f you’re wondering about funding and how other small companies procure their funds, then good news: it’s often thanks to the wide range of grants and funding out there to help your start-up.
This article will provide a look at what’s available to your company, whether it’s grants, exemptions or access to the many useful resources you can receive. It’s by no means the conclusive list of funding sources – there are plenty of other schemes that are based on region alone and many other factors, but hopefully, it will help to shine a light on the resources which could help you grow your small business.
Identifying the kinds of grants available could help you secure that much-needed finance, cover overheads and help your business grow.
A money award that’s given to businesses to cover things like training, employment, recruitment, and investment in equipment. Typically, these kinds of grants require the company to put up around 50% of the cost, but funds of up to half a million are available depending on your businesses’ sector.
To see the full list of available government grants, check out this business finance support finder here.
Similar to a grant, soft loans allow for much more generous terms of repayment compared to other routes of lending. They tend to have lower or no interest rates, and the repayment terms are comparatively longer than under normal financial circumstances.
While there are plenty of organisations offering soft loans, Start Up Loans is perhaps the most notable. Government-funded, they offer loans of up to £25,000 with a 6% interest rate and a 12-month repayment ‘holiday’, along with free business support and mentoring, too.
With thousands of start-ups funded, it’s well worth a look to see if you’re eligible.
Though not a grant in the true sense, equity finance involves public funding from investors, who then take an equity share of the business. When your businesses’ value increases, the stake is returned. They’re particularly helpful since the expectations that public fund providers hold are usually less demanding than those of venture capitalists.
A slight snag: the process of gaining a grant can be an arduous one. Every scheme has its own set of criteria, with red tape to follow. But whichever you choose to go for, it’s well worth persevering with. To make things easier, here’s a list of things to consider before you make that application.
SMEs make up much of the UK’s economy, and as such there is a range of helpful services and resources available to improve their chances of success.
Since start-ups are often small in scale, the lack of manpower often means a lack of particular skills. Luckily, there are schemes available which can help to ‘fill in the gaps’ of your business either for free or at subsidised rates.
The Government business finance and support portal linked above offers free and subsidised advice and consultancy.
Much like the above, start-ups can also lack the physical resources they need to progress with projects or products. The obstacles these omissions might cause can easily be overcome with accelerator and incubator schemes.
Accelerator schemes allow for start-ups to apply for 3-4 month schemes based within a host company’s offices. During this time, you’ll receive mentoring and guidance, opportunities to refine your business model and receive extra funding, and a chance to attract investment down the line, while the company can invest in the start-up in return for a stake.
Incubators provide longer-term support – years as opposed to months. Offering more opportunity for collaboration, while seed funding is also available. The problems that start-ups face are dealt with early on, but the investors offering assistance often look for a larger share of the business in return for their help.
A small businesses’ property can entitle them to business rate relief when they are not entitled to other mandatory reliefs.
If your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000 or you only use one property, you should contact your local council to apply.
This could provide much-needed financial relief, trim overheads and, potentially, boost profits.
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