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£5,000 up for grabs for small businesses through the Rural Start-Up Fund

Forest Holidays and The Prince’s Countryside Fund are inviting applications to their Rural Start-Up Fund, which supports entrepreneurs and start-up businesses based in the British countryside. Founded by HM King Charles III in 2010 while he was The Prince of Wales, The Prince’s Countryside Fund aims to support small family farms and empower sustainable rural communities and economies. This is why Forest Holidays teamed up with The Prince’s Countryside Fund to create the Rural Start-Up Fund, an exciting opportunity for rural businesses to receive financial support as they embark on a new business venture. Now open for a third year, a total of £5,000 is available in the Rural Start-Up Fund in 2022, to be awarded to one winning business or shared between a number of rural startups.

Gemma Wren of NaturesGems Tours, one of 2021’s winners said: “A little bit of faith from someone else goes a long way – it’s all great to have a business idea and plan to move it forward but when someone believes in it enough to invest in you then that’s a huge boost. It’s given me the confidence to go out and talk to people as a serious small business with a clear mission and a little bit of cash to kick-start and test things.”

Charlotte Thorogood, Strategic Partnerships Manager at Forest Holidays said: “We love supporting Britain’s rural start-ups. As a company, we enjoy being involved and seeing winners grow their brands and develop their business. It’s important for us to play an active part in the life of the villages and towns surrounding our locations. We’re glad we’ve taken it a step further to give entrepreneurs and start-up businesses the help required to overcome the initial challenges to grow their business locally.”

Applicants must be 18 or over, and embarking on a rural business venture. They must be able to demonstrate how their business will, in some manner, support rural communities, promote conservation of the countryside, or support rural sustainability.

Applications close at midday on Wednesday, 9th November.

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