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Enterprise Fund

The Design Your Future Enterprise Fund is offering awards varying from £500 to £5000 to successful University of Liverpool students and graduates that want to develop an early-stage business idea or existing enterprise.

You do not need to have a start-up already running however you will need to supply a business plan completed with as much detail as possible to show how the funding will help your business idea develop.

The fund will accept submissions online through Handshake. Make sure that you join The Green Room to keep up to date on all the latest enterprise related news, events, and competitions.

You can download the business plan template here

The application process is as follows:      

  1. Download the business plan template *please note we will only accept business plans that have been completed within this template
  2. Complete the downloaded business plan template in full
  3. Apply through Handshake and attach your completed business plan template when prompted to upload this.

Once you have submitted your application, you will be sent a link to a Shortlist.Me video interview within three working days. You will be required to complete this within seven days of receiving the invitational email.

You will be required to answer the following questions:

  1. Please deliver a three minute pitch describing your business idea and your vision for what you could achieve in the next two years

  2. Please explain in two minutes why we should fund this idea and what your unique selling point (USP) is.

*You must complete both stages in full for your application to be considered. 

Terms and conditions

Examples of activities the fund can support:

  • Recruitment of staff
  • Technical equipment, such as laptops, headphones and specialist equipment
  • Training/ short courses directly related to business
  • Marketing activities
  • Professional body membership
  • Software packages
  • Accountancy services (tax/VAT)
  • Support contracted companies to undertake work e software development
  • Business development activity.

Examples of activities the fund cannot support:  

  • Commission based businesses
  • Financial/stock market trading activities
  • Wages for the business owner
  • Unethical/illicit industries
  • Businesses based around gambling.


  • Current University of Liverpool students and graduates within two years of graduation
  • Must hold a UK bank account
  • Have an early-stage business idea, side hustle or new business start-up
  • The fund is open to international students and graduates who have or are applying for the following visas: Graduate, Start-Up or Innovator (with at least 12 months left on the visa)
  • The business must operate or have plans to operate within the UK for at least 12 months in order to be eligible
  • At three and six months after the awarding of funds, you will be required to report on the ongoing progress of your business
  • Be willing to engage in the University of Liverpool enterprise community, at times contributing to blog posts and articles. 

All successful applicants will be emailed within four weeks of the closing date on the Handshake advertisement. If you do not hear from us within this time, then unfortunately you have been unsuccessful.

Offering this fund does not mean the University of Liverpool endorses your business idea. You will need to ask for the appropriate permissions before using the University of Liverpool brand and logo in association with your business. However, you may state that you have received funding from the University of Liverpool if you wish.

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