CF5 Start Fund - Sponsored by Santander

CF5 Start Fund Logo

The CF5 Start Fund is designed for graduates who are ready to launch a social enterprise or business. You will be committed to working on your venture on a full time basis, although we know you may have to work part time while you get started. Your idea should be validated through test-trading or an MVP, and while your revenue may be low, the ability to either gain enough revenue to give you a basic income or to secure investment within 3 - 6 months should be clear.

We've designed the application process to mimic the process of applying for more serious funding, so yes it will take some work, but every document we ask for will be useful to you. If you need support with your application we'd love to hear from you - our job is to support you! (

Apply here.

The CF5 Start Fund has two options;

  • CF5 Bursary worth £2000 to support living costs plus a £1000 grant to cover start up costs.
  • A £2000 grant to cover start-up costs only.

Who can apply?

The seed fund is open to recent graduates (within 2 years), from any Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate programme delivered at our Cardiff Campus'. Applications will be accepted during the final months of your course. You, and your business must be based in the UK.

Applicants must also satisfy the following criteria;

Have attended at least two qualifying activities from the Centre for Entrepreneurship, at least one of which will have been at the CF5 Level. This includes the following (other events may apply);

Have attended one of the activities above at CF5 Level AND attended the Big Ideas Wales Bootcamp, All Wales Start up Week or equivalent type of program.


Demonstrate through your application that you have an entrepreneurial mindset, and have enough business knowledge to be able to successfully run a business.

What can you apply for?

The use of the funds must be specified in the application*. You can apply for specific expenditure which will help you to progress with your business. This may include the registration of IP, marketing costs, test trading costs, specialist equipment etc. We are unlikely to fund generic IT equipment or training courses.

Grants are awarded on a first come first served basis and are judged on the quality of the application. There are a limited number of awards available and applications will close once all funding has been allocated. To enter you will need to provide the following documentation.

Business One Pager (1 Side A4).
Detailed Business Model Canvas - with assumptions and validation ideas.
Video Elevator Pitch.
Pitch Deck and Financial Projections  OR Marketing Plan and Financial Projections.
Detail of proposed spending, with quotes and justification (1 Side A4)*.

*Not required for CEO Bursary, only required for the £1000 element of the CF5 Bursary.

Apply here.

If you require further assistance with your application please email

Not ready for Start Fund yet? Try Seed Fund.