Update: If you’re looking for business grants available in the USA, check out our newer post here. If you’re in the UK, read on for some of the top grants available.
In this Business Brilliance article we look at business grants, especially business grants available in the UK.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that whenever one plans on starting up a business, financial support holds the utmost value. Not everyone can afford to start their business venture by financing their idea themselves. Hence, this is where business grants come into play. A grant is any sum of money given by an organization for a specific purpose. They could be given by a government body or some private institution when and if they like your idea or you fulfill their criteria. Unlike a loan, the good thing about a grant is you don’t have to return it if you meet your initial objectives.
Looking for a suitable business grant for your startup can be tiresome, especially in the UK. Additionally, many business grants are only eligible for certain types of businesses. Researching business grants that are suitable for you and your business can be time-consuming. Therefore, we have compiled a list of the top 10 grants that have garnered a lot of importance in the UK, according to our findings. They are listed in no specific order below.
The Prince’s Trust Business Grants.
This grant specifically works with young entrepreneurs. It has been operational since 1976 and has been providing funding to young businesspersons. They have an age limit of 18-30 years that you have to meet to secure the funding. You have to fill up an application on their website if you are interested in securing funding or in getting any sort of support from them. The grant itself is divided into the following sectors:
You can find more information about this grant and its important sectors here.
These grants are granted by the Government to young entrepreneurs by providing them work or training. The training lasts for 1-4 years where individuals are imparted practical learning that is mostly needed to secure jobs. Currently, there are different websites depending on the regions of the UK you live in. The websites for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales are linked. To find more information about the grant you can check the main website here.
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
The next grant on our list is the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. The UK Government launched the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme in its efforts to make Britain a fiber-operated country. Under this scheme almost anyone, be it small local businesses, residents, individual businesses, or a group of businesses, can utilize the scheme to counterbalance any charges of installation of a gigabit-capable internet connection. The funding ranges from £500 to £2,500 depending on your status. For general information related to the grant, you can check out their official website here. You can also check your eligibility status by putting your postcode in the checker on the website. The terms and conditions of the grant can be found here.
Seed Enterprise Investment SEIS
Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is not a grant per se, but a tax relief. A Tax Relief is formulated to decrease the tax burden on individuals or businesses. This type of a policy or a scheme is usually crafted by the government for a specific group. In this case, SEIS is formulated so that businesses in the early stages can get investment from investors. Investors can then claim back more than 70% of their total investment through this relief. The companies first have to meet the required SEIS business status and once that is done, they can get investments from interested investors. After the settlement, the companies have to provide a compliance statement to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for them to issue a compliance certificate to the investors. The investors are then able to get the tax reliefs. You can find more information here.
This grant aids entrepreneurs by helping them convert their ideas into products and then even market them. The grant is funded by the European Union and it is headed by Innovate UK. You can find more about them here. The good thing about the Eureka Eurostars’ grant is you can collaborate with partners for funding opportunities on many European projects. However, you have to meet a few set standards, they are as follows:
- You must be a small or medium-sized business operating in the UK.
- You must be willing to work with other companies in the EU.
- You must be working in the tech industry.
If large businesses or companies are interested in becoming a part of the Eureka Eurostars, they would, unfortunately, have to fund their projects themselves. You can find more about Eureka Eurostars here.
With the UK leaving the EU, this grants days may be numbered. If it’s something you think you want to apply for, you’d better do it sooner rather than later.
R&D Tax Credits (business grant for research and development)
The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits are for projects involved in the Science and Technology industry. This grant can be taken by a business that is interested in researching in this field further. The great part is that it can also be claimed on unsuccessful plans. Therefore, if you are planning on starting your business then this grant just might be worth looking into. However, there is a certain criterion that you have to meet, e.g., you should have less than 500 staff members, etc. The application forms for the grant are not that tricky and you can always get help from experts who are well-versed in such forms. You can always find more information on the R&D Tax Credits here.
New Enterprise Allowance
Another important grant on our list is the New Enterprise Allowance and it specifically caters to the unemployed people who are interested in starting their startups. This grant encourages them to start their businesses and earn a living for themselves without being dependent on others in the job market. You can also get a mentor under this grant. The mentor can be any professional that will help you by providing you proper direction and support in the planning and establishing stage of your business. You can find more about the New Enterprise Allowance scheme here.
British Council Grants
The British Council Grant acquires funds through the Newton Fund. The Newton Fund promotes research and innovation collaborations that encourage economic development with its partner countries. You can learn more about the Newton Fund here. The British Council Grants under the Newton Fund provide funding for workshops, travel, and research. This helps promote sustainable development in the collaborating countries. Various programs are held under this fund and they are conducted continuously. There are varying criteria for different countries, according to the program requirements. You can look up more information on the existing Newton Fund programs and their requirements on this page.
Grow It Award
This special grant exists for businessmen aiming to work on social issues. It’s for entrepreneurs focused on taking their initiatives or ventures to the next levels through funding and expert support. You can get free one-to-one training or mentoring of up to 12 months and a grant leading up to £15,000. The funds are focused on creating stronger communities and developing employment opportunities. This award has taken the place of the previous “Fast Growth and Build It Awards” by the UnLtd. UnLtd is a UK charitable organization created for social entrepreneurs. It is set up by seven organizations all working to endorse societal entrepreneurship. To obtain this award you have to meet the requirements set by UnLtd. If you able to secure this award you will also be able to get support from other fellow entrepreneurs. You can find more information about this award here.
The Innovative Medicines Initiative grant provides funding for health and medicinal purposes. The main purpose of IMI is to bring rapid progress in the advancement or development of medicines. It also works to improve the access of patients to these medicines. IMI itself is given to promote small business enterprises, patent organizations, and universities in developing and participating in projects. You can learn more about IMI here on their main website. There are various types of grants offered under different themes of IMI, including Personnel, Other direct costs, Subcontracting, etc. you can find more about them here.
Securing proper funding through a verified channel for your business is one of the biggest concerns for any startup. The important part is finding the right business grant for you and your business that matches all your requirements. These grants can help you in making huge amounts of savings, and will allow you to focus all your energy on other sectors of your business.
Many grants do not come in the shape of cash, some of them for e.g., also gives the entrepreneur a reduction in costs of equipment. The application process is usually quite complex and time-consuming but rest assured, it can be worth it when you see your dreams and ideas come to life. There are many businesses that specialise in grant application writing out there who can help you nail the application.
Good luck! We hope some of these grants can help your business come to life.