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Women in Innovation Awards 2021/22 Women with exciting, innovative ideas who will inspire others can apply for a £50,000 grant and bespoke business support. Eligibility This competition is open to single applicants only. To lead a project you must be a female founder, co-founder or senior decision maker within a UK registered micro or SME business that has been operating for at least one year by the competition closing date. Open now Opened: 23 August 2021 Closes: 13 October 2021

Programme: Innovate Uk

Award:

Opens: 23 August 2021

Closes: 13 October 2021

Description

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is offering at least 20 Women in Innovation Awards to female entrepreneurs across the UK. The winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.

The aim of this competition is to find women with exciting, innovative ideas and ambitious plans that will inspire others. The awards are for female founders, co-founders or senior decision makers working in businesses that have been operating for at least one year.

Applicants must be confident, with the support of an award, that they can make a significant contribution to a pressing societal, environmental or economic challenge through their innovative project.

The competition is split into 2 phases. In phase 1 the application will be assessed by independent experts. In phase 2 the shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a panel of experts.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. The competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Each award will provide £50,000 of funding. Projects must start on 1 April 2022 and will last for one year.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • start on 1 April 2022
  • end on 31 March 2023
  • last 12 months

Lead organisation

To be eligible for an award you must:

  • be a female founder, co-founder or senior decision maker within a UK registered micro or SME business which has been operating for at least 12 months by the competition closing date
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

  • be legally and contractually able to use the funding
  • be available to attend an online interview panel during the week beginning 6 December 2021
  • attend 2 bootcamps over one and a half days each on the 16 and 17 March 2022 and in September 2022.
  • be fully committed to work as a role model for up to 5 days over the duration of the award

Applications from UK-registered social enterprises operating economically will be eligible if they meet all other criteria.

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the Company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under European Commission De minimis.

You can only make one application for yourself. More than one woman working within the same organisation can apply. The awards are for individuals, but this does not prevent you from working on the project with others.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in question 9 why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.

We expect all subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We will not award you funding if you have:

Special Drawing Rights (and De minimis where applicable)

The UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement (TCA) has agreed on small funding allowances under the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

These are for awards up to SDR of 325,000 (approximately £335,000) given to a single beneficiary over a rolling 3 fiscal year period.

You must complete and provide Innovate UK with a declaration as part of your response in question 1.

The declaration asks you to tell us about any awards, including those made under De minimis and SDR, (from any source of public funding) over a rolling 3 fiscal year period.

If you have received an award under De minimis for the same period, this will be added to your total allowance under SDR. This means that the total award must not exceed approximately £335,000 (325,000 SDR) for any one organisation. You must declare this allowance to any other funding body who requests it.

EU Commission rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.

Further information

Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent BEIS guidance. Or you can see our general guidance on Special Drawing Rights and EU de minimis awards.

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the De minimis rules, you should take independent legal advice. We cannot advise on individual eligibility or your legal obligations.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean we need to change the terms of this competition, we will tell you as soon as possible.

Funding

We have allocated at least £1 million for at least 20 awards at £50,000 each. We will also provide a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.

The funding will be paid in 3 increments:

  • £33,333 upfront in March 2022
  • £11,667 at the mid-point in October 2022
  • £5,000 at the end of your project on receipt of a completed statement of expenditure by April 2023.

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the Company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under European Commission De minimis.

If you are applying for an award funded under European Commission Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

In addition to the grant funding, all award holders will receive a package of support tailored to their needs.

The expert advice available includes, but is not limited to:

  • funding and finance options and how to access these, including introductions to investors and training on pitching
  • media and communications, such as branding
  • intellectual property
  • developing new business models
  • evaluating market opportunities
  • finding new partners
  • growth and scale up
  • developing international collaborations and accessing global markets
  • business planning strategy

Access to relevant world-leading facilities and equipment will also be provided where this is appropriate.

The package of support will be delivered by:

You will also be introduced to business mentors and Women in Innovation ambassadors within the Innovate UK network as part of your Award.

Role model work

Award holders will be required to work as a role model for at least 5 days over the one year duration of the award. This is likely to generate interest in their stories and businesses. See the work that was done with the Women in Innovation award holders from 2016, 2018 and 2020.

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