Propeller Enterprise Award2021-05-10T10:20:56+01:00

Propeller Enterprise Award 2021

You could receive up to £1,000 to help start your business.

The Propeller Enterprise Award gives you the opportunity to apply for up to £1,000 of funding from Propeller to help with business start-up costs. This year’s award is open to current students and 2019-20 graduates. As long as at least one owner is eligible, joint ventures can apply. Please only fill in one application form per business.

The Propeller Enterprise Award is now closed. Applicants will find out if they have been shortlisted no later than the 24th May.

How to apply

This year we’re asking applicants to submit a business plan and a supporting statement that outlines finances. You can download the forms here, and once you’ve completed them you can submit them using the form on the bottom of this page.

The business plan doesn’t need to go into great detail, but our judges will be looking for enough information to make an informed decision. We recommend following our outline which you can find here.

Propeller Enterprise Award Application

PEA Finance Template


In addition to the application form for the Propeller Enterprise Award, we would like you to prepare a 20-minute pitch on your business venture idea. Up to five applicants will be shortlisted to bring their idea to life, share their personal story and demonstrate their enthusiasm and passion for the idea. The presentation is your chance to answer any questions or observations given in your first-round feedback.

The presentation will take place via Microsoft Teams on Tuesday 1st June 2021. You should be prepared to take questions from the panel relating to your presentation. You should allow 35 minutes for the entire process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I receive feedback on my application?2021-03-02T13:27:24+00:00

We aim to inform all applicants whether they were successful in the first round. This will likely be 1-2 weeks after the application deadline, but if there is a high volume of applications this may take longer. We strive to provide all applicants with feedback and recommendations, but this may not be possible.

Following the presentations of the 5 finalists, we expect results to be delivered within 1 week of the presentation.

Who can apply for the Propeller Enterprise Award?2021-03-01T11:49:24+00:00

The Propeller Enterprise Award is open to all current students of UCLan and partner institutions with a UCLan accredited course.

Recent graduates (academic year 2019-20) can also apply.

What should I include in my presentation?2021-03-30T09:54:18+01:00

We recommend following this structure:

  1. Introduction
  2. The benefits of your idea
    • Why it’s such a good opportunity
  3. The intended market
    • include evidence of demand
  4. Financial details
    • What you need the money for
    • Your personal investment
    • Potential income/sales
  5. Goals
    • Where you intend to be in 6 months’ time
    • How will your project or business be sustained beyond the support from the Propeller Enterprise Award?
  6. Closing statement
    • summing up and main points
What if I change my mind about the Propeller Enterprise Award?2021-02-25T11:28:04+00:00

You can choose to withdraw your application any time by emailing

If you withdraw after having the money awarded to you, you must return the full award amount.

What can I spend the money on?2021-02-24T15:26:23+00:00

The award cannot be spent on electronics that serve a more general purpose (phones, laptops, tablets etc.), accommodation or travel expenses. If these will be necessary, you will have to fund them yourself.

You will be asked to evidence your spend in a timely manner.  Spending of the award should take place no more than four months in the future. If you have not spent the award within this time frame, you may be asked to return any un-evidenced spend.



Is there anything that may stop me from receiving the award?2021-02-25T11:33:03+00:00

We will not shortlist businesses of a sensitive nature (such as politics or religion) or which may reflect badly on Propeller and the University of Central Lancashire.

If you are offered an award but do not complete the paperwork in a timely manner, you may not receive your award.

We reserve the right to cancel the award if it is spent on purchases not outlined within the application.

If you do not spend the award and provide evidence of spend within a timely manner, we may retrieve the remaining value of the award.


How will my data be stored?2021-03-02T13:44:59+00:00

We will not look at any submissions prior to the deadline.

Once the deadline has passed, each entry will be saved to a secured folder and shared with the judges. As such, only ourselves and the judges will have access to your application.

Following the award, submissions will follow the University procedure. It will not be shared outside of our department and will be deleted once it is no longer needed. We will anonymise data for reporting.

An overview of award-winners including name, course and intended award use may be made public after the award has ended.

How much funding can I get?2021-02-24T15:26:15+00:00

Each shortlisted applicant can receive up to £1,000.

The awarded amount will be split into two payments; with the release of the second payment dependent on your progress.

Full explanation of the amount given and our expectations will be given in an Enterprise Deal following the presentation. Once we have received the signed paperwork, it can take up to two weeks to receive the funds from the University of Central Lancashire finance office.

Spending of the award should take place no more than four months in the future. If you have not spent the award within this time frame, you may be asked to return any un-evidenced spend.


How much detail do I need to include in my business plan?2021-03-02T14:00:06+00:00

Your business plan should cover all the headings on our business plan template, but how much information you include is up to you. We recommend 200 words per section.

How do you judge applications?2021-03-30T09:49:33+01:00

A panel of four judges will mark each application out of 30 points based on the following criteria:

  • Realistic/Viable
  • Sustainability
  • Growth potential

The five applicants with the highest scores will be offered the chance to make a presentation to the judges. In the event that there are several applicants with the same score considered in fifth place, all will be invited to make a presentation.

How can I prepare for the Propeller Enterprise Award?2021-03-02T13:25:29+00:00

To apply for the award, you’ll need to write a business plan. We offer the Propeller Enterprise Programme, a set of four workshops that help you to do this. We encourage all applicants to attend these workshops. The first workshop is called ‘How to start a business’ and can be booked through our events calendar.

We also ask for a statement of purpose, which outlines how you intend to spend the money. You must demonstrate that you are contributing your own money to the business (£100), and provide realistic pricing options. Do your research: look at several suppliers and provide a reasonable price, a provider and timeline of when you intend to make the purchase.

If you are shortlisted, you will be asked to make a presentation to a panel of judges. Working on this presentation before you find out about the shortlist is recommended, as the presentation itself will be useful whether or not you are successful.

How are Propeller Enterprise Award winners chosen?2021-03-02T13:29:36+00:00

To apply for the award, you must submit a business plan and a statement of purpose which explains how you will spend the award.

Upon submitting a business plan and statement of purpose (how you intend to spend the money), an external panel of judges will choose 5 applicants for the shortlist.

These 5 shortlisted applicants will be given the opportunity to pitch their idea to the panel. Presentations will be up to 20 minutes.

At both stages, the panel judges applications according to four criteria: the viability of the idea; growth potential; competence of the business owner; how actionable the plan is. Please note that the judges’ decision is final.

Do you offer extensions to the timeframe in which I can spend the money?2021-03-02T13:28:06+00:00

Payment takes 10-17 days from submission of the finance paperwork – the sooner you return this, the sooner you’ll receive your award.

We do not offer extensions except for in extreme circumstances. If you cannot commit to the timeframe agreed, you may be asked to repay any un-evidenced spend.

Can I make changes to my application?2021-03-02T13:38:25+00:00

We will only look at applications once the deadline has passed. As such, we will not be able to tell you if there is any information missing and it is up to you to make sure the application is complete. If you submit more than one application, we will choose the most recent one to send to the judges.

Can I apply with a co-owner? What if the co-owner isn’t a UCLan student?2021-03-30T10:19:36+01:00

Yes! We are happy for multiple business owners to present the same idea, as long as they only complete one application form.

As long as one member of the business is eligible (current student or 2019-20 graduate) then you can still apply.

  • 7th May – Application deadline

  • 24th May – Shortlist announced

  • 1st June – Present to panel

  • 2nd/3rd June – Enterprise deals drawn up

  • 15th June – Paperwork deadline for 1st payment (for payment before 25th June)

  • 9th July – Update the judges on progress

  • 20th July – Paperwork deadline for 2nd payment (for payment by 30th July)

Meet the panel

Jackie Harris
Jackie HarrisBright Spark Marketing
Phil Pond
Phil PondScarlet Opus
Russell Hogarth
Russell HogarthUCLan Honorary Fellow
Nigel Farnworth
Nigel FarnworthCreative Communities Group
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