The Solent LEP

Pay It Forward Fund

Crowdfund Solent - COVID-19 impact support fund for small businesses

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Now offering financial support in response to COVID-19

The Solent LEP Pay it Forward fund provides support for existing micro and small businesses seeking to cope in challenging trading conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Solent LEP Pay it Forward fund is seeking projects that can demonstrate how they will help a business cope with current challenging trading conditions. There is a maximum pledge of up to £2,000 per micro business (fewer than 10 staff) and up to £5,000 per small business (fewer than 50 staff) available, contributing up to 50% towards the total target. 

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

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. 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. A map of this area can be found at:
  • Qualify as a micro or small business (Social Enterprises, Community Interest Companies and charities engaged in economic activity are also eligible) as per the EU Definition available here.
  • Be an existing business - if they are freelance or self-employed, they will need to 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 25% of the funding target, which must have come from at least 10 unique backers, to trigger the LEP funding pledge.
  • Funding support of up to 50% can be applied for up to a maximum £5,000 pledge, depending upon the size of the business. Projects must go on to achieve the total project target (100%) to draw down any pledge made.
  • 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.

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