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SWEF Enterprise Fund
SWEF Enterprise Fund
Theme Grants to help 18-30 year olds set up their new business
Max Grant £2000

Business grants for young people aged between 18-30.

We are working in partnership with SWEF to provide business grants of up to £2,000 to young entrepreneurs in Cheshire and Warrington, aged between 18-30.  These grants can be used on costs to support a newly formed business, including equipment, training, specific marketing costs, and product development.

As part of the programme SWEF provides the opportunity to join a network of peers who are also in the early stage of starting their business to share ideas, experiences and learn.

You can apply if you:

  • Are aged 18 to 30.
  • Live in Cheshire or Warrington.
  • Are a sole trader/limited company which has been trading for less than 2 years. Applications solely for “business ideas” will not be considered. You must be able to give evidence of significant steps taken to get your business off the ground.
  • Can demonstrate a financial need for the grant.
  • Have a business bank account.
  • Have a clear plan for how you will spend any awards, with quotes provided.

What can businesses apply for?

Grants must be used for costs directly related to your business and must be spent within one month of you receiving the funds.

Eligible costs include:

  • Equipment costs.
  • Materials/stock for a new product line
  • Prototypes
  • Website/booking system build
  • Training
  • Product development

These grants cannot be used for:

  • Salaries 
  • Debt repayment
  • Rent and utilities
  • Stock for an existing product line
  • Ongoing software subscriptions
  • Developent costs for new apps or digital software
  • New computers, tablets and phones. 

On a match funded basis, we can consider applications for refurbished computers / tablets / phones; However, in order for this to be considered you will need to explain why the item will transform your business, and provide a link to the refurbished item with an explanation of why you need this piece of specific technology.

We particularly welcome applications from groups that are often underrepresented in business ownership, including people on low incomes, women, migrants, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and people with few or no formal qualifications.


SWEF Business Grants are open for applications on a rolling basis. Once you have submitted your application, we aim to make a final decision on your application within six weeks. To apply, please click here.

How to Apply

We are happy to talk to applicants about their application before they apply. Just email us ( and one of the Grants Team will arrange a time for a phone chat.

Once you have read this page, you can apply via the link below.  When you submit you will be offered an opportunity to save the form, in order to do so you will need to have a Microsoft account or you will need to create one (for free).

  1. Initial assessment – we will confirm that we have received your application within five working days. We will check it is complete and eligible. We require you to submit confirmation of your business bank account to to support your application. If you have not submitted this, we will contact you ask you to send it to us.
  2. Meeting – we may invite you to a meeting where you will be able to tell us more about your business. The meeting will usually take place online with two people, a member of staff from Cheshire Community Foundation and someone from the SWEF. We aim to make a final decision on your application within six weeks.
  3. Award – if you are awarded a grant you will be asked to accept the terms and conditions of the award and the grant will be paid directly to you by BACS. We can only pay grants into a business bank account that matches the business name in your application. You will receive payment of the grant within a month of the terms and conditions being accepted. There is an expectation that the grant should be spent within one month of receipt.
  4. After the award – we may contact you, usually six and 12 months after you received the grant to find out how your business is progressing. You will also have the opportunity to take part in a business forum with other businesses that have been awarded a grant. The forum offers a space to share, exchange ideas, experiences and learn.