Pledge £20.24 per month and join us! You'll receive a printable charter, exclusive access to events and featured promotion as a LAB member. Open to both local businesses and individuals from the city and the wider diaspora.Become a Member
We have some the worlds finest companies one our doorstep. We are looking for a small number of large corporates willing to put their shoulder to the wheel, support a more strategic range of outreach actions and spread our LAB mission across the world.Become an Ambassador
Do you have a question about The LAB Fund? On this page we’ll be curating answers to queries from the public, our members and potential new members about the fund, to better explain the initiative and how things will work.
The LAB Fund is managed by the Your Derry Community Interest Company to promote growth in the local economy and give support to the emerging entrepreneurs and initiatives that will add value to the city and region. The fund will be amassed from the regular contributions of businesses and individuals with a vested interest in seeing the city progress, who sign up to our charter.
The fund will be primarily be aimed at helping new startups, aspiring entrepreneurs (private and social), social enterprises and community projects. As LAB develops we aspire to create different funding streams/themes for assisting (for instance) young people just starting out in business (especially, but not limited to, those from disadvantaged backgrounds), and likewise older people who may be starting out in business for the first time. It is our wish that The LAB Fund can be utilised by both private and community sector.
We are currently focused on gathering pledges from businesses of all sizes of £20.24 per month. We will proceed to roll out and promote individual and corporate tiers after we reach an initial target of 50 LAB members.
The fund will be awarded to initiatives which are deemed to add value to the city and region, could lead to new employment opportunities, supports local excellence, promotes emerging leadership, celebrates ambition and innovation and which reinforce or seek to inspire hope, belief and optimism.
We will redistribute the fund every quarter. The first funding round will be announced/scheduled after we reach our initial target of 50 business pledges. The application and pitch process will be revealed when this announcement is made.
For fairness, the judging panel for each round will be selected from the member organisations currently signed up to the charter. We will select 1-2 private sector businesses, plus one third sector organisation (charity or social enterprise) to make the decisions at each award round alongside a member of Your Derry’s director panel. Representatives from each organisation will shortlist the initial applicants, and then pick the eventual winners after a short pitch session. It is our goal to make both the application and pitch process as nimble and time effective as possible without compromising the integrity of the process.
75% of the incoming fund revenue will be routinely dispensed every three months to local initiatives. 25% will be held in reserve for events, marketing and redistributed during later awards, which will be ‘boosted’ from the reserve, if/when a surplus accrues. No-one involved will be paid from the fund. The financial position of the fund will be published in real-time on the website (new feature in development) so that members and the general public have full & complete transparency of what is going in and coming out.
The fund is operated by the Your Derry ( a registered Community Interest Company) in partnership with 360 Cloud Accounting – who will provide their financial expertise and oversight on an entirely pro-bono basis to ensure everything is done and held to the highest possible standard. The annual accounts of will also available online every year for public scrutiny.
Whilst it would be the exception to the rule, we feel strongly that third sector organisations and NEW business would greatly benefit from being BOTH charter members who contribute financially to the fund – as well as being able to join the competitive process to seek funding. In this scenario membership of the charter will carry ZERO influence or bias in the decision process. We are currently consulting with the business community to ascertain how best to structure this aspect, however our initial assessment is that private sector businesses under 12 months old and not-for-profit entities should be able to both back the fund and apply to it.
All panel members will agree in writing to step out of any decision or process where a conflicts of interest may arise – and to flag any conflicts accordingly, both at the shortlisting and pitch stage. This will include flagging any connection to either the the organisation and/or individuals applying, such as (but not limited to) being family, friend, former colleague, client or supplier. Should such a conflict arise, the remaining members of the panel will make the decision, without the input or presence of those affected. In specific circumstances we may replace members of judging panel to specifically avoid conflicts. In short, we’ll work with maximum integrity to ensure the process is fair and transparent.
We are planning to launch an ‘Individual’ tier (Most likely a £20.24 per year contribution) with after our phase one goals are met. However if you are able and willing to commit to £20.24 per month NOW, we are not limiting the first members to just businesses. If you can afford it and are willing to pledge, please feel free to sign up.
No. And we never will! As part of our own additional contribution to LAB, the directors give our time and resources freely, including desk and office space, computers, meeting rooms and equipment, to help deliver. These resources and overheads are paid for entirely by ourselves or our private companies which paying into LAB – not the fund itself. We also encourage the charter members to do likewise in this as part of their overall contribution. So if you could offer a desk, or a staff member’s time to help with even a small part of the project, or a space to host a venue, or any resource or service in kind, this would be inline with our own lean, agile and cost saving approach to LAB and Your Derry’s not-for-profit status.
Whilst Your Derry can and will apply for funding in future from other sources (Local Government, Lottery etc), the money in the LAB Fund is categorically 100% ring fenced to deliver the programme itself. The only expenses taken directly from the LAB Fund will be nominal amounts for print work and marketing for the initiative, such as window stickers, printed charters and other assets needed to market the programme.
Yes! LAB membership is not limited to individuals or private sector businesses, any organisation, including third sector organisations are encouraged to pay into it, including charities and social enterprises. And because third-sector organisations can also apply, there’s a chance your investment could be returned if you have a winning project. As outlined in a different FAQ however, your LAB membership status will offer no advantage if applying to the fund. All applications will be objectively assessed and awarded. Our scoring criteria will be available soon.
There are no limits to the number of times you can apply, however there are limits to the number of times you can actually receive an award. If successful in winning an award from the LAB Fund, an organisation/individual will then not be eligible to receive an for another award for at least 18 months.
No. The LAB Fund is an entirely philanthropic fund which asks those with a vested interest in our city to give something back and help talented and innovative people and projects get started. Our city and region have long suffered from high unemployment, low income and lack of investment, but it has never been short on creativity, passion, innovation or work ethic. The LAB Fund seeks to bridge this gap, even a little, to give those who truly deserve it a foot up.
Yes! Every project we support will be listed on the website in an upcoming ‘Who We’ve Supported’ section, and we’ll check in with them until 2024, tracking and recording the success stories and positive new developments, so all the projects and their outputs are clear. More crucially, every success story will be ‘ours’ collectively. We also hope to highlight and discuss these at events throughout the year.
We would ask those pledging to commit to making their scheduled regular payments until the end of 2024, at which point we’ll wind down all the subscriptions and dispense the remainder of the fund. So, for example, if you are paying £20.24 monthly, the last payment will be taken in December 2024. Or if you are paying annually, the amount taken in 2024 will be your last.
No! Whilst obviously we hope to retain everyone’s financial backing until the end of challenge in December 2024, you can, if you so wish, cancel your subscription at any time (by logging into your account) and you will not be liable to make any further payments. You pay voluntarily and your commitment is a verbal and aspirational pledge – and is not binding in law or by any financial regulation. If you do cancel, your profile will simply delist from the website and you will not appear as a backer/member any longer.
If in the event you need to take a break from paying into the fund, for whatever reason, your subscription can also be ‘paused’. However your profile/listing on the LAB website will disappear until payment is resumed.
We’re only getting started and we’re encountering new questions all the time, so ask us something below and we’ll endeavour to answer it and (if relevant) publicly display it for the benefit of everyone!