BUSINESS: Dorset LEP Crowdfunder initiative set to support small businesses


Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is working with Crowdfunder and Enterprise Nation to offer grants of up to £5,000 to small businesses feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Crowdfund Dorset Business is an initiative that forms part of Crowdfunder and Enterprise Nation’s Pay It Forward scheme, which has already seen 600 businesses sign up across the UK, and helped provide goods and services to over 22,000 people. With the organisations working together, and thanks to a £50,000 investment from Dorset LEP, micro and small businesses in Dorset can now apply for funding that could help them bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus. 

The grants will operate on a matching scheme, in which they can apply for funding of up to 50% of of a raised financial target, up to a maximum total of £5,000. This grant can then be used to help businesses move online, pre-sell stock, or introduce PPE equipment into offices, shops or cafes. 

Dorset LEP Chair Jim Stewart, said: “Taking on debt is not an option for a lot of small businesses in the current climate. Dorset LEP has invested £50,000 into Crowdfund Dorset Business to help these local businesses adapt to the coronavirus control measures which keep us safe.

“Sole traders and small businesses play a vital role in supporting Dorset’s economy and local communities and Dorset LEP is pleased to be providing this much needed additional funding as a part of a wider package of support. I am looking forward to seeing the innovative ways which we can start to reopen small Dorset businesses which need this cash support at this time.”

Rob Love, Crowdfunder CEO, added: “Businesses are telling us they want help to diversify their businesses and keep trading. Through Pay it Forward, micro and small businesses, as well as people who are self-employed, can pre-sell goods and services as well as find new ways to do business. This enables businesses to maintain cash flow and stay connected to their customer base which is vital if they are to bounce back quickly once this is all over.”

To check whether your business is eligible to apply for a grant through Crowdfund Dorset Business, or to find out more about the initiative, visit the website and sign up to Crowdfunder. 


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