Equity free grant + business support

Capacity Building Programme

Create Equity is developing a 18 month capacity building fund for Black and Asian organisations which will open for applications in March 2023.

The fund will:

– Provide unrestricted grants, up to £70k

– Deliver Project Support Office services in areas such as finance, marketing, project management

– Offer consultancy in areas such as business, financial planning and governance

We are looking for high potential Black and Asian led organisations that we can provide genuine value add to within an 18 month programme. The programme’s objective is to build capacity for organisations to scale and access further investment and/or grants later down the line.

Company Status / Sectors

Social enterprise or charity (with a focus on arts and creative industries)




Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) led. (51% or above of the board and senior management team) 


Unrestricted grant up to £70k

Minimum turnover


Minimum operating time

2 years

Application deadline

Tuesday 2nd May, 2023

Support will be individually tailored to the needs of each organisation and therefore spaces will be limited to 5-10 organisations in our first year.

With MeWe360 as delivery partner, the programme is funded by Connect Fund, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Social Investment Business

Funded by

social investment business loogo

Frequently Asked Questions

Programme offer

Are there any items you wouldn’t provide a cash grant for? It’s an unrestricted grant to go towards anything as long as it significantly builds the capacity of the organisation and allows it to get access to further investment and/or grants later down the line. Although “unrestricted”, your spend of the grant must fit within a framework of charitable purposes and public benefit. 

What does ‘governance support’ look like? The programme offers ‘governance support’ including providing additional board expertise for up to 12 months in an advisory capacity where this supports a key strategic development / fills a key capacity gap for the organisation.

The programme offers nonfinancial capacity building support. Can you give examples of what this might be? Any project development activity critical to the long term development of the organisation. Could include implementing new systems e.g. CRM, database, strategic planning, financial planning, setting up new legal structure, developing a new product or service. Any such activity would need to be completed within 12-18 months.

Is the grant funding paid in one lump sum or is there a staggered payment schedule? Typically, this would be paid in stages. Depending on your situation, this can be discussed.

Selection criteria, application and judging process

What do you mean by ‘growth potential’? The possibility of getting access to further investment and/or grants (typically over £250K) within the next 18 months.

Are you looking for organisations with a particular level of turnover? Yes, typically over £100k

What does it mean to be eligible as a social enterprise or charity? We fund a variety of organisational structures so long as your organisation has charitable objectives and/or is of benefit to the public. Expected legal structures include the following: Registered charity, Charitable Trust, Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), Community Interest Company (CIC) limited by guarantee, Community Interest Company (CIC) limited by shares, Community Benefit Society (CBS), registered with an asset lock or a common ownership dissolution clause, Company limited by guarantee, Co-operative.

What is the judging process for each stage of the application process? At each stage, the applications will be judged by Create Equity’s CEO, MeWe360’s Foundation Director, and MeWe360’s Senior Programme Manager.

How do you define the creative industries? Broadly speaking, we expect you to fall within the following sectors: advertising, architecture, arts and crafts, design, fashion, film, video, photography, music, performing arts, publishing, research & development, software, computer games, electronic publishing, and TV/radio.

Will I get an acknowledgement of receipt? Yes you will, at every stage of the application process, your submissions will be confirmed once they are received.

When will we hear back about an application? After you submit the initial form and company deck, we aim to confirm your participation in the programme by June 15th, 2023. We may contact you beforehand if we need any more information.

The application process requires we submit a deck after completing the questionnaire. How much time will we be given to prepare this deck? You should make sure you’ve submitted your deck in time for the 2nd May 2023 deadline.

How and at what point is the final decision made about the level of cash grant awarded and/or the package of hands-on consultancy to be allocated to each organisation? This will be discussed with selected candidates on a one-to-one call. The package will be decided and communicated to you before the start of the programme. The timelines may vary slightly depending on the length of the initial conversation.

What happens at the interview stage? An individual assessment of the candidate’s application focusing particularly on the capacity building requirements.

Requirements for participants on the programme

How long does the programme run for? 18 months though typically we would want projects to be finished within 12 months so that we can spend the last 6 months thinking about implementing and/or connecting participants to any investment and/or grant funding opportunities.

How much time commitment is expected from organisations in order to participate in the programme/access the support? Candidates need to be working on a full time basis for their organisation. Time and resource required varies across participants depending on the demands of their capacity building programme.

Is there an expectation to take part in group activities? No

How is the support delivered? There will be a mixture of support depending on your Project Support Office and consultancy needs. We rely on you to tell us what best helps you to meet the stated objectives and milestones.

What are the reporting requirements for organisations on the programme? You will be expected to provide a development plan before the programme starts. Throughout the programme, we will be asking you to provide written and verbal updates regarding your milestones and objectives. A reporting template will be provided.

Applications for Create Equity’s Capacity Building Programme are now closed.

You can submit your details below to be added to the mailing list for news on when the next programme edition opens for applications.

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