been approved by our team (three to five working days), you’ll be invited to complete and submit a full application.

Tuesday 15 September – 10amOpen for EOI + Applications
Thursday 29 October – 4pmLast Day for EOI
Thursday 5 November – 4pmApplications Close