Energy accelerator funding and support up for grabs

The Ignite ‘Big Energy Idea’ Accelerator Programme has opened for 2017 applications from businesses and entrepreneurs working in the energy sector this week. 

Successful applicants will receive a package of pre-investment support, including specialist knowledge from experts, and the opportunity to apply for investment of between £50,000 and £2m. Ignite, backed by Centrica, is an impact investment fund that focuses on energy, providing firms with the funding and expertise they need to help achieve their potential and make a positive social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

Since 2014, the programme has committed investment totalling £8 million to over 25 businesses.

One company supported through the Ignite ‘Big Energy Idea’ is Weston-super-Mare based Brackenburn, which received financial investment and project management support to help develop its first factory. Founded in 2008, the company harvests nuisance crop bracken and transforms it into an eco-friendly biomass fuel. The firm now employs four people and sells its product to more than 70 distributors across the UK.

Barry Smith, co-founder of Brackenburn, said: “The support we received from Ignite has totally transformed the way that our business operates. If you have a great energy idea, get involved and apply. Not only did the accelerator programme give us the capital we needed to buy key machinery, but it provided us with an invaluable project manager who had the specialist expertise we needed to successfully launch our factory.

Sam Salisbury, investment principal for Ignite, said: “The UK is filled with innovative businesses and entrepreneurs. We are hoping that companies from across the energy sector enter the Big Energy Idea to make the most of the support and potential investment available. We’re looking for people passionate about building a more efficient and sustainable future. Together, we’ll attempt to tackle some of the most complex problems facing our society. Whether it’s to make an energy idea a reality, scale a business up or increase its reach, we’re here to help enterprises achieve their potential.

Enterprises must submit their applications before 31 January. For more information on Ignite’s ‘Big Energy Idea’, or to apply, visit: http://ignitesocialenterprise.com

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