I have been writing this blog since 2009. My purpose is to provide information on setting up business, entrepreneurship, enterprise policy and, of course, stuff that I am doing. The following will give you a guide to find relevant content on the site. I will continue to add new material and I hope you get some benefit from the information shared.

Thanks, Ken Germaine PhD

Elements of a business plan (May 2009)

Sales and Marketing (May 2009)

Financial Projections (July 2009, December 2010)

Getting Paid (November 2009)

Strategic Networking (May 2010)

HPSU and Ecosystem (August/September 2010)

Enterprise Policy (long form articles) (November 2010, January – May 2016)

How to Commercialise your Business Idea (December 2016)

EU funding and Funding Master (January 2019)

Over the last few weeks, we have published a number of new information videos aimed at specific sectors: SME, municipalities and nonprofits.  We also have been running a video ad on YouTube and recently on Facebook.  Here are the links to these videos.  Please feel free to share these information videos to contacts who you think may benefit from them.

Grants and SME: https://youtu.be/TdG0gQOwSD8

Municipalities and EU Grants:  https://youtu.be/6ZR7YCOOFAw

Nonprofits and EU Grants:  https://youtu.be/bNHU_cL2kBQ

Maximising EU Grants [ad]:  https://youtu.be/u9L8mc6Hh7k

These augment our most popular videos on applying for and managing EU projects:

Tips on applying for EU funding: https://youtu.be/IYC5HmeNgKw

Tips on managing EU-funded projects:  https://youtu.be/aHqc73OeWoU

If I can be of assistance to you then please contact me on ken@fundingmaster.eu.   

Funding Master works with clients to develop, write and submit funding applications.  The opinions set out here belong to the author(s), they constitute opinion and nothing is intended to constitute advice.  The blog is authored by Funding Master’s founder and CEO, Dr. Ken Germaine.  Please view his profile and please connect with him at his LInkedin profile here.  Please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.  Originally published on the Funding Master Blog.  For more information on Germaine Business Planning please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.

Nonprofits and Grants : Nonprofit organisations provide a wide range of services and programmes to vulnerable individuals and communities across the European Union on a daily basis. They are structured differently in different countries but are in principle non-governmental bodies, established for a mainly social purpose, many with charitable status and either owned by the community or in trust for them. They are called many things; associations, cooperatives, mutuals, community groups, voluntary bodies, charities, social enterprises etc. However, they all provide an unseen but essential range of services to their communities of interest.

In this video Funding Master will explain how and why, nonprofit organisations should be using EU funding strategically to develop new and innovative solutions to their communities of interests and social mission. We explain the range of grants available and how a nonprofit organisation can utilise these funding programmes across a range of activities.  Funding Master’s team have worked in the nonprofit sector for many years, serving at all levels including CEO, Board member, Chairperson and volunteer levels. Nonprofits and EU grants is subtitled and translated in to several European languages.

Funding Master works with clients to develop, write and submit funding applications.  The opinions set out here belong to the author(s), they constitute opinion and nothing is intended to constitute advice.  The blog is authored by Funding Master’s founder and CEO, Dr. Ken Germaine.  Please view his profile and please connect with him at his LInkedin profile here.  Please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.  Originally published on the Funding Master Blog.  For more information on Germaine Business Planning please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.

NEW: Municipalities and EU Funding : In this video, Funding Master explains how a municipality can use EU funding as a strategic lever to co-fund innovation projects.  This can work across the entire range of municipal departments. Not only does EU funding bring co-funding to projects but the requirement to collaborate with other municipalities, third-level institutions, community and voluntary organisations, business and other experts.  This can result in the innovative local project being far more impactful rather than going it alone. If a municipality does not have a designated EU-funding unit then working with Funding Master could provide an effective, cost efficient way to strategically use EU funding applications to support your municipality’s work.

Municipalities and EU Funding

Municipalities, also known as local authorities or local councils, exist in every EU country.    The exact roles and powers of municipalities vary from country to country, but the key functions and structures are universal.  Every municipality is run by, or accountable to, a council made up of elected local councilors.  The chair of the council is normally the Mayor.   Some mayors are directly elected and some are elected by the Council members.  Mayors have different levels of power and authority in different countries, but, in continental European countries Mayors have significant powers and effectively lead the council during their term of office.

Municipalities are the most basic level of democratic representation.  They deliver key services including planning and development of their city, area or region. They also deliver utilities and oversee a large range of services, including education and health provision in many countries.  They also have a key role in the economic development of their area, culture, libraries, environment, social services, provision of drinking water and waste services.  The list goes on.

The EU places great emphasis on regional policy and development, and recognizes the key role of municipalities in that policy.  So, municipalities are important governmental structures, under locally controlled councilors, that provide a large range of services to the local citizenry.

Funding Master works with clients to develop, write and submit funding applications.  The opinions set out here belong to the author(s), they constitute opinion and nothing is intended to constitute advice.  The blog is authored by Funding Master’s founder and CEO, Dr. Ken Germaine.  Please view his profile and please connect with him at his LInkedin profile here.  Please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.  Originally published on the Funding Master Blog.  For more information on Germaine Business Planning please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.

SME and Grants [video]

October 13, 2020

SME and Grants: Many SME are told that there are lots of grants available to them.  This may well be true but many SME do not have designated grant people to craft, develop and submit these applications.  Many SMEs are confused by the system and come to the conclusion that it is more trouble than it is worth.  Some have applied for grants and been unsuccessful and drawn the conclusion that it is more trouble than it is worth.  Funding Master would like to show SME how to better use and access the SME grant system for innovation.

In this video Funding Master will explain the grant system for SME.  We point out that there are actually 2 sub-systems: one for start-ups and one for existing SME who want to engage in innovation.  We explain that these grants are not funding for SMEs but rather funding for innovation by SMEs.  We explain the Technology Readiness Scale (TRL) and how it crosses with the standard types of grants.  We also explain how to overcome some of the most common mistakes that SME make when applying for funding.

Funding Master works with clients to craft, develop and submit grant applications.  We work with clients on a regular basis, we help them identify priorities, we prevent them from engaging in low potential projects, we develop concept notes, find partners, write content and budgets and manage the submission process.  We effectively outsource your grant management system with a very affordable solution.

The video is for information purposes so please feel free to share with relevant contacts.

Funding Master works with clients to develop, write and submit funding applications.  The opinions set out here belong to the author(s), they constitute opinion and nothing is intended to constitute advice.  The blog is authored by Funding Master’s founder and CEO, Dr. Ken Germaine.  Please view his profile and please connect with him at his LInkedin profile here.  Please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.  Originally published on the Funding Master Blog.  For more information on Germaine Business Planning please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.

Grants are still open for applications!  You may not be able to do everything you want.  You may be limited in the number of staff you can have on-site, forced to provide services on-line, even locked-down for short periods over the next few months.  BUT there is one thing you still can do…apply for grants!

Governments are currently expansionary…they are spending money and investing.  Business expansion-type grants are being made available.  The EU just passed an emergency fund of €750 billion and approved the new 7-year funding framework.  All EU programmes will be open for calls in 2021, only a few weeks away.

If nothing else is happening, the grant calls, deadlines and funding is happening. 

Dr. Ken Germaine. Founder and CEO Funding Master

We develop projects for clients.  If you are looking for solutions to new challenges, addressing new ways of working, developing innovative solutions, then we can craft a project for you, that supports your real work and can make an application to the most suitable grant calls.  We can find and build a partnership, develop content and budget and do the writing-up of the technical documents.

We are about to launch a new ‘Taster’ programme.  We will work with you to develop one grant application tailored to your requirements.   There will be a fixed price for this of €1,550 (ex VAT where applicable).  If you are interested in finding out more then contact me directly by InMail, DM or email ken@fundingmaster.eu.  There is no cost to have a conversation!

In the meantime, I wish all my family, colleagues, friends, connections and their businesses every success in the current situation and the likely challenging period coming over the next few months.  Funding Master will remain open no matter what and if you need assistance or advice, we will be here and ready to help!

Funding Master works with clients to develop, write and submit funding applications.  The opinions set out here belong to the author(s), they constitute opinion and nothing is intended to constitute advice.  The blog is authored by Funding Master’s founder and CEO, Dr. Ken Germaine.  Please view his profile and please connect with him at his LInkedin profile here.  Please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.  Originally published on the Funding Master Blog.  For more information on Germaine Business Planning please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.

Tips on Managing EU projects

September 29, 2020

Tips on Managing EU projects: the complimentary video to our Applying for EU projects.  I have been involved in running EU projects over the years and the following are my tips if you have to set up a project from scratch.  It covers setting up a partnership agreement, setting up systems, setting up KPI and measurement issues, as well as, communication and engaging beneficiaries. 

Funding Master works with clients to develop, write and submit funding applications.  The opinions set out here belong to the author(s), they constitute opinion and nothing is intended to constitute advice.  The blog is authored by Funding Master’s founder and CEO, Dr. Ken Germaine.  Please view his profile and please connect with him at his LInkedin profile here.  Please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.  Originally published on the Funding Master Blog.  For more information on Germaine Business Planning please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.

Grants; at Funding Master, we constantly talk about taking a strategic approach to grants; but what do we mean?

When we talk to clients we go back to their strategic, business or development plan, we look at the areas that they want to develop, we develop projects to achieve these goals and we seek funding lines to get grants to fund, or co-fund, these projects.  Sounds simple…but crafting the right projects, getting stakeholder buy in, finding the right partners and making the projects really impactful for the client, this is where the work is really done.

Why are SME, municipalities, public bodies and third-sector organisations/NGO not getting more involved in EU funding calls?

Want a free consultation with Funding Master about Grants and grant applications

People have had bad experiences.  One issue is getting involved in an EU project that was not strategically important to your organisation.  It has happened to us all…’it’s a simple project, won’t take a lot of your time, there is a few grand in it for you, we will do all the work’.  In reality, it takes up a lot of time, there is a lot of administration taking up staff time, it is a headache and there is no real benefit to you or your organisation at the end of the project.  After a project like this people can develop a very negative outlook to EU projects.  However, the problem was not EU funding, it was getting involved in the wrong project!  You should only be involved in project applications that have a real impact on your key goals, if not, do not get involved. 

I spend a lot of time advising clients not to get involved in specific projects.  People think that strange, surely we want to write as many projects as possible…NO.  We want to write really serious, impactful and successful projects.

Another reason people can be averse to EU funding is having spent a lot of time and resources writing a previous application and not getting the grant.  Now, there may be many reasons for this.  It could have been the project was not well defined, as per the point previously.  It could simply be that the project went up against a lot of good projects and there were only a few grants available.  In this case, reapplying under another call, or for a different grant, can get you the funding.  We always seek to reapply for a grant if not successful, taking into account the comments of the assessors.  We strongly believe that a good project should be able to access funding from a range of funding programmes.  We can however, make sure that your grant application ticks as many points as possible, avoids the many possible mistakes and is in the shake-up at the end. 

So, what can Funding Master do for you?

  • We will write a strategic funding plan for you.  This will define what is possible and what you should avoid doing.
  • We will develop project outlines for innovative projects that meet one of your specific needs.
  • We will identify the possible funding calls and the pros and cons of each.  We will show you up-front the viability of each grants before you make the decision to go ahead, or not.
  • We will work with you to find the right partners.
  • We will manage the application process.
  • We will write the content for the grant application.
  • We will write a detailed budget for the grant application.
  • This means you will not tie up all that staff and management time in writing up the detailed funding application.
  • We will upload all the detailed content.

We, at Funding Master, are currently open to new clients.  If you would like to discuss your needs, then please contact me at ken@fundingmaster.eu or +353834051321.  It costs nothing to have a chat.  Over the next few months, we will release a series of videos discussing specific needs; SME, municipalities, public bodies and NGO/third-sector organisations.  You can view our video ‘Tips on Applying for EU Funding’ here.

Funding Master works with clients to develop, write and submit funding applications.  The opinions set out here belong to the author(s), they constitute opinion and nothing is intended to constitute advice.  The blog is authored by Funding Master’s founder and CEO, Dr. Ken Germaine.  Please view his profile and please connect with him at his LInkedin profile here.  Please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.  Originally published on the Funding Master Blog.  For more information on Germaine Business Planning please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.

At Funding Master, our core business is developing projects for funding applications.  A particular focus of our work is EU funding programmes.   Early on, I did this video on ‘Tips for applying for EU Funding’.  It is by far the most popular video on my YouTube Channel, (Ken Germaine) and the information is still as relevant now as ever. 

The video covers the entire process from:

  • Developing the idea and project concept note
  • Finding partners
  • Working with partners
  • Engaging with national contact points,
  • Writing the application and budget,
  • Submitting the application, and
  • Follow up.

Please feel free to share the video is you feel it would be of use to colleagues and connections.

Funding Master works with clients to develop, write and submit funding applications.  The opinions set out here belong to the author(s), they constitute opinion and nothing is intended to constitute advice.  The blog is authored by Funding Master’s founder and CEO, Dr. Ken Germaine.  Please view his profile and please connect with him at his LInkedin profile here.  Please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.  Originally published on the Funding Master Blog.  For more information on Germaine Business Planning please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.

Over the past few months we have done a series of videos and articles on enterprise, social enterprise and social innovation on the Funding Master Blog, www.fundingmaster.eu/blog.  We will move on to a series of videos and articles relating to grants and making grant applications over the next few months but I thought it would be useful to bring our recent resources together.

We did 3 videos:

Enterprise and Entrepreneurship [explainer video]: https://youtu.be/_ZEvBZa83DI

Social Enterprise and Social Innovation [explainer video]: https://youtu.be/Zy00bPU7A1s

The Safe Use of Fiscal Policy : https://youtu.be/lPP_ep1JsQM

We also did a number of articles:

A Practical Guide to Social Innovation: http://fundingmaster.eu/a-practical-guide-to-social-innovation/

A ‘Guide to’ all things Social Enterprise and Social Innovation: http://fundingmaster.eu/a-guide-to-all-things-social-enterprise-and-social-innovation/

A ‘Guide to’ an Entrepreneur and Enterprise: http://fundingmaster.eu/guide-to-entrepreneur-and-enterprise/

A ‘Guide to’ Starting a Business: http://fundingmaster.eu/a-how-to-guide-to-starting-a-business/

You can also find out more about our work:

Funding Master promotional video ; https://youtu.be/_MLU6qXGtAQ

Funding Master Business Model and Pricing Structure : https://youtu.be/YR4TQMKTJfo

As said earlier, we will be doing a series of videos and articles on grants and grant applications over the next few months which we hope you will find useful.  If you wish to use our articles or videos for educational purposes then please feel free to do so.

Funding Master works with clients to develop, write and submit funding applications.  The opinions set out here belong to the author(s), they constitute opinion and nothing is intended to constitute advice.  The blog is authored by Funding Master’s founder and CEO, Dr. Ken Germaine.  Please view his profile and please connect with him at his LInkedin profile here.  Please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.

Social Enterprise and Social Innovation are concepts that some find confusing and many find it difficult to delineate between them.  This video explains the differences by using a stylised story using an animated explainer video and then explaining the differences at the end of the video.  We explain the stages of the social innovation process and how social enterprise is one mainstreaming option.  We also explain the difference between a concerned citizen, social innovator and a social entrepreneur.   

So, see the video to the end and find out the differences between social innovation and social enterprise.  Enjoy!

Funding Master works with clients to develop, write and submit funding applications.  The opinions set out here belong to the author(s), they constitute opinion and nothing is intended to constitute advice.  The blog is authored by Funding Master’s founder and CEO, Dr. Ken Germaine.  Please view his profile and please connect with him at his LInkedin profile here.  Please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.  Originally published on the Funding Master Blog.  For more information on Germaine Business Planning please contact us directly here if you have any questions on our work or this article.  More information on our website here.