Apply for an award

  • Apply for an Award

  • Our awards are now closed for 2018. We have received nearly 40 applications!

    If you are interested in the 2018-2019 awards email to join our mailing list.

    Our Enterprise Support Awards and the application processes operate on the same principles regardless of whether you are applying through the Social Enterprise (OBSEA) route, Social Innovation or Business Start up programmes.

    Our awards are open to:

    • Current Oxford Brookes Students - Undergraduate, Postgraduate and PhD.
    • Recent graduates - Oxford Brookes Graduates who were awarded their degrees after 31 January 2016 
    • Current Oxford Brookes Staff - both academic and support staff may apply for funding towards a non-work related enterprise project.

    We are grateful to our sponsors Santander and benefactors from our Alumni community and to the University who have funded these.

    To be eligible to apply for an Award you do not need to have any specific business skills or background to apply. You mainly need passion and a commitment for your project or business idea. You need to be able to explain clearly that you have a sustainable and viable proposal, explore what you want to achieve, why you need the Award and how the funding will make an impact.

    The programme is designed to build on the strengths that you have developed through the Enterprise Support programme so that you can gain the confidence and skills required to translate your passions and ideas into a sustainable social enterprise, social innovation project or traditional business start-up venture. With this Award and our help, you can begin an exciting project and broaden your knowledge entrepreneurial and innovation skills. Above all be clear about your vision of what you want to do, why you want to do it and the outcomes you are hoping for.

    Applications for all our Awards are now closed!

  • Applications for all our Awards open at 12 noon on Wednesday 31 January 2018 and close at 12 noon on Wednesday 28 February 2018.

    What do you need to do before applying

    Register Your Interest in the Enterprise Support programme before you apply as this will ensure that you get updates and the latest news on the Awards programme. You should read all the details relating to the application process before completing the forms and submitting your application. These will be available when the application period is open in January. There will be separate applications depending on the type of Award you are applying for (see below).

    To apply for an award, you will need to:

    • Download and complete the application form below and save it on your computer
    • Produce a 2 minute video application based on the video brief below.
    • Submit an infographic explaining your project, based on the brief below.

    We will shortlist applications based on this information and successful applicants will be invited to present to a panel of external judges at our Dragons’ Den event.

    We are running a one day video production workshop on Sunday 18 February. It will cover all the areas you need to be aware of and is designed to give you practical help and advice. It will also advise you on how to use editing software.  You can sign up to attend here

    Here are all the forms and briefs you will need to apply for an award

    Submitting your Application Form, Video and Infographic

    As large files are involved you need to use free software called WeTransfer to send them to

    They must be received no later than 12 noon on Wednesday 28 February

    We would strongly recommend that you give yourself plenty of time to upload your files. You will receive an automatic email from WeTransfer when your files have been received. However, we will also email you to confirm that your file has been received.


    Please complete the following process:

    • Set up a zipped folder which has in the title Enterprise Support Award - Your Surname - Your Project Name. It should contain your application form, info graphic and video files. We cannot accept these any later than Wednesday 28 February at 12 noon. 
    • Go to, click on Take me to Free and follow instructions to send your files to

    Any queries should be sent by email to well before the deadline!

    Watch our video to find out more about Dragons Den

    Try It Awards

    Try It Awards are for up to £500 (the average Award is £300) and focuses on encouraging individuals or small groups to test an idea or project. This could be in the form of social enterprise, social innovation or a business start-up proposal. The Awards are for up to £500 and an average Award given is normally in the region of £300- £400.

    Types of activity could include finding out if your idea is viable, learning more about what is needed and/or even trying the project on a small scale first to get feedback on the product, market or where it sits in relation to the competition. The Award provides a practical opportunity for individuals not yet used to managing large sums of money or ready to deliver a larger project, to take the first steps towards starting their own venture and learning some of the skills needed to run it. The funding enables individuals or teams to progress at their own pace with the right support to develop their entrepreneurial or critical thinking skills they will require to, in some cases, take on larger projects.

    For social enterprise and innovation projects - your application needs to demonstrate that you have a clearly identified social or environmental issue. It may be however that you need to apply for a grant in order to further research in order to appreciate and understand the problem in more detail.

    Do It Awards

    Are for up to £5,000, with an average Award size of £3,000. These enable individuals and small teams to grow an idea around social enterprise, social innovation or business venture and get it running or in some cases move to the next stage to make it sustainable.

    Do It Awards are for individuals or small teams that are confident their project will work and be able to demonstrate that they have the basic skills and knowledge to do it. This may be based on a previous Try It Award project or may be a new direct entry at Do It Award level. You will need to showcase your skills and the potential to take forward an idea that has had some project planning already.

    In order to receive a Do It Award you will need to be clear about your vision of what you specifically want to do, why and the outcomes/impact you are aiming for and explain what success looks like. You will need to explain your value proposition and in the case of a social enterprise or social innovation project a description of who will benefit and why. You will need to provide evidence that you understand the environment you are operating in: what already exists, who is your competition and what are the levers for change in your sector. You need to provide information about your progress to date and your proposed action plans. What are your plans for using the funding – with a detailed breakdown/budget, the difference it will make to the project and the timescales?

    • Infographic workshop - Sunday 26 November 2017
    • Application Forms and further details about the process and key criteria will be available for download – mid January 2018
    • How to apply for an Award information sessions 12-2pm and 5.30-7.30pm Wednesday 31 January 2018
    • Applications open – 12 noon Wednesday 31 January 2018
    • Video workshop - Sunday 18 Feb 2018
    • Applications close - 12 noon on Wednesday 28 February 2018
    • Shortlisting - Wed 7 March 2018
    • Storytelling and How to Pitch presentation skills workshop – all day, Sunday 11 March. Sign up here.
    • Dragons’ Den – Wednesday 21 March 2018
    • Payment arrangements, terms and conditions agreed and money transferred to your bank account by transfer – March / April 2018
    • Try It / Do It projects begin – April 2018
    • Funding spent April 2019
    • Project report submitted April 2019
    • Sign Up for Brookes ID
    • Take advantage of our training and mentoring programme
    • Keep accurate records and receipts of all expenditure and submit them at the end of the project. Detailed instructions supplied.
    • Participate in update sessions where we check the details of your project
    • Take part in publicising the Brookes Enterprise Support programme and help us to develop our case studies that appear on our web page
    • Produce a short report explaining what you did, how it went and the impact/outcomes and what you learnt at the end of the Award period
    • Complete an end of Award survey to give us feedback on the Support for Enterprise programme

    The following are allowable expenses that you could include in your awards application

    • Insurance
    • Relevant equipment hire
    • Venue hire
    • Advertising & publicity
    • Printing
    • Relevant equipment purchase – but only if it is essential and central to the project and there is a robust business case to support this. For example we would not normally pay for new laptop, cameras or similar equipment unless it can be shown that they are a central element of the project and of direct benefit to the client group and there is not an alternative to purchasing these.
    • Materials
    • Staff or volunteer expenses
    • UK Travel & subsistence to attend a specialist event like a trade show or conference
    • Mentoring & support
    • Some capital costs and overheads, i.e. rent, utilities
    • IT equipment
    • Purchase or renting premises or land
    • Company formation
    • Registration fees

    The following are non-allowable expenses

    • Formal academic qualifications, tuition fees and bursaries
    • Development of academic courses or curriculum
    • Funding of places on personal development programmes, e.g. Raleigh International or Common Purpose
    • Training – unless in support of the project (at the funder's discretion) e.g a food handling course
    • Payment for loss of earnings, professional fees or costs leading to personal financial gain
    • Payments to contractors or third parties to deliver the project on your behalf. However funds may be used to employ others where it is integral to the project and the applicant retains primary responsibility.