Finding small business grants in the UK may require research and eligibility will depend on a number of factors. That being said, finding small business funding sources that you don’t have to repay isn’t impossible.
Here is a list we’ve put together to help ease some of your initial research effort when you apply for a scholarship.
What is the difference between a small business grant and a loan?
A small business loan is money for your business that you must pay back within an agreed upon time frame. This is different from a small business grant, which you don’t expect to pay back.
Some grants are offered on the basis that you also need to invest the appropriate amount in your business. For example, if you received a grant of £ 10,000 you would need £ 10,000 to invest too.
Find out what kind of financial aid you are eligible for
Just answer a few quick questions about your company and we’ll tell you which financial assistance programs you may have access to
Small business start-up grants
A range of start-up grants are available depending on the industry you want to get into. For example:
The National Lottery Heritage Fund supports cultural heritage projects that range from designed landscapes to cultural traditions. The National Lottery Grants for Heritage 2021-22 will prioritize projects that will boost the local economy, promote skill development and job creation, and promote wellbeing. Learn more about the National Lottery Business Grant.
Innovate UK provides government grants to “develop and realize the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base”. Read more about the Innovate UK Scholarship.
Tax breaks for research and development Assisting companies that want to make progress or do research in their field (even if the project is unsuccessful). Find out about this type of business grant.
You can also ask your local authority about the grants available in your area and the funding specific to your industry. Local authorities have also managed state grants for small businesses as part of the coronavirus support package, including support grants for local restrictions.
The government’s Business Finance Finder and regional finance portals are a good place to look for this type of business grant.
Small business grants for young people
The Prince’s Trust supports young people aged 18 to 30 in starting and running their own business. In addition to funding and resources, they also offer training and mentoring.
In response to Covid-19, the Prince’s Trust set up a £ 5 million Enterprise Relief Fund last year to provide grants to self-employed and business owners between the ages of 18 and 30 in the UK.
While this is now closed to applications, the Prince’s Trust is running a business course that includes briefing sessions and workshops to help you start your business. You can apply for low interest business loans between £ 500 and £ 5,000. According to the Prince’s Trust, small business grants can be granted under certain circumstances.
If you are an entrepreneur developing a solution to social problems in the UK, visit UnLtd. If you’re 16 years or older, willing to participate in learning and work for the benefit of others, UnLtd can help you get started. They offer “Awards from £ 500 to £ 15,000 in three separate startup packages”.
New Enterprise Allowance
The New Enterprise Allowance gives you mentoring and an allowance if you want to start or develop a business. To be eligible, you must be over 18 years of age and either:
Receive Universal Loan, Unemployment Benefit, or Labor and Support Allowance (or do you have a partner who does)
Be a single parent, sick or disabled parent and receive income support
Your mentor needs to approve your business plan. Thereafter, you can receive an allowance of up to £ 1,274 within 26 weeks. You should speak to your Jobcentre Plus work coach if you would like to apply for the New Enterprise Allowance to start or develop your own business.
Scholarships for hiring an apprentice
You can get government funding to train an apprentice in your small business.
If your payroll is less than £ 3 million a year, you will not pay the education tax. This means that if the apprenticeship started on or after April 1, 2019, you will receive five percent of the cost of training and assessing your apprentice.
The government pays its 95 percent share directly to the training organization. You also pay your share directly according to a payment plan that you agree with the training organization.
Use the government inquiry form to ask the National Apprenticeship Service about the funds available.
The government has also launched the Kickstart program, which funds companies that “create new jobs for 16-24 year olds on universal credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment”.
You can get 100 percent of living wage for a total of 25 hours per week for six months, along with pension and social security contributions. The start dates of the internship can be distributed until the end of December 2021.
Where can I find small business grants in the UK?
Further financial support for your small business will depend on where you are in your country, how big your company is, what industry you are in – and whether you are looking for business start-up grants or funding to grow your business.
You can leverage government finance and support for your online business tool by checking the “Grants” box. You can also filter how long you’ve been trading (useful if you’re just looking for startup grants) by industry, number of employees and region in the UK.
For more information on the grants available in the different countries of the UK, please visit the following portals.
Small business grants in England
The 38 regional growth centers are listed on the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) network’s website. They were formed to provide corporate finance, assistance and advice in their local areas.
They make it easy for business owners to find the support they need by bringing all of the available national and local business support together into one hub.
You can check the LEP Network website for business support that is available in your area.
Small business grants in Scotland
If you are a Scotland resident you may be able to apply for a Scottish Enterprise business grant.
A new funding model will be launched from late February 2021, aiming to create “a simpler, more inclusive funding model that will help create jobs and a greener economy”.
The Scottish Enterprise website also provides information on funding coronavirus-affected companies and information on grants offered by other organizations.
Northern Ireland Small Business Grants
In Enterprise Ireland’s Established SME Financing section, there are several ways you can get financial help for your small business if it is already up and running and you are based in Northern Ireland.
It also offers high potential start-up funding if your business idea “has the potential to develop an innovative product or service for sale in international markets and generate 10 jobs and 1 turnover within 3 years of launch Million euros “.
Small business grants in Wales
If your small business is in Wales, you can use the Welsh Government Funding Locator to find and apply for a variety of grants. Funding sources are:
the Welsh Government
the British government