Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is offering at least 20 Women in Innovation Awards to female entrepreneurs across the UK. The winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.
The aim of this competition is to fund and support a diverse portfolio of Women in Innovation Award winners:
- who will be relatable role models for women from all backgrounds
- from regions across the UK
- who are solving a range of pressing societal, environmental and economic challenges
- in a variety of innovation areas.
Your proposal must identify clearly evidenced pressing societal, environmental or economic challenge(s), and how your project and innovation can help solve them.
Applications can come from any area of innovation (where innovation is defined as the commercially successful exploitation of ideas) and be applied to any part of the economy.
Innovate UK are looking for women who clearly explain how they will benefit from the full package of funding and support on offer and who can describe how this will add value to them and their business.
Innovate UK are particularly encouraging applications from women who:
- have the potential, capability, experience and personal drive to become leaders in business innovation
- want to be a role model for others, including in their region, sector and to young people
- have a clear vision for their business
- are looking to develop a game changing novel idea or business innovation
- know what they are hoping to achieve from the award and how to measure success
Interested in applying for this competition?
Book a 30-minute consultation
Our team are available to discuss your innovative business, your project ideas and how we can help you to write a successful application for this Grant Funding opportunity.
Use the calendar to select and book a consultation with one of our experts, at a time that’s convenient for you.
To be eligible for an award you must:
- be a female founder, co-founder or senior decision maker within a UK registered micro or SME business which has been operating for at least 12 months by the competition closing date
- carry out your project work in the UK
- intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
- be legally and contractually able to use the funding
- be available to attend an online interview panel during the week beginning 6 December 2021
- attend 2 bootcamps over one and a half days each on the 16 and 17 March 2022 and in September 2022.
- be fully committed to work as a role model for up to 5 days over the duration of the award
Applications from UK-registered social enterprises operating economically will be eligible if they meet all other criteria.
Your project must:
- start on 1 April 2022
- end on 31 March 2023
- last 12 months
Innovate UK have allocated at least £1 million for at least 20 awards at £50,000 each. They will also provide a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.
The funding will be paid in 3 increments:
- £33,333 upfront in March 2022
- £11,667 at the mid-point in October 2022
- £5,000 at the end of your project on receipt of a completed statement of expenditure by April 2023.
For more information on company sizes, please refer to the Company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under European Commission De minimis.
If you are applying for an award funded under European Commission Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.
In addition to the grant funding, all award holders will receive a package of support tailored to their needs.
The expert advice available includes, but is not limited to:
- funding and finance options and how to access these, including introductions to investors and training on pitching
- media and communications, such as branding
- intellectual property
- developing new business models
- evaluating market opportunities
- finding new partners
- growth and scale up
- developing international collaborations and accessing global markets
- business planning strategy
Access to relevant world-leading facilities and equipment will also be provided where this is appropriate.
Innovate UK are not funding projects that:
- do not intend to use the full package of support on offer
- have a negative impact on the environment or society
- have a detrimental effect on equality, diversity and inclusion
- do not involve any research and development or innovation, for example, the creation of information-only websites
- do not meet the competition eligibility or scope
- involve exports or imports
- involve primary production in fishery and aquaculture
- involve primary production in agriculture
- not allowed under De minimis regulation restrictions
- not allowed under Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
- include activities relating to the purchase of road freight transport
- are dependent on export performance – for example giving an award to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country.
- are dependent on domestic inputs usage- for example if we give an award to a baker on the condition that they use 50% UK flour in their product.