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 purpose (planning). Have a look at the question below. If you want to see if your answer is correct, click on answer.

What is important to consider in the first instance before you write a bid? Please organise 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 Facebook, 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!)

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, crowdfunding, 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’.

For definitions of the terms Business Angel, Crowdfunding, Social Impact, and State of the Art Analysis check out the Key Terms PDF below.