Start-up Grants For Small Businesses
Who Is Eligible For Grants?
The UK is fortunate to have a truly wide scope of business grants aimed at diverse recipients. That said, the funding pie is never big enough to go around to all applicants.
Expect there will be many applicants applying for the grant you are targeting. It’s important to present your application persuasively by submitting it in good time, ensuring you meet all the criteria and include all supporting documents. Highlight your USP – the special ‘sauce’ that makes your business stand out.
Grant agencies are committed to creating sustainable business opportunities for young people.
UnLtd is focused on social entrepreneurs. It provides funding to initiatives committed to driving social change.
Shell LiveWIRE is a Shell Oil programme that aims to plug young entrepreneurs from across the UK and the globe into skills, networks, and resources to create successful businesses that create employment and inspire innovation.
There is a need to promote and encourage rural businesses and start-ups in zones outside the major economic hubs. To ensure these businesses enjoy full connectivity they can receive funding to install gigabit broadband through the government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.
The knowledge economy is keen to encourage research and development, and innovation.
The Eureka Eurostars scheme is a commercially focused scheme that fosters international collaborative research and innovation projects that will be rapidly commercialised.
As mentioned, Innovate UK is a government-funded player very supportive in this arena.
From government to local authorities there is a strong emphasis on creating more energy-efficient work environments. For entrepreneurs building out a new workspace or retrofitting an existing premise, there are incentives and energy-efficient workspace grants to help with costs.
Small business energy prices including business electricity tariffs and gas costs have soared in recent years. Small businesses wanting help to cover essential business energy bills should consider comparing business gas and electricity supply prices across the market. There may well be more favourable energy deals for you.
There are tons of regional funds available to inspire great businesses in local areas. The Local Enterprise Partnership network covers 36 regions and supports 2 million businesses. Your local LEP is a good resource to engage about grants in your region. Government Finance and Support provides details of 100+ schemes across the UK.
What Are The Alternatives To Business Grants?
As an alternative to a grant, consider:
- Equity capital – You could exchange some shares in return for a capital investment.
- Small and micro business loans. All the major banks offer customised loans to SMEs. The government-backed Start Up Loan scheme provides loans up to £25,000 and there are many facilities like the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund offering loans, debtor finance, or equity arrangements.
- Friends and family.
- Private investor and angel loans.
- Some entrepreneurs have raised funds through crowdfunding.
Hackathons, pitches, and challenge-led competitions can open doors to networks and funding.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Some businesses are eligible for government support to help them train and upskill apprentices.
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