150 UK small business grants to apply for right now

UPDATED: Securing grants for your small business or start-up is a constant challenge – but there is help available. Here, we have rounded up a comprehensive list of grants from all over the UK.

These funds are available to SME businesses either within a specified local authority, defined as having fewer than 250 employees or with a turnover of less than £45,000 and a balance sheet totalling less than £39,000.

You will see that many of the funding opportunities are often based on a specific location or sector, or ring-fenced for a certain part of a business, like job creation or making eco-friendly changes. But we explain each grant with the information needed to see if it can apply to your project.

Grants can sometimes be combined with other forms of funding, such as banks, grant makers, crowdfunding platforms and other lenders. In fact, we have teamed up with FundingOptions.com to help you find the right finance for your business. You can find their page here.

Links to each grant can be found in the numbered headings. Please note that due to events in recent years, some of the original grants are no longer available or have been paused. Where possible, these grants have been replaced.

1. The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme

A good source for help with funding is the Prince’s Trust, which offers development awards to help younger people kickstart their business or access training courses.

At present the Trust offers development awards of between £175-£250 for UK residents aged between 16 and 30 who are looking for funds to help with training. They must fit the following criteria:

  • Aged 16 to 30 and living in the UK
  • Studying less than 14 hours a week or not in compulsory education
  • Unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week

Furthermore, development awards can support:

  • Accredited course fees up to Level 3 (A level equivalent)
  • Tools, equipment or uniforms for a job or qualification
  • Job licence fees
  • Transport to a new job until your first pay slip

Development awards can’t support:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Living expenses e.g. rent or bills
  • Business start-up costs
  • Costs for items that have already been paid for
  • Gap year or overseas projects​​​​​​​
  • Level 4 course fees and beyond (i.e. Higher National Certificate​​​​​​ or Diploma)

2. Government apprenticeships

The Government website has lots of info about apprenticeships as well as how to register and use the apprenticeship service. You’ve got different sites for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

3. Innovate UK Smart Grants programme

Innovate UK Smart Grants help deliver ambitious R&D innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy.

Funding rounds are open at various points throughout the year.

4. Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Gigabit vouchers can be used by small businesses to go towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband connections. SMEs can claim £3,500 against the cost of connection. Find out if you’re eligible by using the postcode checker on the website.

5. Other Innovate UK funding opportunities

Innovate UK runs a host of other competitions in more niche areas. Find out more on the website.

6. Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

You’ll have heard of this scheme. It helps start-ups to raise money for their business. You get a maximum of £150,000 including state aid awarded in the three years running up to the date of investment.

Make sure you meet the conditions so investors can claim and keep SEIS tax reliefs relating to their shares. Said tax reliefs will be withheld or withdrawn if you don’t meet these conditions for three years after the investment. The money must be spent within three years of the share issue.

7. Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)

Like the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, except for established businesses.

8. UK Trade Show Programme

UK businesses that are currently exporting can apply for support to:

  • Exhibit at or attend approved overseas trade shows and conferences
  • Potentially receive grants to cover some costs

UK businesses can also apply for support if they’re thinking about exporting but are not currently doing so. The support available through the programme varies. All successful applicants will receive training on successfully exhibiting at:

  • Trade shows in general
  • The specific approved event(s) that they have applied for

Some businesses may also receive a grant of either £2,000 or £4,000 as financial support to cover:

  • Exhibition space costs
  • Stand costs (including design, construction and stand dressing)
  • Conference fees, costs of preparing conference promotional material (where appropriate)

You must not have previously received support to exhibit from the UK Tradeshow Programme. You must:

  • Be exhibiting for the first time or wishing to venture into new markets
  • Be turning over annually between £250,000 to £5m
  • Not have committed to attending the event before applying for support
  • Be actively investigating export opportunities for your own business: having not previously exported, or
  • Having previously exported and wishing to grow exports in new markets

The support available through the programme varies. All eligible applicants will receive training on how to successfully exhibit at overseas trade shows. You must not have previously received any support from the UK Tradeshow Programme.

You must:

  • Be attending a show for the first time or wishing to venture into new markets
  • Be turning over annually between £85,000 to £250,000
  • Not have committed to attending the event before applying for support
  • Be actively investigating export opportunities for your own business:
    • Having not previously exported, or
    • Having previously exported and wishing to grow exports in new markets

Applications must be made at least six weeks before the start of the event.

9. Plug-in grant for low-emission vehicles

You can get a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant the government gives to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers. You do not need to do anything if you want to buy one of these vehicles – the dealer will include the value of the grant in the vehicle’s price.

The maximum grant available for cars is £1,500.

10. R&D Tax Credits

R&D Tax Credits are for innovative projects in science and technology. They can be claimed by firms who want to research or develop an advance in their field. You can even claim it on unsuccessful projects.

You can apply if you have fewer than 500 staff and a turnover of under €100m or balance sheet total under €86m.

11. British Council Grants

British Council Grants fund research, travel and workshops. Have a look at their website for current opportunities.

12. £250,000 Business Boost competition

The Business Boost competition is back! Small businesses can win £250,000 to start or grow their businesses. All you need to do is fill in the online application form. The judges are looking to find out more about your business and what you’d do with the grant money. They’re also interested in companies investing in innovation and that create a positive social impact. Your turnover must not exceed £500,000 a year or have received or £50,000 in private funding in the past two years (not including government grants). The deadline is August 17.

13. Countryside Stewardship

The Countryside Stewardship has 258 grants in total depending on what improvements you want to make to your business and the options can be filtered to your needs.

14. Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG)

Receive a maximum of £30,000 per project for creating multi-purpose woodland.

15. UnLtd Starting Up Award

This is one for entrepreneurs who aim to solve a social issue.

You can apply for up to £15,000 to help you grow along with a support package of one-to-one coaching, training, mentoring and access to networks. They’re focusing their funds on building access to employment, developing resilient communities and finding solutions for an ageing society.

16. £20,000 from LSE Generate

The LSE Generate funding competition runs twice a year, during the Michaelmas and Lent terms. Each competition has three to five winners, who will each take home a share of £20,000 to spend on their ventures.

Both current LSE students and alumni graduates, with no restriction on year of graduation, from the UK and overseas can apply.

New ventures at one of these stages can apply:

  • Pre-launch – You have identified an opportunity and are in the process of developing your market understanding, proposition and initial team.
  • Live – You have an initial team, minimal viable product or service, and are in negotiations with or working with your first customers.

There is no restriction on how many team members you can have for each entry, but you will need to explain the role and contribution of each person.

Previous applicants are eligible, but LSE will be looking for evidence that your idea has developed since your last application. Previous winners are unfortunately not eligible.

17. Heritage Enterprise UK

This fund is for restoring neglected historic buildings and sites. Community organisations can get a grant between £250,000 and £5,000,000.

18. Architectural Heritage Fund

The Architectural Heritage Fund aims to transform high streets and town centres.

Grants vary in different parts of the country, so check what’s available before you apply. Grant totals vary as well, but can be up to £350,000.

19. Wrap grant schemes

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (wrap) manage grants, loans and investments to help increase the use of recycled materials, growing recycling capacity or overcoming specific market failures by acting as a catalyst to encourage other funders to invest. There are grant opportunities available throughout the year.

20. Innovative Medicines Initiative

This firm provides funding for health research and innovation, with opportunities in advanced therapies, voice in cancer clinical trials and more.

21. Emerging Technologies Competition

Each year, we welcome applications from early stage start-ups, spin-outs and academic entrepreneurs who are developing the most novel, innovative and disruptive chemistry tech in each of these four categories:

  • Enabling Technologies
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Health

Following an application round, our judges will carefully review each application and provide helpful feedback. Invaluable publicity and exposure

  • Access to a series of masterclasses to help strengthen your proposition
  • The live pitch final will take place at our hybrid event in London on 7 July 2022 where the judges will select four winners (one per category), each of whom will receive:
  • A cash prize of £20,000
  • Assigned co-mentors to provide ongoing support and advice for one year
    • We are currently seeking mentors if you are interested please read the information below
  • A business acceleration grant of up to £20,000 for UK incorporated companies
  • Wider support and advice from our competition partners and judges during the final

22. UnLtd Scaling Up Award

Administered by UnLtd, who also give out the Grow It Award above, Do It will help you start your social enterprise. Alongside giving you £5,000 to build your social venture, they’ll give you access to training and events, and assign you a dedicated award manager (an expert in helping social entrepreneurs to start and grow). The award manager will be there to coach you and support you to achieve your goals.

23. CRACK IT Challenges

A challenge-led competition that funds collaborations between industry, academics and SMEs to solve business and scientific challenges which will deliver scientific benefits, either by improving business processes or developing a commercial product. Depending on the challenge, contracts of up to £1m for up to three years are available.

24. Help to Grow: Digital

The Help to Grow: Digital learning platform will provide free, impartial information and advice to help you adopt the right technology for your business and employees.

This platform brings together guidance on how to choose and use digital software to grow your business.

After answering a few questions, you will be directed to tailored information for your business. You’ll then be able to access guides on how to identify the best digital software to achieve your business goals. You can also hear from other businesses who have successfully transformed their operations using the same digital software.

What’s more, discounts worth up to £5,000 will be available to help you buy the right productivity software for your business.

Discounts will cover up to 50 per cent of the software cost and are available to help you purchase customer relationship management software and accountancy software.

Business Grants England

25. Commercial grant, Birmingham

A £10.05m Commercial Grant has been established to support SMEs (Small to Medium-sized Enterprises). This Fund has been designed to offer financial support to all Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) within West Midlands Region towards meeting the required Euro standards.

The Commercial Grant will be administered in accordance with the Subsidy Control Regime

Eligibility criteria:

  1. Business must be an SME actively trading for more than twelve months
  2. Business must own or lease Heavy Duty Vehicle(s) or a Light Goods Vehicles (s) that are non-compliant with the Clean Air Zone emission standards
  3. Business must be able to evidence the frequency of entry to the Clean Air Zone based on current commercial operations

Grant package:

The total grant package for each SME is up to £180,000.

  • For Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV)– (N2, N3, & M3)
    • Up to a maximum of £15,000 per vehicle towards purchase, lease or retrofit solution
  • For Light Goods Vehicle (LGV) – (N1)
    • Grant per vehicle will be up to 35 per cent of the cost of the upgrade up to a maximum grant amount of £4,000 per vehicle towards purchase, lease or retrofit solution

Before applying, you should read the Commercial Grant outline criteria and our Clean Air Zone incentive schemes privacy notice.

26. Adur and Worthing small business grants

Adur council is offering a growth grant and an apprenticeship grant. The Small Business Growth Grant is open to micro businesses with up to ten employees to encourage growth and expansion of the local economy. There’s a grant of up to £2,500 available, with a 50 per cent match funding contribution required.

The Apprenticeship Grants are available to individual businesses of up to 50 employees and pays out £1,000 per apprentice. Each individual business can apply for up to two grants.

The Worthing grant fund is now fully committed and not accepting new applications.

27. DRIVEN programme, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire 

The DRIVEN programme provides funding and support to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, to help recruit graduates and students. The Driven programme is to support SMEs to access and retain our student and graduate talent. It’s been running since 2018 and has been extended until the end of 2023.

Employ a graduate for at least 400 hours over three months and we will pay £1000 towards the cost. It can be a one-off temporary role or the subsidy can be put towards a full-time, permanent graduate role. You can use this offer multiple times and are welcome to apply for the fully-funded 80-hour internships too.

We also offer a full recruitment service for free, which includes advertising the role, reviewing applications and shortlisting, as well as supporting with interviews, if required.

We will pay your company the subsidy once the 400 hours have been completed.

Under this scheme, your business could receive 80 hours’ work experience from a student or graduate of the University, at no cost to you. Again, we provide free recruitment support including advertising the role, reviewing applications and shortlisting, as well as supporting with interviews, if required.

All you need is to be an SME in the Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire area.

28. Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) vouchers

Access Vouchers allow businesses access to AUB’s world-class facilities, which include SLS 3D printing, CNC routing, three and five axis CNC milling for prototyping and testing. They also enable businesses to work with our talented staff and students on solutions to their design problems.

The university also facilitates match-funded Innovation Vouchers which support businesses undertaking Research and Innovation projects. Recipients can claim back up to 50 per cent of their financial investment in small research projects.

Vouchers are supported by workshop events that allow businesses to develop new skills, experiment with new equipment and make contacts with like-minded businesses across the region. For example, our Meet the Maker workshops are run in conjunction with local business and focus on applications of technology and design theory. Such as the Introduction to 3D printing in collaboration with industrial designer Studio Wood and experts at our Museum of Design in Plastics.

29. New Anglia Small Grants Scheme 

The New Anglia LEP is awarding grants between £1,000 and £25,000 to entrepreneurs who want to grow their business. These would normally cover up to 20 per cent of your total project costs.

30. Scarborough business start-up grant

There are two grants available in Scarborough.

Business start-up grants

Start-up grants are targeted at new start-ups and businesses less than 18 months old with no more than ten employees. Applications can be made for assistance towards the cost of necessary equipment and machinery (excluding vehicles and consumables e.g. stationery), the extension, adaptation or improvement of facilities within the premises and marketing, where it forms part of a promotional programme which is likely to lead to new jobs.

The maximum amount of grant assistance is up to £1,000 to any one concern in any one financial year.

Grants are awarded at the absolute discretion of Scarborough Borough Council.

31. Sterling Road The North West grant

Sterling Road’s North West Grant gives £1,000 to 25 teams per year.

The grant is focused on founders based in the North West of England, you can apply with any idea but most grants will go to software projects and traditionally overlooked founders.

The application shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes to complete and Sterling Road will aim to give applicants a response within 30 days.

32. I-Construct

Haven Gateway Partnership runs I-Construct (Innovation in Construction). This ERDF-funded grant is for SMEs who are looking for opportunities in the construction market. It aims to help them develop new products and services which offer benefits the sector such as improving productivity and sustainability.

You get one of the following options:


  • Nine hours of free 1:1 business mentoring and advice from I-Construct’s industry experts
  • Grant funding between £1,000 and £20,000 to fund 30 per cent of the development and launch of a new product or service


  • In partnership with BRE, the Building Research Establishment. SMEs developing new to the market products and services can access technical and professional expertise to help them to launch, by providing market readiness analysis and introductions to wider industry connections (worth £1,200)

Market readiness

  • The I-Construct Enterprise Readiness events programme is for innovators and entrepreneurs. This free series will help you get from product or service ideation to business launch through over 12 hours of free support

33. Devon and Somerset Mobile Boost scheme 

Connecting Devon and Somerset’s (CDS) Mobile Boost scheme, has been designed to help small businesses and households who currently have good outdoor but poor indoor mobile coverage.

The initiative, which is being funded through the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s (HotSWLEP) Growth Deal, aims to improve the quality of mobile phone calls and connectivity. It’s targeting small businesses and households in rural communities who currently have inadequate coverage, or have access to only one provider and are currently struggling with connectivity.

Businesses and households can apply for a voucher of up to £1,200 towards the cost of a mobile signal booster from a registered supplier. The value of the voucher will be dependent on the type of technology most suitable for the premises.

There are now three options of equipment available – these are a 4G booster and two models of “signal repeaters” which repeat the outdoor signal indoors. Suppliers will be able to advise on the most appropriate option.

Businesses and residents applying through the scheme will be required to make a contribution to cover the cost of installation. Depending on the option chosen, this will range from a one-off fee from around £200 to a monthly fee for a SIM card (averaging around £30 a month).

Applications close at 5pm on Friday November 11, 2022.

34. ISfB: Go-Create grants, Oxford

Go-Create Grants are offered as part of the Innovation Support for Business (ISfB) Phase 2 programme. Go-Create Grants are available on a competitive basis from £1,000 to £50,000 and are available to eligible small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Examples of innovation projects might include:

  • Investment in product and service development
  • Technological and applied research
  • Developing pilot lines
  • Early product validation actions
  • Supporting advance manufacturing capabilities
  • First production

Applications are submitted all year round with regular deadlines throughout the year.

35. Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme

The purpose of these grants is to invest in equipment that cuts down on carbon emissions within your business. Warwickshire District Council will fund up to 40 per cent, providing grants between £1,000 and £20,000. The grants are for installing energy efficient equipment like LED controls and renewable technologies. Apply before June 2023.

36. Low Carbon Innovation Grants, Warwickshire

Low Carbon Innovation Grants helps companies to develop a low carbon product or invest in low carbon technology. Again, the council will cover 40 per cent of improvements, providing funding between £1,000 and £20,000. It’s intended for energy efficient upgrades and putting eco-friendly waste management systems in place.

37. Low Carbon Revenue Grants, Warwickshire

These grants aim to commercialise low carbon products either new to the company or to the general market. Once again, it’s 40 per cent cover but with a maximum £6,000 funding. It covers things like market research, software and manufacturing consultancy as well as intellectual property protection and certifications.

38. East Sussex Invest 8 (ESI8)

This grant is funded by the East Sussex County Council and Regional Growth Fund. Grants range from £10,000 to £25,000 but you’ll need minimum match funding of 60 per cent.

There’s also a £1,500 grant for a newly accredited apprentice position. It’s a one-off payment with no match or evidence of spend necessary.

39. Tees Valley Business Growth Fund

If you’re an SME based in the Tees Valley with plans to grow or take on more employees, then you may be eligible to access grant funding through the Tees Valley Business Growth Fund.

You could access up to 55 per cent grant funding for business improvement projects.

Support could be given to the following:

  • Tools or machinery
  • Computer equipment
  • Premises improvement or expansion – capital works and equipment
  • External consultancy
  • Business growth planning
  • Strategy development
  • HR strategy and development
  • Marketing plans and activities
  • Website design and development
  • Product or process development and diversification
  • Financial planning
  • Development of systems and procedures

Fill out a form online to see if you can get support.

40. Locate East Sussex

Locate East Sussex provides support and access to funding for local businesses to promote growth, including grants between £10,000 and £25,000.

41. Business boost grants, Elmbridge

The business boost grants can help your business with:

  • Up to £2,000 available in grant support to help businesses improve their shop fronts or signage
  • Up to £2,000 available in grant support to help bring a shop that has been empty for at least three months back into commercial use
  • Up to £1,000 to help town or village wide projects to drive new footfall, investment, streetscene improvements or sustainability

All applications require at least 50 per cent match funding and three quotes for each element

42. Elmbridge Start-Up Fund

This is a one-off grant up to £1,000 (up to 50 per cent of eligible cost) to go towards start-up costs, such as marketing or buying equipment. You’ll need quotes from traders and a business plan which includes a sustainability section.

43. Digital High Street Fund, Elmbridge

The Elmbridge Digital High Street Fund (EDHSF) offers grants to help independent high street retailers to establish or upgrade e-commerce websites.

Funding of up to 50 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of £1,500, is available to independent high street retailers located within the defined primary or secondary frontage of Elmbridge town centres and high streets.

44. Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP), Worcestershire County

Worcestershire County are providing free energy and resource efficiency reviews as well as grants up to £20,000. They’re available to SMEs throughout Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire. A minimum energy spend applies.

45. Productivity through Innovation grant

This grant is for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across a wide range of industries and sectors in the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire area (D2N2).

The programme is particularly interested in working with research-active companies looking to work with universities on innovative research projects. The programme is not suitable for new start-up businesses.

The support includes:

  • Up to four fully-funded 200-hour postgraduate placements
  • Up to five days of consultancy from academic experts for technical interventions including prototyping and testing
  • A 20 per cent – 30 per cent grant towards the salary of a graduate for up to 12 months
  • Funding towards bespoke collaborative research carried out by a postgraduate student and supervised by an academic

To find out more about the programme and eligibility, contact ppnenquiries@nottingham.ac.uk

46. Business Growth and Digital Growth Grants (GLLEP)

Business Lincolnshire is awarding grants to SMEs looking to increase turnover or create jobs. It can contribute between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of your overall costs, ranging from £1,000 to £5,000. Your firm must be based in the Greater Lincolnshire area and your grant activity proposal must be agreed with a Business Lincolnshire adviser.

Applications can be for a capital or revenue grant.

They’re available through the Lincolnshire Growth Hub Business Growth Grant (Enterprise), for purchasing equipment, software and specialist consultancy support.

47. Scarborough expansion grants

Expansion grants are aimed at assisting both existing businesses in the Borough who may be looking to strengthen their market position or expand into new markets as well as new businesses attracted into the area. The grant is primarily targeted at revenue schemes rather than capital projects and will be based on a specific need being identified through the development of business plan and evidence of job creation.

The maximum amount of grant assistance is up to £5,000 to any one concern in any one financial year.

The council’s priorities and objectives are:

  • New jobs created
  • Increased educational attainment
  • Enhance cultural provision
  • Diversify economic base of the area
  • Enhance tourism sector to increase visitor expenditure
  • Target action within economically and socially disadvantaged areas
  • Reduction in welfare dependency
  • Enhance environment
  • Improve connectivity / create technologically smart towns
  • Improve skills and educational attainment


  • You may only apply for assistance under either the Business Start-Up or Business Expansion scheme
  • Any grant awarded will be for 50 per cent of expenditure within the limits of the grant amount. E.g. If you are awarded a grant of £500, you would need to spend £1000 to claim back the £500 grant
  • Grants are claimed back retrospectively by submitting receipts/invoices and copy bank statements detailing the eligible expenditure
  • Applicants with outstanding liabilities to Scarborough Borough Council cannot be considered for a business grant
  • Grants are awarded at the absolute discretion of Scarborough Borough Council

48. Warwickshire County Council Growth Fund – Small Capital Grants

Warwickshire County Council is offering grants to small businesses who have growth plans. Grants of £5,000 to £35,000 are available to small and micro businesses for capital projects.

49. Premises Improvement Grants, Pendle

At present, there’s only one grant available through Pendle Borough Council: Premises Improvement Grants.

These grants provide assistance of up to 50 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of £3,000 (or £1,500 maximum in West Craven). It applies to eligible buildings which are occupied by commercial users and are located within Pendle and town centre boundaries. It also covers redundant commercial properties within and immediately adjacent to the town centre planning boundaries.

50. UK Seafood Fund

The UK Seafood Fund is a £100m fund set up to support the long term future and sustainability of the UK fisheries and seafood sector.

The fund is managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The UK Seafood Fund consists of a number of schemes that come under 3 areas of funding:

  • Science and innovation
  • Infrastructure
  • Skills and training

Apply using the link above.

51. BIC Staffordshire grant

Grants of up to £9,000 (37 per cent intervention) are available through BIC Staffordshire. It can fund external specialist support to help you research, protect, develop and launch to market a new product or service.

The grant can be used to pay for external specialist advice in areas such as IPR strategy, proof of concept, product design and development, IT support, software development, financial advice, testing and a marketing strategy for a new product, process or service.

52. Independent Retailer Grant

Provided by Test Valley Borough Council, the Independent Retailer Grant supplies £1,200 to encourage independently owned retailers to take up vacant space in Romsey and Andover.

It’s open to new or existing businesses moving into ground floor premises which have been vacant for at least one month in the primary shopping areas of Andover and Romsey.

53. Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk

Grants under this scheme are intended to reduce the risk faced by some of the most historic sites within England, according to the Heritage at Risk Register. You can apply for a grant at any time during the year and Historic England will aim to get you a response within six months.

54. Small Business Grant Scheme, Crawley

Available to Crawley-based businesses in need of start-up funds or existing businesses looking to grow. You must be based in Crawley and have fewer than 50 employees. On top of that, you’ll need to match fund by at least 50 per cent.

The maximum grant available is £4,000 and it’s available until the pot has run out.

55. FEAST2, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South East Midlands

The Food & Drink Forum, in partnership with The Mallows Company, has secured ERDF funding to offer a range of useful services to food and drink manufacturers.

Grant funding is available to eligible businesses looking to purchase production equipment to purchase equipment or take on further training or mentoring. The FEAST2 project can offer businesses up to 25 per cent of grant funding to support these purchases, though certain conditions apply.

Businesses will be required to complete and submit a grant application form together with three quotes for each piece of equipment.

56. Future Focus, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

If you sign up to the Future Focus programme you can access:

  • Growth and Innovation Planning Online Sessions
  • Labs and Trips
  • Bespoke Business Research from The University of Exeterto give your business a competitive edge
  • Grants to purchase items help you innovate
  • Specialist coaching to give you deeper understanding of specific topics
  • Recruitment support including potential salary subsidy

As part of this programme, the University of Exeter aims to help Cornish businesses explore the relationship between business and the environment, to move to a more environmentally sensitive, ethically responsible and circular way of running your business.

Through the programme, we’ll provide the hard facts about how a business can change its impact for the better through academic lead workshops; engaging events on sustainability, the environment, net zero and circular economy; funded research and development unique to each business and one-to-one support plus grants, jobs support and more.

You can get in touch on the website.

57. Malvern Hills Enterprise Scheme

The Enterprise Scheme aims to support new and young businesses. The scheme will encourage the occupation of vacant commercial premises, help regenerate town centres, stimulate entrepreneurship, create new jobs and enhance the sustainability of new businesses.

Pre-start and new businesses trading for less than 36 months can apply for a grant of up to £500 or £1,000 if they meet the following criteria:

  • The business is in or moving into premises that are liable to business rates
  • The business employs or will employ two or more FTE employees (in addition to the applicant)
  • The business operates in the low carbon economy
  • The grant will be used towards expenditure that supports the business’ environmental sustainability

58. Reigate and Banstead Business Support Grant

Nab an ongoing grant of up to £1,000 from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council with a free year membership of Enterprise Nation thrown in. It’s open to businesses looking to start, develop or grow. You must be based in the borough and have fewer than four employees.

59. NBV Grant for New Businesses, Nottinghamshire

The NBV grant is for businesses based in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Greater Lincolnshire. Grants between £1,000 and £2,500 are available and your project spend must be a minimum of £4,000.

60. Get Growing 2, Hertfordshire 

Hertfordshire Growth Hub’s Get Growing 2 service supports local businesses that are ready to grow again. It is fully funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and offers a package of tailored support to businesses, helping them to become more profitable, competitive and grow.

To be eligible for this support you must:

  • Be an established SME (including third sector organisations, social enterprises, and trading charities) in Hertfordshire
  • Have five or more full-time equivalent employees
  • Be able to demonstrate potential for growth
  • Or be able to demonstrate potential for growth following support to stabilise the business and help minimise the impact of Covid-19

Eligible businesses are supported by an experienced growth account manager. They will work closely together reviewing all aspects of the business, looking at the challenges and opportunities that exist to produce a realistic growth plan for the business. Areas where additional support will benefit the business are also identified, as well as providing access to all the benefits that our website has to offer, including on-demand videos and live webinars.

For more information, please email enquiries@hertsgrowthhub.com

61. DIT Internalisation Fund

The Department for International Trade has launched a European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) for eligible East Midlands businesses. Match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available for future activity.

• Your company must be a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) with up to 250 employees
• No more than 25 per cent of the business is owned by an enterprise which is not a SME
• Annual turnover does not exceed €50m or annual balance sheet does not exceed €43m

The funding can be used to support areas including (but not exclusively limited to):

• Market research
• IP advice
• Translation services
• International social media/SEO
• Trade fairs (where no TAP funding is available)
• Independent market visits
• Consultancy and other international commercial services

62. Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) grants scheme

The CITB has grants and funding schemes available throughout England.

63. The West Lindsey Feasibility Fund (formerly the Gainsborough Feasibility Fund)

The WLFF helps businesses with professional fees and technical survey work associated with development and growth. It will award grants of up to £5,000 but you’ll need to provide 50 per cent match funding.

64. Business Growth Grant, Worcester City

You can land a grant between £1,000 and £3,000 which must be match-funded at least pound for pound. So, your project will need to cost a minimum of £2,000. You must have been trading for more than one year.

65. Tees Valley Apprenticeship Support Grant

The grant supports SMEs who create Apprenticeships in sectors facing high demand and growth from employers as identified in the Tees Valley Strategic Economic Plan.

The priority sectors being supported by the grant are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Process, Chemicals and Energy
  • Logistics
  • Health and Biologics
  • Digital and Creative
  • Business and Professional Services
  • Construction
  • Health Care
  • Culture and Leisure
  • Education

Apprenticeship Support Grant is available to SMEs identified by Tees Valley Combined Authority as being in one of the above priority sectors:

  • Apprentices Aged 16-18 – grant of £3,000 is available
  • Apprentices Aged 19+ – grant of £2,000 is available

For any employers who do not fall into one of the above Priority Sectors, the following Grant is available:

  • Apprentices Aged 19+ – grant of £500 is available

66. North of Tyne Growth Fund

The North of Tyne Growth Fund is a £4.6m programme of investment part-funded by ERDF that supports SME growth.

You could be eligible for a grant of up to 30 per cent of expenditure if you are an SME planning capital investment of at least £67,000 and expanding or establishing in Newcastle, Tyneside or Northumberland.

67. South East Business Boost (SEBB), East Sussex, Kent, Essex

Open to businesses across the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, with firms looking to secure a grant of £1,000-£10,000 on a project costing between £3,334 and £35,000. The programme can cover 30 per cent of the costs of qualifying projects with the remaining amount covered by you. Please note that these grants are now very limited.

68. Manufacturing Growth Programme

The Manufacturing Growth Programme supports manufacturing in the UK. It’s part of a whole package – a manufacturing growth manager who will provide on-going support, identify opportunities and plans for growth plans and you’ll work with experts to implement those plans. The grant covers a percentage of the cost, plus connection to wider support. You must be able to demonstrate that you have plans to improve and grow the business.

Grant values are specific to each business application. Maximum project value of £10,000 with a minimum grant value of £1,000. Capital grants are available and will be considered for exceptional cases (subject to panel approval).

69. University of Bedfordshire Growth Curve 

Growth Curve is a fully funded programme for high growth businesses based in the South East Midlands, providing a combination of support including grants.

  • Businesses registered in the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) area
  • Businesses experiencing or projecting high growth in the next 2-3 years
  • Businesses with 3 – 250 employees
  • Businesses with current annual turnover of £200,000, and projected 20% annual growth minimum

70. New Anglia Growth Through Innovation Fund

Grants between £1,000 and £25,000 are available to help your business invest in innovation, research and development.

The grant can pay up to 50 per cent of the total eligible costs of your projects.

71. Mansfield business grant schemes

Mansfield Council has a selection of business grant schemes, offering up to £2,500.

72. Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

NPIF provides funding throughout north of England through microfinance, debt and equity funds.

They’re broken down like so: Microfinance (£25k-£100K) Debt Finance (£100k-£750k) and Equity Finance (£50k-£2m)

73. Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Grants for Growth

These grant funds can be used to expand your premises and buy plant, machinery and equipment. The city council supplies capital grants between £10,000 and £100,000 on a variable intervention rate between 10 per cent and 30 per cent.

To qualify for a £10,000 grant, your project costs must total at least £35,000.

74. Buckingham Business First Grants and Vouchers

Buckinghamshire have a plethora of options for grants for manufacturing, growth, innovation and other areas. Check Buckinghamshire Business First to see what’s available.

75. Cumbria Infrastructure Fund

Part of the Growing Places initiative, the Cumbria Infrastructure Fund supports infrastructure projects which unlock development, creating jobs and homes in Cumbria. Contact the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership for more info.

76. LEAP small business grants, Horsham district 

LEAP grants are a small injection of funding of up to £2,000 aimed at start-ups and small businesses based in the Horsham District, with less than 20 FTE employees. You will need to match fund the grant funding by contributing towards 25 per cent of your total project cost with your own investment.

In order to apply, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Registered with Companies House or HMRC
  • Less than 20 employees (FTE)
  • Located in Horsham District
  • 25 per cent match funding
  • Must have a fully costed, three-year business plan

Applying is easy. All you need to do is fill in our online application form and include the following:

  • Details of the project you are applying for and how it will help establish your business or enable your business to adapt to change.
  • The timescale of the project you are intending to use the funding for. Please note that successful applicants will be given a three-month window to complete their projects.
  • A breakdown of how you will use the grant, plus your own financial contributions. Use our LEAP Grant project expenditure sheet to do this.
  • Your fully costed, three-year business plan. If you require a business plan template and advice, please visit the Government website. You can also watch our Help to write a business plan video, below, and find more useful links on our Start Up Local page.

LEAP is currently open to applications and will close on Wednesday November 30, 2022, or earlier if all funds are allocated.

Appraisal panel meetings are held every four weeks, therefore applicants are notified of a decision within four weeks of submitting their application.

If funding remains after this tranche, another tranche of funding will run from January 3 2023 until February 28 2023.

To make sure you’re the first to know when the next LEAP funding round opens, sign up to Horsham’s Business email newsletter.

If you have any queries, contact the Economic Development Team at BusinessDevelopment@horsham.gov.uk

77. Made Smarter, West of England 

Fully funded bespoke assessment, delivered by the National Composites Centre, enabling SMEs to see the benefits industrial digital technologies can offer their business.

Eligible businesses will be able to access match funded grants for SMEs to invest in digital technology hardware or software and/or specialist advice to implement projects.

Eligible businesses will be able to access leadership & management training, & student internships, delivered by the University of the West of England, to ready your workforce for a digital future.


  • You are a manufacturing organisation
  • You are a small and medium-sized organisation and have fewer than 250 employees
  • You are based in the West of England (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol or South Gloucestershire)
  • You are able to provide funding towards financial and skills support measures

Businesses that are likely to get the most value out of this programme will have a minimum of two employees and a turnover of at least £75,000.

78. The Supplier Skills Programme

Part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and managed by Birmingham City Council (BCC), the Supplier Skills Programme (SSP) is aimed at existing small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking to upskill new and existing employees.

SSP responds directly to the skills and training needs identified by SMEs for their employees, thereby offering SMEs what they want and at the time they need It, in order to implement their skills and growth plans.

Training grants of up to a maximum of £50,000 per SME are available and training will be funded 50 per cent by the SME and 50 per cent by the European Social Fund grant.

SSP operates on a funding round basis, with rounds being held every quarter until programme closure in December 2023 (subject to availability of grant funding).

79. PROmoting SME Product Enhancement and Research (PROSPER), Leicester

Managed by The iNet and based at Loughborough University PROSPER will make it easier for SMEs to accelerate their development and implementation of new products, processes and services, as well as working with UK research institutes. The programme will operate from January 2020 through to March 2023.

Businesses must be based in Leicester & Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership area (LLEP) and be engaged in the general area of one of LLEP’s priority sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing and engineering
  • Creative industries
  • Food and drink manufacturing
  • Logistics and distribution
  • Low carbon technologies
  • Textile manufacturing
  • Health and medical technologies
  • Space and Space enabled technologies
  • Scientific and technical services

The support includes a mixture of:

  • Financial Support:part-funding (grant) towards external costs of innovation and product development projects
  • Non-financial support:fully funded access to expertise at Loughborough University

A key justification for PROSPER grant support is that the project is aiming to develop a new product or service. This includes process innovation if the process contributes to the development of a product or service.

Grant applications must show how the external costs are required for the development of a named product/service. You must own the rights to the product/service and not be something you are developing on behalf of a specific client.

Products or services are new if you do not already produce a product with the same functionality or the production technology is fundamentally different from the technology of already produced products.

The type of activity that may be funded is likely to involve some elements of:

  • Developing new products and services and bringing these to market – e.g. design, prototyping, feasibility, proof-of concept, certification, pilots/trials
  • Adapting existing products, systems and processes for use in different applications – e.g. adapting marine vessel
  • corrosion protection systems for use on off-shore structures
    • Introducing/developing new processes or materials that lead to new or significantly enhanced products and services
  • Eligible forms of Capital Expenditure (items £5,000 and over) include:
    • New production and prototyping equipment
    • Laboratory and production/product testing and measurement equipment
    • Large component parts of prototype

Funding is subject to availability and is paid at a rate of up to 30 per cent for eligible capital costs, up to a spend of £80,000 (i.e. maximum grant is 30 per cent of £80,000), up to 31 per cent for eligible revenue costs, up to a spend of £20,000 (i.e. maximum grant is 31 per cent of £20,000), there is no minimum spend.

80. Eden Tourism Grants

Eden Tourism offers a small tourism marketing grant for tourism related projects in the Eden District. There is a maximum of £500 available per project. Applications can be made at any time throughout the year.

Application details are on the Eden Tourism site linked above.

81. Low Carbon Workspaces

Low Carbon Workspaces is supplying funds between £1,000 and £6,750 for businesses to take on green initiatives like double glazing, LED lighting and smart heating. It’s open to SMEs in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire.

82. SME Energy Efficiency Scheme, Tees Valley 

If you are an SME based in the Tees Valley, we can support you with a fully funded energy efficiency audit and expert advice. You could also be eligible for a SMEES grant to help you with the upfront costs of your energy saving project.

Following your energy audit, if your business has an idea for a project which would result in significant carbon savings, you could be eligible for a SMEES grant to claim back up to 45 per cent of the upfront capital costs.

Example projects could include the installation of LED lighting, the upgrading to heat pumps or investments in renewable energy sources.

Grants are not automatic, and our team of technical specialists will calculate the emissions savings expected to be generated by your project using the approved BEIS 2017 conversion factors. Grants will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, but predominantly, projects with capital costs between £10,000 and £100,000 will be most likely to receive funding, subject to significant carbon savings.

83. New Growth Grant, Dorset

£5,000 – £10,000 to facilitate business growth, covering 25 per cent of eligible project costs. The funding is open for projects that will be finishing by December 2022.  Register on the Dorset Growth Hub website.

84. Arrow: Supporting Innovation in the North East

If your business innovation aim is to develop a new product or service, access new markets or gain market share, Arrow can provide access to academics, innovators and experts to help you innovate within your business. It can provide support for:

  • Innovation support for start-ups
  • Help with research and development
  • Proof of concept and validation
  • Specialist data science expertise
  • Access to high-quality research facilities and equipment

Arrow can accept enquiries until October 31 2022.

85. South East Business Boost

If you are a small or medium enterprise looking to grow in East Sussex, Essex, Kent or Medway, you could be eligible for free in-depth business support and access to exclusive growth grant funding to help you on the way.

The South East Business Boost (SEBB) programme provides free support to start ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the South East Local Enterprise Partnership area so that they can expand.

Funding is available up to a maximum contribution of 30 per cent. Growth Grants range from £1,000 to £10,000.

At time of updating (October 2022), fewer than 100 grants are available.

86. Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund

The Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund wants to support ‘relatively significant’ projects with a value of around £10,000, which would warrant a grant of around £3,00. It’ll fund 30 per cent of your project. Again, those projects that lead to job creation and increased productivity are most desirable.

87. Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Revenue Grant

Provided by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, small businesses based in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire can get £1,000 revenue grants which must be matched by at least £667 of your own funding. Your business must have been trading for 12 months or more, have fewer than 250 employees and at least 70 per cent of your sales must be derived from business to business (B2B).

Typical expenditure would include:

  • Product design and development
  • Specialist consultancy
  • Consultancy costs to build or improve a website

88. Key Fund for Social and Community Businesses, East Midlands

Key Fund is one for socially driven businesses with community at their heart. You’ll get support with your application plus flexible grant and loan packages. Investment of up to £150,000 for community and social enterprises operating in the North of England and the Midlands.

89. Medilink Solstice, Leicester

Medilink Solstice is aimed at businesses in the life sciences sector who are based in the Leicester LEP area.

You’ve got three grants to choose from:

  • Innovation Support Grants (up to £20,000)
  • Med Tech Trials Grants (up to £50,000)
  • Specialist Networking Grants (up to £3,000)

90. Green Port Hull

This one’s open to businesses in the green tech, low carbon and renewable energy sectors, with grants starting from £10,000 available. Your aim should be to increase productivity, skills and employment.

You can use the money in the following areas:

  • Launch a new business
  • Modernise, expand or re-organise an existing business
  • Upgrade a business by introducing innovative new technology or processes
  • Take a new product from development to production

91. Ad:venture Growth Grant

Start Up West Yorkshire has a comprehensive business programme for businesses who have been actively trading for less than 12 months.

Start Up West Yorkshire will help you achieve your business goals, through mentoring, 121 support, webinars and workshops as well as events and development opportunities.

You’ll be matched with an expert business advisor to help you navigate the world of self-employment, and alongside your work with them, they’ll give you access to a range of exclusive webinars to help you on your way.

To be eligible for Start Up West Yorkshire, you must be:

  • A resident of West Yorkshire
  • Interested in setting up your own business or have a business that has been actively trading for less than 12 months
  • Aged 18 or over

To register onto the programme, it’s easy! All you need to do is complete the registration form on the website or call on 03301 755 759.

92. Business Energy Efficiency Programme, West Midlands

This programme covers SMEs in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin who could get a grant up to £20,000.

93. Business Growth Programme 2, Solihull

This fund is currently over-subscribed and being review for a potential return at a later date.

BGP2 offers grants of £2,500 to £1,000,000 and is designed to strengthen supply chains, stimulate innovation and help businesses grow. The programme is available to:

  • Start-Up B2B Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) moving into or located in The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership area only
  • Existing B2B SMEs moving into or located in The Greater Birmingham and Solihull and The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership areas

Grant funding is limited and subject to availability, with various funding rounds running throughout the year.

94. Leicester Business Growth Grant

This grant project supports small and medium-sized enterprises that have been trading business-to-business for at least 12 months in Leicester and Leicestershire who are looking to grow or develop their business. Grants from £2,000 up to £25,000 are available providing 35 per cent towards the cost of capital projects (e.g. new machinery, tools, premises improvement or expansion).

95. Conservation grant scheme, Howardian Hills

This one is a Yorkshire-based grant for community infrastructure projects and countryside conservation work in the Howardian Hills Area of Natural Beauty (AONB).

Assistance normally sits in the 30-75 per cent range but with this scheme you may be funded 100 per cent of your project.

96. Energy for Business, Nottinghamshire

Energy for Business has grants up to £10,000. They’re aimed at businesses in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire or Leicestershire who improve energy, reduce emissions or are introducing sustainable technologies. The organisation will fund 40 per cent, up to £10,000.

You’ve got a few conditions to bear in mind. The minimum project cost must be £2,500 and the maximum £24,999 – you’ll be given the grant once the work is completed.

97. LCR Future Energy, Liverpool

LCR is offering grants of up to £7,500 for SMEs in the Liverpool City Region to enter or grow in the renewable energy supply chain.

98. The DE-Carbonise Project

The DE-Carbonise project aims to help small and medium sized-businesses (SMEs) based in Derby and Derbyshire to:

  1. Reduce carbon emissions
  2. Save costs
  3. Become more sustainable

The project also provides advice, support and funding to enable businesses to:

  • Develop and implement lower carbon business processes
  • Use renewable energy generating technologies
  • Develop lower carbon products

DE-Carbonise is a partnership between the University of Derby, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. Support from the project is available until October 2022.

Please submit an expression of interest to discuss further.

99. Wenta grants

Social enterprise, Wenta, provides access to grants for businesses in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Enfield. It can offer up to £3,000 via business support programmes. Find out more through its website.

100. Growth Deal funding, Black Country

The Growth Deal aims to drive business growth, give people new skills, test new innovations, invest in transport infrastructure and regenerate key sites for employment in the Black Country. It wants to maximise the economic impact of growth opportunities from the automotive, aerospace and construction sectors which prominent manufacturing areas in the Black Country. Funding is awarded on a case-by-case basis.

The only grant available is the Site Investigation Fund, aimed at private sector landowners seeking to de-risk and address uncertainty on their sites.

101. Big House Elevator Grant

SMEs in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire can apply for Elevator grants to hire talent. They must be in creative or digital industries (CDI), though.

They’ll put 40 per cent towards projects with a minimum cost of £2,625. The maximum grant cost is £3,000.

102. Invest to Grow, Lincolnshire

Businesses in Lincolnshire can bag between £15,000 and £250,000 for developments that enable the delivery of new jobs and commercial space. It’s a rolling fund that can be applied to at any time. Business Lincolnshire can provide up to 30 per cent of project costs so you must find at least 70 per cent of costs.

103. Growing Hull & East Yorkshire Business Investment Grants

Growing Hull and East Yorkshire is a £1.5m business investment scheme aiming to provide capital grants to SME businesses in Hull and East Yorkshire to support and incentivise business growth, investment and job creation.

The programme builds on the success and momentum of the successful Growing the Humber business grant programme. The scheme should be considered alongside other finance options such as bank loans or asset finance.

Grants of between £5,000 and £250,000 are available to SME businesses that are able to demonstrate viability and will contribute to the wider growth of Hull and East Yorkshire. Grants below the minimum threshold may be considered as an exceptional case.

104. The Smart Concept Fund, Wolverhampton

Another Proof of Concept grant, this fund gives up to £16,500 at an intervention rate of up to 55 per cent to fund an approved development project. It’s expected to close early 2023. You must be based in the Black Country, The Marches or Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire.

It’s targeted towards businesses in the following areas:

  • Transport technologies (including aerospace and automotive)
  • Building technologies/construction
  • Advanced manufacturing including advanced engineering
  • Environmental technologies
  • Applied materials
  • Agritech/agriculture, food and drink
  • Medical technology
  • Energy generation
  • Defence and securities

105. Retail improvement grant scheme

The Retail Improvement Grant Scheme can offer small grants of up to £4,000 aimed at supporting businesses in making key improvements to their premises and retail operations. Eligible projects could include, but are not limited to: lighting and decoration improvements; minor building works; shop-front enhancements; display equipment; and payment system improvements, but does not include salaries, overheads, rent or stock.


To apply for the grant, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be able to commit 25 per cent of the project value in match funding
  • Must have engaged in the ‘West Sussex Retail Hub’ virtual learning programme
  • Registered with HMRC/Companies House
  • Have a physical shop premises in Crawley borough
  • Be a small, independent businesses – maximum 50 employees and not part of a regional, national, or international chain or franchise

Applying for a Retail Improvement Grant is simple. Visit the Grant Approval website, create or sign in to an account, and complete the application form: ‘Retail Improvement Grant’.

You will be asked to provide background information on your business, some detail about the proposed retail improvement project you are applying for and some supporting evidence.

106. Invest to Grow, Derbyshire

The University of Derby supplies loans between £15,000 and £250,000 to support private businesses across the East Midlands to innovate, grow and create jobs. The following objectives will be prioritised:

  • It will create new jobs or safeguard existing positions in your company
  • It will increase the scope or scale of your company activity
  • It will improve the company’s performance
  • It has not commenced and will not be achievable in the timescales proposed without Invest to Grow support

You must be able to create jobs that can be sustained for at least three years – businesses that create higher-skilled jobs are preferred. The following sectors are also preferred:

  • Manufacturing (e.g. transport equipment and food and drink)
  • Life sciences
  • Construction
  • Logistics
  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Creative industries
  • Low carbon

107. The Mayor’s Entrepreneur Programme

The programme aims to create growth that makes London cleaner, greener and ready for the future; and, to ensure students see entrepreneurship as a viable career path and get the skills they need to succeed.

The competition is completely free to enter and taps into the perspectives and creativity of London’s students to find solutions that will improve their city. Winners get £20,000 to start up their business along with expert mentoring from staff at City Hall.

The programme is delivered in house by Mayor’s Fund for London staff and funded through support from the Citi Foundation. You can contact the competition team directly by email with any questions you may have.

108. B&CE, construction industry

Does your organisation support people with education and training in construction? Good news. You may be eligible for a corporate grant from the B&CE Charitable Trust.

Grants are available for projects that either promote careers in the construction industry or lead to accredited qualifications.

We encourage applications from not-for-profit organisations, excluding public sector. However, if you’re unsure, please get in touch.

If you’d like to find out more about our grants for organisations or make an application, please get in touch – email us at charitabletrust@bandce.co.uk.

We also provide grants to help individuals get back into construction or to retrain in another skill if there’s an occupational health requirement. Find out how to apply for grants for individuals for education or training.

109. University of Bedfordshire Productivity Escalator 

Productivity Escalator is an EU funded project developed to help SMEs in the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) area to be more active online or with digital technology, thus improving their productivity, their potential to export and their recovery from Coronavirus impacts.

Some of the areas Productivity Escalator can support are productivity, staffing for the future and data problems.

The fund is for:

It gives you:

  • Fully funded expert consultancy to help you develop your innovation plans
  • Grants of 30 per cent towards the cost of capital equipment or expertise
  • Opportunity to hire a skilled graduate for 3 months to develop your solutions
  • 50 per cent funding up to £10,000 toward a 1 year Masters by Research programme leading to further research opportunities

110. Salford Skills for Business Apprenticeship Fund

With this apprenticeship fund, you can get assistance to cover the cost of training for an apprentice role, apprenticeship training for your existing workforce and funding to support employment costs for a new apprentice.

111. ECITB Engineering Training Grants

Engineering training grants are funded by the industrial training levy and used to meet the needs of employers and the wider industry.

Grants that are paid employers to subsidise training costs for their workforce. The ECITB also pays grants to training providers who provide the training, tests and qualifications that industry requires.

The ECITB works with employers to identify training needs and to drive up skill levels across the industry. Eligible employers can access a wide range of engineering training grants to support the training they require.

Some grant money is invested in strategic projects that benefit the wider industry, for instance a project to recruit more apprentices to our graduate retention programme for the oil and gas industry, which has helped to secure graduates skills during the economic downturn.

Grant support is available for a range of training activities. The ECITB prioritises funding for training that improves the productivity and safety of the engineering construction workforce and also training that develops skills that are transferrable across industry.

These areas of training include:

  • New entrant training – apprenticeships, graduate development and workers transferring across industry sectors.
  • Craft/technician skills (e.g. Mechanical Joint Integrity)
  • Safety training (excluding the CCNSG safety passport)
  • Leadership, management and supervisory development.
  • Competence assurance (e.g. vocational qualifications and technical tests)
  • Contractual requirement (e.g. works access and plant operations)
  • Project management, project controls and commercial awareness
  • Design training (e.g. CAD and BIM)

Some training, such as safety passports required to gain access to sites and to ensure a worker can travel overseas, is excluded from grant support. This includes:

All in-scope engineering construction companies are eligible for support from engineering training grants, whether they pay the training levy or not. The levy contribution or size of a company has no bearing on the decision to award a grant. Small and medium-sized companies may be exempt from levy payments but are eligible to receive training grants.

For further information please see the ECITB’s grant policy here.

112. Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE)

The RDPE is as it sounds: a programme to develop agricultural and forestry sectors. Within the programme, there are a number of grants for farming ammonia reduction, countryside productivity and rural broadband.

Business Grants Wales

The main providers of grants in Wales are the Welsh Government, the UK Government, the EU, local authorities and charities.

The finance locator on the Business Wales website is a great starting point for looking at the grants and other types of funding available in Wales, allowing you to filter and sort your results by funding type, source, geographic area, application status and so on to see the most relevant options for your business.

113. BG Effect Business Fund

The BG Effect Business Fund is a series of tools from BGCBC business development officers. It includes business start-up drop-in sessions, practical help and support from a volunteer team, links to programmes and Government support organisations and a local network of contacts, knowledge and resources.

114. Caerphilly Business Start-Up grant

This business development grant is to help companies to start up a business for the first time. Business start-ups in all business sectors may be considered. The applicant must be setting up the business in the Caerphilly County Borough.

Eligible costs could include:

  • Capital equipment
  • ICT equipment
  • Development of websites
  • Marketing
  • Building works to business premises
  • Training

The business must not have started prior to application and approval. It’s a discretionary grant and can provide 50 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of £500.

115. Caerphilly Enterprise Fund

The Caerphilly enterprise fund can support new and established businesses and community enterprises throughout the County Borough.

The fund can cover revenue costs and the maximum grant is £2,000 at an intervention rate of 50 per cent.

Eligible project costs can include:

  • websites and e-commerce sites
  • feasibility studies
  • business planning
  • one off marketing costs
  • capital equipment
  • IT hardware and software
  • property and infrastructure improvements to commercial, industrial and retail premises

If you are a start up business you will need to submit a business plan together with the application form.

If you are an existing company you will also need to submit trading accounts.

116. ReAct for Businesses

ReAct is a redundancy support which helps businesses connect with people who have lost their jobs. The programme can help you pay their wages and get them into role-specific training.

You’ll receive £3,000 in quarterly instalments for the first 12 months to help cover their wages plus up to £1,000 for any job-related training. An additional £1,000 is available if you recruit a disabled person or a young person aged 18-24. If you recruit a young disabled person an additional £2,000 is available. The scheme will cover those who are either on formal notice of redundancy or those who have been made redundant in the past 12 months.

117. Enterprise Investment Fund  

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council offer grants when funding allows, however, these schemes are discretionary and may have restricted eligibility.

The aim of the Enterprise Investment Fund is to support sustainable economic growth across Rhondda Cynon Taf.  The grant programme provides financial assistance for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), including start-ups as well as existing businesses, and for both private and social enterprises. Grants are as follows:

  • Commercial Premises – Minimum £1,500 up to a maximum of £10,000
  • Homed Based Premises – Minimum £500 up to a maximum of £1,500

The Enterprise Investment Fund has an Intervention Rate of a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible project costs (excluding VAT).
Please note expenditure incurred before grant approval is not eligible for funding.

The grant is available to businesses who pay council tax or national non-domestic rates. You must also have, or will have, public liability insurance.

118. ISO Grant Scheme, Gwynedd County

Gwynedd County Council is keen to help SMEs to get ISO accreditation for their business. The funding goes towards the cost of working with a consultant to get necessary certification. Unfortunately, the cost of the certification isn’t included.

119. Conwy business support grant

Due to the high volume of enquiries, applications are taking 8-10 weeks to process.

A discretionary grant to support the growth of Conwy businesses, social enterprises or farm diversification projects. Up to 50 per cent of the eligible project cost, with a minimum grant of £200 to a maximum of £1500. This maximum may be increased for exceptional projects meeting specific criteria

Who can apply?

  • New business (trading at least three months)
  • Businesses with a trading address in the county of Conwy
  • Established business
  • Social enterprise based in the County of Conwy

What type of business? (This list is not exhaustive)

  • Manufacturing
  • Retail/wholesale
  • Agricultural (if diversifying into an additional commercial or social enterprise)
  • Tourism
  • Services

What projects are eligible?

Projects which will help the business to achieve one or more of the following:

  • Employ extra staff
  • Increase turnover
  • Increase profitability

If approved, you will need to provide the following before payment can be released.

  • Copies of receipts and bank/credit card statement showing payment
  • Signed terms & conditions and claim form
  • A signed agreement to provide a short progress report 12 months after receipt of the grant payment

Providing all documentation is received, payment is usually made within 14 days. If you would like more information or want to apply, please email business@conwy.gov.uk

120. Start-up Business Grants, Newport City

These grants are currently paused due to high demand.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available outside the city centre and up to £10,000 for city centre businesses – up to a maximum 50 per cent of eligible expenditure. Elements of these grants are discretionary based on various economic and wellbeing objectives.

The grant is available towards the following elements:

  • First year’s rent when taking on commercial premises. (Eligible businesses are start-ups, or existing businesses who are taking on additional/larger premises or those who have been trading from home and are relocating to commercial premises)
  • Plant and equipment
  • ICT equipment and software
  • Website development and related training
  • Accredited training (short courses for up-skilling staff members)
  • Business/IT consultancy, professional fees and accreditations

121. Carmarthenshire Rural Enterprise Fund

The application process is now closed. If additional funding becomes available, these funds may re-open.

Rural businesses will get support from this fund. It will help develop new and existing premises for them with a view to creating new jobs. The grant will either be based on £20,000 per job created or up to the following intervention rates: small businesses 45 per cent and medium businesses 35 per cent. The maximum grant is £128,000 unless it’s an exceptional case where funding may be increased.

122. Accelerated Growth Programme

The programme offers support to high growth pre-revenue firms and SMEs. You must be able to grow turnover by at least 20 per cent a year, generate at least ten new jobs in three years. Start-ups are also accepted but they must have been trading for 12 months and must be looking to achieve the levels of growth mentioned above.

123. Neath Port Talbot Innov8 Scheme

Neath Port Talbot Council’s Innov8programme provides a range of support and advice to people aged 18+ on starting, developing and growing a business including:

  • Access to start-up workshops and courses designed to provide practical business skills training
  • Identifying appropriate funding and support to help you apply
  • Information on business premises
  • A “Start Up” Information Pack tailored to your business needs
  • Referral to practical workshops, seminars and support, i.e. bookkeeping, customer care skills, winning new business, etc., once trading
  • Ongoing support as the business develops

The programme provides grant support to cover up to 50 per cent of eligible start-up costs up to a maximum of £1,000. All capital costs (with the exclusion of vehicles) are eligible as well as pre-start costs such as stock, overheads and marketing.

Funding is subject to the client setting up their business within Neath Port Talbot and successfully completing a recognised start up course. Details of courses will be discussed as part of the application process.

To find out more about Innov8, contact Sian Wyndham at Sandfields Young Business Centre on 07971 719745 or email: Business Services

  • Launch a new business
  • Modernise, expand or re-organise an existing business
  • Upgrade a business by introducing innovative new technology or processes
  • Take a new product from development to production

124. Cardiff Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme is part funded by a number of sponsors including all of the UK Research Councils, Welsh Government and Innovate UK, who are responsible for managing the scheme.

Each KTP grant application is assessed against a list of criteria to ensure that the proposal fits within the agreed mission and objectives of the programme.

The net cost to you varies depending on the project but as a guide:

  • £25,000 per year for an SME

This investment, only slightly more than a starting wage for a high-level graduate, gives you:

  • An Associate working full-time on the project
  • The time of the lead academic
  • A travel and equipment budget
  • Access to the University’ facilities and equipment that the Associate may require to do their job
  • An Associate Training and Development budget which gives the Associate new skills to enhance the project further
  • A range of administrative and logistical support from the University and the central KTP team

In the current difficult economic environment, Welsh Government has announced they will contribute 75 per cent towards the total costs of KTP projects that meet eligibility criteria and are approved for participation in the KTP programme.

SME businesses are usually expected to contribute 33 per cent of the total project costs, but eligible businesses in Wales will now only have to contribute 25 per cent.

Partnerships jointly develop proposal to address a specific business need and must submit their proposal for assessment between September 1, 2020 and March 29, 2023. Only applications received during this time will be eligible for this funding.

For more information, visit the Welsh Government KTP funding pages.

The programme is open to any high-quality innovative ideas from all businesses. You can apply from any technology base or sector. Your project may also be at any research and development stage.

The upcoming submission dates are:

  • 16 November 2022
  • 25 January 2023
  • 29 March 2023

Find out more by contacting business@cardiff.ac.uk or +44 (0)29 2087 0952

125.Swansea Business Funding

A few business grants are available for businesses in Swansea including a start-up grant, a UK steel grant and a digital development grant.

126. Wales Tourism Investment Fund (WTIF) and the Micro Small Business Fund (MSBF)

The WTIF is provided by the Welsh Government in partnership with the Development Bank of Wales, bringing together both grant and commercial funding into one combined package of financial support. Its key objective is to finance capital investment projects in the tourism sector in Wales which will have a positive impact on both the sector and the Welsh economy.

127. Transforming Towns Place Making Grant, Ceredigion and Powys

Ceredigion County Council has secured funding alongside Powys County Council from the Welsh Governments’ Transforming Towns Programme to help support capital investment to regenerate a number of our towns across Mid Wales.

The Transforming Towns Place Making Grant offers support for a wide range of projects, from green infrastructure developments to internal and external commercial and residential improvements for business owners.

Potential projects will need to satisfy eligibility criteria which will include demonstrating clear links to a current Town Place Plan or Town Centre Strategy. Also, potential projects will need to satisfy the Transforming Towns Place Making Grant Framework criteria.

Applicants can discuss potential projects with their local project officer who can advise whether the project could be eligible and help with the expression of interest process.
The grant will run for three years commencing 01/04/22, with projects needing to complete by 01/03/25.

The scheme is open to private businesses, including developers, third sector businesses, and the public sector. It is not available to private individuals.

128. Community Innovation Denbighshire

Innovators and entrepreneurs with sustainable project ideas are being urged to apply for grants that will drive post-Covid economic recovery in Denbighshire.

Led by Cadwyn Clwyd and Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC), the £600,000 Community Innovation Denbighshire project will focus on encouraging micro firms, community groups and social enterprises in rural and urban areas to put forward proposals that will deliver regional and environmental benefits.

Supported by Denbighshire County Council and part-funded by the UK Government through the £220m UK Community Renewal Fund, support is available for 25 organisations or individuals who can apply for a £5,000 grant they will match-fund to trial new products, systems, and services.

For more information, email admin@cadwynclwyd.co.uk or call 01490 340500.


In Scotland there are a few larger organisations who offer a number of different funding opportunities.

Better Business Finance: A portal that provides impartial information and support to businesses and entrepreneurs looking to develop and grow. Use this search to find out exactly what grant funding is available to your business with a complete list of known grants in Scotland.

Scottish Enterprise: A non-departmental public body which encourages economic development, enterprise and innovation in Scotland. For all grants and funding information please click here.

Business Gateway: Offers advice and guidance to start-up companies and established companies across Scotland. See below for specifics on grants and funding.

Scottish government: Search for business funding and advice.

Business Grants Scotland

129. Scottish Growth Scheme

The Scottish Growth Scheme is a package of financial support of up to £500m for Scottish businesses. It’s backed by the Scottish Government and aims to help businesses grow.

This funding will be provided through a series of initiatives which businesses can access for investment. The level of funding depends on which initiative you choose.

130. Scottish Venture Fund

The Scottish Venture Fund invests in companies from start-ups, early-stage to expanding businesses seeking funding to develop products and/or markets.

This fund can invest alongside sophisticated private sector investors on equal terms, up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the total funding package on a commercial basis. This flexible equity gap fund invests alongside private sector investors, offering equity funding from £10,000 up to £2m.

131. Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development

The Open Fund has separate funding strands for individuals and organisations within the creative industries.

  • Funding available for between £1,000 and £100,000
  • The fund aims to enable individuals and organisations to explore ways of working that will help them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances
  • The overall budget for the Open Fund for Individuals and the Open Fund for Organisations totals £7m of National Lottery money
  • The fund is open all year round, with no deadlines and can support activity for up to 12 months.

Funding for individuals

Freelance and self-employed artists and creative practitioners in Scotland can apply for projects supporting the development of their practice. You may apply for funding to work with others if your practice is collaborative. You must have a UK bank account.

Funding for organisations

This fund is for organisations and groups based in Scotland whose work or project involves the arts, screen and creative industries. All applicants must have a UK bank account.

132. IBioIC Facilities Access Fund

The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre’s (IBioIC) Facilities Access Fund will allow businesses to apply for grants of up to £10,000 (though more likely to be £5,000) to give IBoIC members access to HEI facilities.

You can contact the project team to apply.

133. Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund

Are you looking to grow your Scottish manufacturing company by developing low carbon products, processes or services? The LCMCF supports projects that will speed up the transition to a low carbon economy in the manufacturing industry. Grants with a minimum value of £150,000 are available.

Your idea can include, but is not limited to:

  • The development of a new product, service or technology that will reduce emissions, energy consumption, waste production and decrease the use of raw materials in the manufacture, and/or end use, of the existing alternative
  • The development of new business models based on the principles of a circular economy. Through circular supplies, resource recovery, product life extension or use of sharing platforms, for example

Funding will be available from May 19 2022 until March 31 2026.

134. Workplace Innovation Grant

The Workplace Innovation Grant is paused until the new financial year.

Scottish-based businesses who want to introduce innovative practices in their workplace

The fund can contribute up to £5,000 towards activities that will allow a business to introduce new and innovative workplace practices. To get the grant, the project must fulfil at least two of the following three criteria:

– People: To support motivating staff beyond pay. For example, recognising the benefits of diversity, reward and supporting learning and development
– Place: To support improving or maintaining a positive workplace culture, creatively use physical space to improve how employees work together, offer training associated with integrating technology which enables employees to share knowledge
– Practice: To support work practices to become fair, responsible and improve productivity. For example, flexible working practices, creating self-managed teams and a culture of leadership and coaching.

135. VisitScotland Growth Fund Grants

Scottish-based businesses who wish to do a collaborative tourism marketing campaign can apply. VisitScotland wants to ‘work with businesses to help them build digital capability, market and measure outputs and success more effectively. We encourage applications for integrated marketing campaigns that will show visitors, through creation and promotion of inspiring digital content, that ‘Scotland is Now’.’

Successful applications must demonstrate:-

  • A strong digital focus and creation of digital content
  • Strong strategic alignment
  •  An innovative approach
  • Effective partnerships and collaboration
  • Achievable and measurable growth targets
  • A sustainable approach
  • Project viability and deliverability

136. International Events Funding Programme

Through this programme of investment, the EventScotland team fund major, world-class events which are raising the profile of Scotland’s Perfect Stage around the world.

They support events though this programme in a number of ways: working in partnership with local authorities and governing bodies on bids to secure major international properties for Scotland; communicating directly with event organisers for annual events where they have an established relationship, and; actively looking for new and existing events to bring to Scotland for the first time.

If you would like to discuss any opportunities further, please contact through the link above.

Useful link: – Looking for funding? Find the right finance for your business here

137. NESTRANS Sustainable Travel Grant Scheme

NESTRANS supports development of travel plans in Aberdeen City and Shire. Applicants can bid for up to £10,000 in matched funding to support sustainable transport initiatives.

138. Scottish Edge

The current EDGE20 round is closed but EDGE23 opens in January 2023.

Scottish EDGE is ‘a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent’. Winners can receive up to £100,000 in funding plus a business support package to help them make the most of any grant money.

The main categories within which awards are made are: Science and Tech, Creative, Social Enterprise, and Circular Economy businesses.

139. Forestry Grant Scheme

This scheme is focused on providing financial support for businesses involved in the creation of either new woodland spaces or the sustainable management of existing woodlands. It is managed by the Scottish Rural Payments and Services agency and Scottish Forestry.

140. Flexible Workforce Development Fund

The FWDF is open both to UK Apprenticeship Levy paying employers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland.

Where specific training needs cannot be provided via a local college, Levy payers have the option to access funding through an independent training provider (via SDS), the total fund available through this route being £2m. SMEs can work with either their local college or with the Open University to access training up to the value of £5,000.

By accessing the FWDF, employers in Scotland:

  • Have the flexibility to choose the training that best meets their needs
  • Can use the Fund to address priority skills gaps
  • Can access tailored training in high-quality learning environments
  • Engage and motivate existing employees by offering them high quality training to bring the greatest benefits to your organisation

141. Inverclyde Council Business Assistance Grant

The CBFS is managed by Arts & Business Scotland, an independent charity. The fund offers pound for pound match funding for eligible projects of between £1,000 and £40,0

This discretionary fund from Inverclyde Council provides financial assistance to help businesses in the area achieve specific business growth objectives. The fund can cover up to 50 per cent of eligible capital expenditure costs, with a maximum contribution of £5,000.

Applicants must submit:

  • A business plan
  • A one-year cashflow projection
  • Evidence of trading status
  • The last full year’s accredited accounts and up-to-date management accounts
  • Three quotes for project costs
  • Proof of business insurance
  • An uncensored copy of a bank statement, dated within the past 3 months, that clearly shows the name of the account holder, the account number and sort code
  • A description of the works to be undertaken and how these contribute to the development of the business

If the business is operating from commercial premises, you must also submit evidence of ownership of a lease. If the grant is for building works, you must also clarify if planning permission and a building warrant are required.

You will need to meet with a business adviser from Business Gateway Inverclyde before you receive an application form.

You are eligible if:

  • Your business is trading from an address in Inverclyde
  • Your business has been trading for at least 6 months
  • Your business operates in a sector where there is unlikely to be a significant impact on other local businesses
  • You have attended a one-to-one meeting with a business adviser from Business Gateway Inverclyde

00 (excluding VAT) and is available across two tiers:

  • Smaller funds of between £1,000 and £3,000
  • Larger funds of over £3,000 and up to £40,000

Its aims are to encourage businesses to sponsor arts and heritage activity within Scotland while building new business sector partnerships over a minimum two to three-year commitment.

142. Fife Financial Support to Businesses

The Fife’s financial support covers businesses in the area looking to invest and grow. The fund amount is up to 70 per cent or £10,000, whichever is the smaller cost. It’s fully repayable and must be paid back over an agreed period except for some small funds which are a mixture of repayable and straight grant funded support.

Funding is intended to be used for measures like product development and property improvements as well as training and market development.

143. Workforce Upskilling Grant

This scheme will give you at grant of up to £2,000 if you’re looking to improve productivity and profitability through staff training.The workforce upskilling grant can be a 100 per cent contribution so if the total cost of the training is £2,000 or less, they’ll cover the full amount.

144. Orkney Islands New Business Start Up Grant

Orkney Islands Council fund the New Business Start Up Grant and can give you £500-£1,500. The main condition is that applicants must be developing a new start-up business and build a full-time sustainable enterprise.

The council is looking to target tourism, food and drink, renewable energy, lifeline local service providers and community-based social enterprise companies. Franchise businesses are also eligible.

145. West Dumbarton Business Start Up Grant

This grant is for people in West Dunbartonshire to get up to £500 support with their business start-up costs. You must put forward a business plan and provide proof of trading such as evidence of a business bank account and identification like a passport or birth certificate.

Northern Ireland Business Grants

146. Proof of Concept Grant Fund

This Proof of Concept Grant Fund from Techstart is a pre-commercial grant awarding fund. It supports entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland with grants to explore the viability and commercial potential of an innovative concept.

Techstart gives out concept grants of either up to £10,000 or a concept plus grant of up to £35,000. Concept Grants are awarded every three months while Concept Plus Grants are awarded every six months.

147. Skills Advancement Grant

Applicants can get up to £15,000 to go towards staff training for firms involved in manufacturing or internationally tradeable services. Just be aware that it’s only open to Invest Northern Ireland customers.

If you’re able to show that you intend to sell outside Northern Ireland, are actively working towards growth plans, and will contribute to increasing productivity and innovation in Northern Ireland, you could become a customer of Invest NI.

You’ll also need to have an actual turnover greater than or equal to £250,000 and external sales greater than or equal to 25 per cent or £250,000.

148. DAERA forestry grants

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs is a government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. Its Forestry Grant Scheme for 2014-2020 as four main objectives for businesses involved in: expanding forests, protecting existing forests, woodland management and the ‘agri environment’.

149. Acumen Funding

The Acumen programme aims to enhance the capacity and capability of SMEs to take the first formal steps onto the export ladder by helping to fund an experienced and skilled sales resource to help businesses to identify new opportunities and win new sales in the cross-border market.

There are two funding options available under the Acumen programme.

Full-time Sales Support

Acumen will fund up to 50 per cent of the cost of a full-time Sales resource for a 12- month period. The maximum cost that can be covered is €37,500/£30,000 with Acumen funding up to €18,750/£15,000. A Full-time sales resource must be an individual directly employed by the business and not a contractual representative.

Part-time Sales Support

Acumen will fund up to 50 per cent of the cost of a part-time sales resource for a 6-12 month period. The maximum cost that can be covered is €20,000/£16,000 with Acumen funding up to €10,000/£8,000. A Part-time sales resource can be an individual directly employed by the business or alternatively a contractual representative e.g. experienced sales agent, consultant or a lead generation company. Note if using the services of lead generation company, there must be just one nominated individual delivering the project.

Apply through the website.

150. Rural Business Investment Scheme, Derry City and Strabane District Council

The fund supplies capital grants for non-agricultural micro, small and social enterprises in rural parts of Derry City and Strabane Council.

Potential applicants must go to a mandatory pre-funding workshop and be ‘investment ready’ – that means having a business plan, planning permission, match funding and quotations or tenders in place for capital grants before you apply.

The support includes 50 per cent funding and grants between £500 and £90,000 depending on the size or activity of the business and marketing grants from £500-£5,000 (up to £10,000 for e-commerce).

Business Finance in Northern Ireland

In addition to the grants mentioned above, we should also mention that there are a number of government managed SME funding available operated under the aegis of Invest NI, Northern Ireland’s inward investment agency. The agency oversees £186 million worth of debt and equity funding, beginning with seed stage through to Series A and, ultimately, equity funding. The main funds are:

Small Business Loan Fund

The NI Small Business Loan Fund gives loans between £10,000 and £100,000 to small businesses in Northern Ireland.

Growth Loan Fund II (ERDF)

A £30m loan fund designed to support export-focused Northern Ireland SMEs demonstrating growth or strong growth potential.

Growth Finance Fund

A £30m loan fund designed to support export-focused NI SMEs demonstrating growth or strong growth potential.

Equity funding

Co-Fund NI

The Co-Fund NI is a £50m equity fund for early-stage start-ups that will co-invest alongside business angels or private investors.

Clarendon Fund Managers (CFM) manages the £17.7m Co-Fund II on behalf of Invest NI.

Development Funds I & II

For companies who require larger sums of cash, there are the £48m Development Funds I & II. These are managed jointly by VC firms Crescent Capital and Kernel Capital.

Development Funds are usually for established companies and they typically won’t invest in early-stage ventures. If you have previously raised £150-£300,000, then the Development Funds can provide follow-on funding.

For more detail on these funds, head over to our guide to small business funding Northern Ireland.

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