SEED Fund: Money For Business

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Looking to start your own business, set up as a freelancer or develop enterprising skills? The SEED Fund helps grow new business ideas and support enterprising initiatives developed by UAL students and graduates.

We run 3 different levels of funding to support you from the first stages of developing your idea, through to testing it out and on to starting to trade.

Alongside the funding competitions, we offer talks, workshops and start-up surgeries to help you develop your ideas, as well as further resources for advice and guidance.

Our awards

Think it - prizes of £100 plus support

Got an idea for a business or social enterprise that you want to test out or get feedback on? Winners receive £100 and additional one-to-one support to develop their idea further.

Open to current UAL students.

Deadline was 21 November 2017 - now closed

Try it - awards of £500 plus support

Have a business or social enterprising idea and want to test the market? Winners receive £500 and additional one-to-one support to develop and help test their ideas.

For current UAL students and recent graduates (of up to 2 years).

Applications go live in February 2018. Join our mailing list to keep up to date.

Do it - grants of up to £5,000 plus support

Have a business or social enterprise that you would like to launch? Winners receive £5000 plus mentoring and one-to-one support to help launch and develop their business.

We're looking for:

  • Creative business ideas or ideas that make an important social impact
  • An original product or service that addresses a clear market need
  • A good understanding of the market and how you will access it
  • A business model that clearly identifies how the business will make money
  • Evidence of the skills, experience and determination to succeed
  • A new enterprise i.e. not yet trading

Overseas trading and sourcing are encouraged; however, projects must have a presence and base in the UK.

Read further guidance about applying.

The call for entries will go out in June 2018. Join our mailing list to be the first to find out more. Open to current UAL students and recent graduates (within 2 years of graduation).

What the judges are looking for

All entries are judged equally and the judges are looking for:

  • An original product or service that addresses a clear market need
  • A good understanding of the market and how you will access it
  • A sound business model that clearly identifies how the business will make money
  • Evidence of the skills, experience and determination to succeed.

The more evidence you give to prove your product, market, business model, and skills, the stronger your application will be. You may not feel that you have the right evidence or skillset at the time you apply, but don’t let this hold you back. You just need to explain how you will address this over time and show you have thought through any areas that need to be strengthened.

Ultimately, applications with a well-evidenced business case are better than unproven ideas, but a great idea can go a long way and we can advise you on how to gather the evidence and build the business case.

International students and graduates

International students and graduates who wish to set up a business in the UK after graduating will need to apply for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa. More information is available on our International: Graduate Entrepreneur Visa page.