How EU Funding Works

The European Union provides a range of funding opportunities – these can be linked to Regional Policy, the Structural Funds such as ESF (European Social Fund)  and ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). In addition. Different agencies may provide funding via specific programmes, e.g. Horizon, Interreg, Tempus, for example.

The EACEA (European Agency of Culture, Education and Audio-Visual) oversees the Erasmus programme, which funds this project, and there are a range of strands or actions such as KA (Key Action)1 (Mobility), KA2 (Partnerships) and KA3 (Policy) and in addition programmes can either be Centralised (run by the Commission themselves) or Decentralised (delivered via national Agencies). Usually once a year, sometimes twice, there is a Call for Proposals, which sets out objectives and priorities of the specific Call and the programme as a whole.

In short, when writing a bid, and once a need has been identified, it is necessary to calculate a budget, a timeline of activities, to identify a partnership, carry out preparatory activities, design the project and management approaches and identify actions and outputs. As the application forms are often very detailed, a lot of preparatory work is advisable. If you succeed great – if you don’t, then the detailed feedback is also helpful in going forward to the next round of applications.

Assuming you have a project and a purpurse (planning). Have a look at the question below. If you want to see if your answer is correct, klick on answer.

What is important to consider in the first instance before you write a bit? Please organize the following aspects from 1.- 6.

  • Check Eligibility and Admissibility (mandates)
  • Apply and check guidelines, criteria, requirements of the application document etc.
  • Consider Evaluation and Sustainability
  • Find a funding opportunity – Check the Call
  • Find partners – maybe you have them already!
  • Write the bid

1. Find a funding opportunity – Check the Call

2. Find partners – maybe you have them already! Search for partners via FB, LinkedIn, the Partner Database.

3. Apply and check guidelines, criteria, requirements of the application document etc.

4. Check Eligibility and Admissibility (ensure all mandates of all partners are accurately completed)

5. Consider Evaluation and Sustainability (Consider and ensure that the application has an appropriate consideration of Dissemination; Impact; Exploitation and Sustainability (DIES))

6. Write the bid (I always think it is good practice to get someone to proof read and to ensure it is understandable to a lay person!)

Useful for bids and tenders you can find here:

The Online Incubator was developed from a previous Erasmus project, EU Sector 3, that finished in 2018 and a website, was one of the outputs. On this website you will find some useful information about sources of funding, crow-funding, marketing that is still relevant although some of the web links may be lost over time. There is also a State of The Art Report on the status of social enterprise in the partner countries: Cyprus, Germany, UK, Turkey, Portugal, Lithuania and Spain. Social enterprise, or the `third Sector, is diverse, it goes by different names and identities in different countries: social enterprises, charities, co-operatives, NGOs, SMEs with social objectives, social businesses may all be part of the ‘social enterprise or third sector.

Business Angel

A Business Angel is a person who makes his/ her own investment decisions with his own money, and sometimes her/ his time, to promote and support new start companies. Business angels play a key role in creating innovative companies and supporting entrepreneurs in the early stages of their business life.

It is increasingly popular in conventional business and could be a good option also for the social economy, such as social enterprises, co-operatives, charities. Some information about Business Angel is from the European Commission


Crowdfunding is a way for people, businesses and charities to raise money. It works through individuals or organisations, who invest in (or donate to) crowdfunding projects in return for a potential profit or reward. Investing this way can be risky, so make sure you know what you’re doing.

If a company or person wants to raise money through crowd-funding, they can pitch for it by posting details of their project, business or idea on a crowd-funding website. This means they can avoid going to a bank. The ‘crowd’ in crowd-funding refers to the people, or organisations that provide the money.

There are several types of crowd-funding:

Neither donation nor reward-based crowd-funding are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, but loan and investment-based crowd-funding are. This article focuses on investment crowd-funding.

  1. Investment-based crowd-funding. You invest in a business and receive a stake in return (normally shares).
  2. Loan-based crowd-funding. You lend money to individuals or companies in return for a set interest rate. It’s also called peer-to-peer or peer-to-business lending (P2P or P2B). You can read more about loan-based crowd-funding in our guide to Peer to peer lending.
  3. Donation-based crowd-funding. You donate to a person or a charity (you may be promised something in return).
  4. Reward-based crowd-funding. You give money in return for a reward linked to the project or cause you’re supporting.

If you visit a crowd-funding website, you should be able to see an overview of the projects being pitched. You might need to register with the website in order to see the pitches, to get more details, or to invest in a project.

social impact

There are different approaches to providing a social impact assessment: (1) providing a budgetary value to all interventions; (2) providing quantitative data that gives evidence of value added for the beneficiaries and (3) providing qualitative data based on personal stories and journeys towards achievement such as quotes and case studies. For example, recent funding programmes of the European Social Fund (ESF) require a summative evaluation of achievement which would include all of these approaches or providing evidence of successful intervention.

State of Art analysis

some text about state of art analysis?