Business grants

Green jobs

Closed: funding for green jobs

A new series of funding rounds to help businesses create jobs that contribute to improving the environment and achieving net zero emissions. The first round of funding is now closed to new applications.

About the green jobs calls

This funding call is now closed. 

Our green jobs funding is being delivered as competitive funding calls, which are rounds of funding that open and close periodically for fixed amounts of time and from which the best projects will be chosen for support. The green jobs calls aim to support businesses to create and maintain jobs that improve the environment, and to support projects that align to the Scottish Government net zero policies. By ‘net zero’, we mean the Scottish Government’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

The first call is aimed at supporting businesses to:

  • Create green jobs (these are new jobs that relate directly to the transition to net zero) or facilitate the transition of a job from non-green to green
  • Minimise environmental impacts by developing sustainable low carbon products or services

Further calls may be announced in the future. 


Key information

This call:

  • Is for businesses located in the Scottish Enterprise area, or looking to set up a trading location in this area before 1 October 2021 (you can check this in the ‘Is my business eligible?’ section)
  • Offers grants between £50,000 and £500,000
  • Can support between 10% and 50% of eligible project costs depending on factors such as company size, location and project activities
  • Is for businesses looking to create jobs that are directly related to sustainability and reducing carbon emissions (green jobs)
  • Is also for businesses undertaking activities that will result in green jobs, including investing in premises, purchasing capital equipment or conducting research and development
  • Involves a claims process rather than a single up-front payment – this means you’ll need to pay for your project costs and then claim eligible costs back from your grant
  • Is a competitive discretionary grant – applications will be assessed based on their merit against a scoring criteria. Not all eligible applicants will receive funding

The full details

How much funding is available?

This call will offer grants of between £50,000 and £500,000. During your application, you’ll be able to request the amount you need, but you must be able to demonstrate why you need this amount. When reviewing your application, we’ll consider your eligible project costs, public funding rules and your activity types to determine if this is an appropriate amount.

This call involves a claims process, meaning it does NOT offer an up-front grant payment. If successful, you’ll need to pay for your costs up front and then claim them back from your grant. In most cases you can claim at intervals throughout your project, so you don’t need to pay for all your costs at once.

However, this grant cannot cover your entire project costs. You’ll need to fund some of these costs yourself or via other sources of funding. This grant can fund between 10% and 50% of your eligible costs.

What is a green job?

Green jobs are either:

  • Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
  • Jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.

For example, in a business whose products and services benefit the environment (such as a renewables or low carbon technology company), this would include any job from warehouse and office staff, to engineers and researchers.

For other businesses whose main focus isn’t the environment, this would include any job directly related to making the company, its processes and its products more environmentally friendly. This could be the main focus of their role (such as a Sustainability Officer) or just a part of their wider role (such as a Purchasing Manager who will aim to source more sustainable materials and suppliers).


What kinds of projects will this grant support?

This call can support the following activities:

  • Creation of green jobs 
  • Capital equipment purchases (such as buying new machinery)
  • Investment in premises (for example, to help you expand activities that contribute to the green economy)
  • Research and development activities (for example, to develop innovative new products and services or improve your existing products and services to make them more sustainable)

These activities must be undertaken with an aim of growing sustainable activities, reducing your environmental impact, or reducing your emissions.

Is my project eligible?

To be eligible, your project will need to:

  • Create long-term green jobs that can be sustained after the project has finished. These must pay at least the real Living Wage (currently £9.50 in Scotland), even for employees who would normally be paid a lower minimum wage (such as employees aged 18-22)
  • Have a clear need for funding – for example, without funding it would take significantly longer, be scaled back or not go ahead at all
  • Require a grant of at least £50,000 to go ahead
  • Not require more than £500,000 of grant funding to go ahead
  • Take place mostly in Scotland
  • Start by 1 October 2021
  • End by 30 September 2024

Is my business eligible?

This call is open to businesses of any size. To be eligible, you must:

  • Be registered or trading in the Scottish Enterprise area, or looking to set up a trading location in this area before 1 October 2021
  • Be a registered company (a company that’s registered with Companies House)
  • Be an individual business – we can’t accept applications from collaborations
  • Not be able to fund the full project on your own (for example, difficulty securing enough finance elsewhere)
  • Be committed to fair working practices. Fair work is work that offers all individuals an effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment and respect. It also includes paying employees at least the real Living Wage (currently £9.50 in Scotland). You can find out more and access free resources using the Fair Work Employer Support Tool.


Businesses that aren’t eligible

If your business operates in any of the following sectors or activities, you won’t be eligible for this call:

  • Banking, insurance or sub-prime lending
  • Gambling
  • Adult entertainment
  • Tobacco
  • Locally traded services (these are businesses whose trade is limited to a local area, and whose direct competitors are other local businesses)
  • Any activity that could have a negative impact on human rights
  • Any activities that could have a negative impact on Scottish Enterprise’s reputation or ethical standards

If you’re unsure whether or not your business would be eligible for funding under this funding call, you can get in touch to discuss your business and your project activities.

About the application

For the best experience, we recommend you complete your application on a desktop or laptop. Due to the complexity of the form, some people may experience technical issues when applying on mobile or tablet devices. We’re aiming to improve the mobile experience over the coming weeks.

During the application, we’ll ask you about you, your business, and your project. You’ll be asked to create an account during the process so that you can save your application as you go. This means you can exit and return at any time. Once you've created your account, we'll save some of your details so you don't have to enter them again next time.

When we ask about your eligible costs, please provide details on all costs you think might be eligible. We may not be able to support all the costs you enter, but having as much information as we can will help us provide the best package of support for you.

Applications are now closed

Applications for the first green jobs call are now closed. Stay up to date with the latest funds, webinars and other business support by signing up to our email updates.

The application process

Applications open – 27 May to 1 July

You can apply online until 12 noon on 1 July. You can save your application, so you don’t need to complete it all at once.

Final results announced – by 31 August

After we’ve completed a full appraisal, you’ll find out our decision by the end of August. This decision is final and there will be no appeals process.

Offer sent out – September/October

If successful, you’ll receive your offer by the end of October. Read it carefully, sign it, and return it to secure your award.

How will applications be assessed?

This is a competitive call, meaning not all eligible applicants will receive funding. After the closing date, we’ll review all applications based on the economic impact they’re expected to have, and their expected contribution to a fair, green and more prosperous Scotland.

We’ll consider a number of different factors, including:

  • Need for funding – businesses who have the capital and resources to fund the project themselves will be unlikely to receive support
  • Number of jobs created as a result of the green project 
  • Activity involved in the project 
  • Level of technical risk
  • Level of innovation 
  • Company size 
  • Company location
  • Measurable sustainable or environmental outcome 

We’ll consider all these factors in context. We won’t exclude your business based solely on its size, location or number of new jobs, but we will consider these factors when assessing what impact your project is likely to have. For example, a small business creating a few jobs in a rural area may have a bigger impact than a larger business creating more jobs in a city.

Got a question?

If you have any questions about this call, you can get in touch with our team.