Looking for government funding and need a simple guide to government grants? Below is a comprehensive guide to government grants for start-ups and small businesses in the UK.
What is a government grant?
A government grant is typically a sum of money paid to your business that you do not have to repay. You also don’t have to give away a share in your business to get the funds.
You could use the money for a wide range of reasons – perhaps to buy new equipment, fund a marketing campaign or hire staff. However, most grants have strict conditions on how the money is spent.
You may have to put up some of your own money or secure money from another private funding source (matched funding) to receive a grant.
There are hundreds of business grants available, with some available if you are in a specific sector or region.
Below we explain how to search for any government grants you may be eligible for, and the alternatives to government grants if there are none suitable.
We’ll also explain how Funding Guru can help you apply for government funding, as the process is tricky to navigate and it’s helpful to have someone with experience guide you through it.
How do I find government grants?
If you’re starting a new business, your first starting point should be to check out the government’s business finance support page.
Here, you’ll currently find 150 different funding schemes available to UK start-ups, including 60 government business grant schemes.
These grants include:
For Scotland, Business Gateway helps firms across Scotland and can help your business get funding through Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland or your local council.
To search for grants in Wales, check out www.businesswales.gov.wales.
If you are based in Northern Ireland, the business support finder is a comprehensive database of financial assistance available to businesses.
How funding guru can help you get a grant?
Government grants are enormously competitive and the current economic troubles mean free funding is getting harder to come by. It can also be confusing to know which grants you are eligible for.
At Funding Guru, we are an adviser as well as a lender. We will work with you to get a government grant, saving you the hassle of applying yourself.
We know which grants are available, which are suitable and how to make the application process as painless as possible.
We’ll talk you through whether you’re likely to get a grant and we can take care of the application for you.
If you don’t qualify for a government grant, there are still other alternative funding options available such as a start-up loan or equity finance (we explain more on this below).
Call Funding Guru today on 0333 006 9141 and we can talk through your options.
Government grant application process
When applying for a grant, you will need to demonstrate the below.
Different types of grants for businesses in the UK
There are various grants available for start-ups, and below we outline these in detail.
If you’re a UK-based business or research organisation, you may be able to compete for government-backed funding to research and develop a process, product or service, test your innovation ideas or collaborate with other organisations.
These grants are delivered through Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency that supports businesses developing new ideas.
There are currently grants available for robotics and automation projects, and for firms helping accelerate the UK towards a net zero automotive future.
If you are aged 30 or under and need support growing a business, you could apply to the Prince’s Trust. The charity works with delivery partners across the UK to offer hundreds of free courses, grants and mentoring opportunities.
There are 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships across England that aim to solve local economic challenges by linking local authorities and local private sector businesses.
These LEP Growth Hubs have helped more than two million businesses navigate the cost of living challenges in the past year. If you’re looking for funding or guidance, contact your local growth hub.
If you’re a not-for-profit organisation, you could apply for the National Lottery Grants for Heritage. Grants of £3,000 to £5m are available for projects that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK.
Cons of government grants
Obviously the main pro of government grants is the fact your business may receive free money that does not have to be repaid.
But there are some cons to government grants, which we list here:
What’s the alternative to government grants?
If there is no government grant to support your business, or you think the application process is too time-consuming, the options are to consider equity finance or a start-up loan.
With equity finance, you raise money by selling shares in your business to an investor. The investor then gets a share or your profits and may have a say in how the business is run. At Funding Guru, we can help you raise equity finance through our network of experienced investors and entrepreneurs.
If you want full control of your business, then a start-up loan may be a better option. You’ll get a cash lump sum potentially within days, which you’ll typically repay within two years with interest.
At Funding Guru, we offer up to £100,000 to start-ups looking to grow and expand through a business loan. As well as giving you finance, we’ll also help you with your business plan and can offer guidance from mentors.
Contact us online or talk to one of our advisers today. Once you’ve submitted an application, we’ll get back to you with a funding decision within 24 hours.