Posted: Tue 22nd Nov 2022
Business grants are one of the most sought-after finance options for any business looking for funding.
Usually awarded by the government or a private organisation, grants are essentially free money and, unlike loans or other forms of finance, do not need to be repaid. Their aim is to give small businesses a helping hand.
Here are 10 grants that you could be eligible for.
Innovate UK supports innovative UK businesses to realise the potential of new technologies, develop ideas and make them a commercial success.
While not technically a grant, research and development (R&D) relief can provide free funding if your business is trying to innovate in the science and technology sector.
You can claim this money if you want to research or develop an advance in your field. You can even claim them on projects that weren't successful.
The government is providing up to £210 million worth of voucher funding as immediate help for people experiencing slow broadband speeds in rural areas.
Small businesses can claim £3,500 against the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband connections.
The Prince's Trust offers development awards to help younger people kickstart their business or access training courses.
SEIS is designed to help your company raise money when it's starting to trade. It does this by offering tax relief to individual investors who buy new shares in your company. You can receive a maximum of £150,000 through SEIS investments.
Similar to the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), except EIS is designed to help established businesses raise money to help grow – again, by offering tax relief to individual investors who buy new shares in your company.
You can raise up to £5 million each year, and a maximum of £12 million in your company’s lifetime.
Some types of low-emission vehicles are eligible for a grant from the government, so that you can buy them at a reduced cost.
You do not apply for the grant. The seller includes it as a discount in the purchase price.
If you're a UK business that is currently exporting, you can apply for support to:
exhibit at or attend approved overseas trade shows and conferences
potentially receive grants to cover some costs
You can also apply for support if you're thinking about exporting but aren't currently doing so.
With this scheme, you can get a discount of up to 50% off a list of pre-approved business software, including accounting and customer relationship management programmes, worth up to a maximum of £5,000.
The Community Fund aims to bring a positive impact to local communities by building strong relationships, bringing people together, improving spaces in the local area, and supporting people as they reach their potential.
It contains many types of funds, from smaller grants between £300 and £10,000, to larger funding up to £500,000.
There are different grant options available for small businesses depending on where you live in the UK.
England: There are 38 regional Growth Hubs (led by the Local Enterprise Partnerships) that offer funding and grant support in your local area. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) also promotes available business grants on the GOV.UK website.
Scotland: Find Business Support gives business owners an overview of all funding and services offered by public-sector organisations across Scotland, conveniently in one place.
Wales: The finance locator on the Business Wales website allows you to search for funding and create alerts for finance and support for your business. It also provides helpful tips on the grant application process.
Northern Ireland: The Northern Ireland business support finder is a searchable database that can help you find local publicly-funded and not-for-profit sources of assistance you may be eligible for.
It's also a good idea to look at your local council's website – or simply speak to other business owners in your area. Join an Enterprise Nation local meet-up to connect with them.
Eligibility for grant schemes can vary massively. If your business doesn't meet the criteria for a particular grant scheme, all is not lost; there are other solutions.
Enterprise Nation's Finance Hub delivers personalised finance options for start-ups, small businesses, sole traders, freelancers and other business professionals. Simply answer a few short questions and we'll direct you to relevant resources.
You may also want to take a look at the following guides to help you choose the right type of funding for your business.
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