The Solent LEP

Pay it Forward Fund

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Offering support in response to COVID-19

There's up to £5,000 available for small businesses (fewer than 50 staff) and £2,000 for micro businesses (fewer than 10 staff) in the Solent area who are seeking support in challenging trading conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full criteria and apply or check out the projects crowdfunding below. 

About this fund

Active Solent Lep Pay It Forward Fund project fund
Solent LEP Pay it Forward fund
Get up to £5,000

This fund provides support for existing micro and small businesses seeking to cope in challenging trading conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You need a crowdfunding project to apply for funding. Start or continue adding your project and, if eligible, you'll be prompted to apply.


The Solent LEP Pay it Forward fund may pledge up to 50% of your project target, up to a £5,000 maximum pledge (depending upon the size of the business) . Before completing your application for match-funding we ask that you read the accompanying guidance notes fully. Read here.

Essential criteria

In order to apply under the Solent LEP Pay It Forward fund, every applicant must:

  • Be located in the Solent area - view map here
  • Qualify as a micro or small business (Social Enterprises, CIC and Charities engaged in economic activity are also eligible) as per the EU Definition available here.
  • Be an existing business (freelance and self-employed will need to provide evidence that they have been operating for at least 12 months).
  • Demonstrate that they have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
  • Clearly explain how, with the help of LEP funding, their business will deliver direct economic benefit within the Solent area.
  • Deliver their project between March and December 2020 (Project timings are dependent upon general COVID-19 guidance from Government, which will be kept under review by Solent LEP). Please also note that any costs incurred prior to the submission of an application are sunk costs and cannot be included in the total project costs.
  • Incur any project costs directly, and not via subsidiaries or related companies / organisations.
  • Demonstrate through the application and supporting information that they have the resources, expertise and ability to carry out the project within the timescales.
  • Achieve the first 25% of their crowdfund target (from a minimum of 10 supporters) to trigger the LEP funding pledge. Projects must then go on to crowdfund the remaining amount to reach 100% of their crowdfund target to claim the LEP pledge.
  • Pledges from the Solent LEP Pay it Forward fund will only be made where they are compatible with State Aid legislation. These funds are being offered as de minimis aid, and any businesses supported will need to confirm that they have not been in receipt of other de minimis aid that would result in their business exceeding the EU threshold of €200,000 over a rolling three-year period.

If you would like to discuss any element of this fund beforehand, please contact the Solent Growth Hub team at or call 02392 688055.

How to apply for this fund

Start by setting up a crowdfunder project, if eligible you will be able to apply 

Projects supported by The Solent LEP

Crowdfunding in 60 seconds

Got a minute to spare? Watch our 'how it works' animation. You'll get a brief overview of how crowdfunding works and what extra support, services and money that only Crowdfunder can give you. 

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How +Extra funding works

start crowdfunding

Start a project

 Start a new project on Crowdfunder, tell us the basics and a rough outline of your story. Then we can show you funds that you may be eligible for.

Get the word out

Apply for funding

You can then choose to make an application for a relevant fund. If a partner likes your project, they may agree to support it.

Get funded

Start crowdfunding

Start raising money from the crowd and once you reach an agreed percentage of your target, one of our partners could boost your total with a large donation.

Learn to crowdfund

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