Frequently asked questions

What organisations can apply to the initiative?

• We are looking to engage with innovative organisations and programmes in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland that:

• The Partnership can support incorporated entities and unincorporated associations with formal membership structures, but not individuals.

• The Partnership can only fund projects which advance Nesta’s charitable objects for public benefit. The Partnership’s Enabling Fund is able to support public services, charities, social enterprises, or partnerships led by these organisations. For-profit organisations may apply if there is a strong argument for public benefit, any private benefit is incidental, and demonstrate they require public/ charitable funds to scale, or if they do so as a partnership with a not-for-profit organisation as the lead applicant.

• A number of organisations can apply together, but one must act as lead and take responsibility for the others. For-profit organisations are only able to apply individually if they demonstrate a strong case for public benefit and the need for public funds to scale.

• As the Partnership’s Enabling Fund is financed by Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, grants will come from public funds and must not be used in a way that constitutes unapprovable state aid.

• We cannot fund innovations which are party political – or which support or promote religious activity.

• We welcome applications from faith based organisations, but we cannot fund activity that is inherently religious, such as religious worship, instruction or proselytising.

Can my organisation apply to the initiative even if I do not need grant funding to develop my plans to scale?

Yes, if you have a solution that you feel fits well with and would benefit from this programme we encourage you to apply.

Can my organisation enter more than once?

Yes, if your organisation has multiple programmes with distinct offerings and target beneficiaries, the organisation will be permitted to apply separately for each.

Can organisations apply in partnership or consortia?

Yes, but one partner must act as lead and take responsibility for the others. As part of the Application, we explicitly require that all partners are aware of the partnership and have agreed to the Application, even where a formal partnership arrangement is not suitable or not yet in place. We may check in with partners as part of our assessment process and expect that any partnership or consortia has experience operating the proposed or featured solution with a track record of delivery of this specific set of activities.

Is there a minimum scale for our operations that we need to meet in order to apply?

There is no explicit cut-off in terms of the scale of your operations, but we are looking for existing solutions with a track record of delivery.

Can my organisation withdraw its application once the application has been submitted?

Yes. To withdraw, please send an email to with the name of your organisation, contact details and your reasons for withdrawal. We will then be in touch with you to confirm your details and withdrawal request.

I have an idea but it’s not yet a reality. Can I apply?

No, this programme is for identifying solutions that are already in operation with a track record of delivery and providing them with support to grow. In the future, the Partnership may engage with earlier stage ideas or activities.

Do we have to give up IP?

No, applicants are able to preserve their IP throughout their involvement with the Partnership.

What happens after I fill in this form?

The Nesta team will review all applications by assessing the solutions that in the team’s opinion have the best potential to scale and to have an impact on the challenge area. We assess the potential to scale on two dimensions: 1) capacity for the solution to have an impact within its focus areas if it is successful; 2) the solution’s capacity to realise its potential through the quality of its offering, the rigour of its business, operational and scaling plans and the team composition and commitment.

Why are you running an Call for Solutions?

We are running an call for solutions because the Partnership is eager to hear from organisations engaged in innovative, high impact activities focused on low to middle income earners no matter where within England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland those activities take place. Given the breadth of potential activity ongoing across our focus areas, we believe that the openness of a public call is an inclusive way of inviting organisations to share solutions that would otherwise be challenging to identify or surface quickly.

Who are the target beneficiaries of the Inclusive Economy Partnership?

The Partnership focuses on low-to-middle income earners, particularly families that tend to have at least one person in work, are struggling to get by, and often have less than a month’s income worth of savings. There are about six million households in this group, according to the Resolution Foundation.

How many innovations is the Partnership looking to work with?

Within each of the challenge areas – Financial Inclusion, Mental Health and Transition to Work – we expect to progress approximately 6 solutions per challenge through to the testing period in Quarter 1 2018.

If my application is not successful will I receive feedback?

We anticipate a high volume of applications and so will not be issuing individual feedback for the first round of screening related to the Call for Solutions.

When is the deadline for completing the application form?

The deadline for completing the application form will be 12pm BST on the 3rd November 2017

I have a question. Who can I contact?

Please contact