Foundational Economy Innovation Fund


Have you got a great idea to improve your business or organisation?

We can help provide the funding, expertise and support to make it happen, linking you with other likeminded innovators in a growing community across Greater Manchester. 

Expression of Interest Form - closing December 15

What’s on offer?

£10,000 grants for up to 40 projects, plus expert support, to test innovations and ideas in phase 1

£60,000 grants for up to 10 projects, plus expert support, to develop the best ideas from phase 1

Who is it for?

The Foundational Economy Innovation Fund is for the “foundational economy”.

That’s the “everyday economy”, or the “essential economy” – the businesses we all rely on for our daily needs.

We’re starting with four sectors:

  • adult social care
  • early education and childcare
  • retail
  • hospitality, leisure and tourism

The fund is for you, if you:

  • own or run a business, social enterprise or cooperative in these sectors
  • support or represent a cluster of businesses in one of these sectors
  • can provide technology and / or innovative solutions or new ideas that could be used in one of these sectors

What will the fund support?

Keeping it local – Innovations that support local and sustainable supply chains within Greater Manchester

Greener, cheaper and more resilient – This covers innovations that reduce or manage energy consumption and costs for businesses, helping to decrease carbon emissions

New ways of working – Innovations that help create or integrate new ways of delivering your current services or products more efficiently, productively or to a higher standard for workers or customers, including by re-thinking your approach to resourcing, staffing and the adoption or development of technology

Supporting the workforce – This area covers innovations that help with the recruitment and retention of staff, including new ways of delivering in work training, upskilling the workforce, and engaging with freelancers and the self-employed

Get in touch

You don't need to have a detailed idea worked up at this stage and we're not going to make you do a long and bureaucratic application.

Get in touch in the first place for a chat. 

We'll work through your idea and give some advice when you express an interest.

Expression of Interest Form - closing December 15

After that we'll ask you to apply, but we'll make that a simple process.

If you are eligible for the fund and would like to be partnered with an innovator to apply new solutions to your own business or organisation please fill in the form by following Expression of Interest Form link above.

If you are an innovator from within, or outside of Greater Manchester, who would like to work with an individual, business or local authority on a project, we are also interested in hearing from you.

Browse through the pages in this section to find out more about how to express an interest, how to apply, more about the foundational economy and about the projects that the challenge fund will support.

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