It can be easy to assume that a business succeeds only on its own merit, expanding and improving only thanks to the funds it creates by doing what it does best. There are, however, many funding opportunities available for businesses, to help them grow and improve. The most common of these are:
- Loans. Simply take out a loan, from a bank for example, to help fund a special project or equipment or staffing improvements.
- Attract investors. They can put money into a business but will always want something back, usually in the form of a percentage share of your business.
- Apply for a business grant, which will provide financial support without you having to pay it back or lose any control of your business.
Here’s our mini guide to business grants, highlighting the key things you need to know when considering applying for a business grant.
- There are many available to businesses throughout the UK, ranging from a few thousand to tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.
- You won’t have to pay back the majority of grants and you won’t lose any control over how your business operates.
- It can be difficult to find the right grant opportunity for you so be prepared to spend some time searching around.
- Competition is also fierce for business grants and the application process can be lengthy and complicated. Make sure it’s the right grant for you before heading into it and be as thorough as you can be, to give yourself the best chance of being awarded it.
- Sometimes you will have to put some of your own money in, alongside the grant – this can be as much as the grant itself so make sure you read all the small print!
- Grants are generally awarded for very specific things – investment in machinery, for example, or to help fund a particular campaign or training scheme.
- Some grants are for specific types of business, for example agriculture or education, so keep an eye out for niche opportunities.
- Similarly, some grants are only available in certain geographical areas, so look locally as well as nationally.
- The government are especially keen to support small to medium businesses, with under 250 employees, making more opportunities available if you’re in that bracket.
- The status of your business will determine which grants you can apply for, with most being aimed at limited companies, partnerships and sole traders.