Funding, usually awarded by governments and organisations, to invest in certain projects or to achieve a specific goal.
Business grants are payments provided by either the Government or a private organisation for a specific purpose.
Where they differ from any other form of finance is that you don’t have to pay it back.
Nor do you have to give away a share of your business in exchange.
There are many business grants available across the UK and some business sectors – such as energy, export and innovation – are particularly active and offer a range of options.
How are business grants paid?
It depends on the specific grant you’re applying for. You might:
- receive your grant as a single lump sum upfront
- be reimbursed after spending your own money
- need to match the value of your grant before you receive it
Business grants usually have very specific eligibility criteria.
These can vary, but often take account of things such as:
- the size of your business
- where you're based
- the sector you're in
- what you'll use the grant money for
The main benefits of grant finance are as follows:
- You don’t need to pay the money back
- You retain control of your business
- Funding is in good supply, with lots of different options available
You can search online for grants.
The Government’s business finance finderLink opens in a new window and regional funding portalsLink opens in a new window are good places to look for grant funding that suits your business.
Business grants typically have strict eligibility criteria.
These concern things such as:
- the region you’re based in
- the type of business you run
- whether the provider has an area of focus which your business could help with
Application processes can be long and time-consuming, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
It all depends on the rules and conditions of each individual grant programme.
As a result, it’s always a good idea to speak to the provider to find out what’s involved in the process and whether you’re eligible.
Some business grants are provided in the form of finance, while others offer free equipment or discounts to aid your business’ development.
Whatever form your grant takes, there will be conditions attached.
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Other finance options
|Purpose of financessss||Create new products, enter new markets, acquire other businesses or invest in new systems and equipment to drive growth|
|Amount of finance||£2m-£20m (depending on % shareholding acquired and value of company)|
|Duration of finance||3-5 years|
|Cost of finance||Due diligence and legal fees will apply. If you appoint an advisor, they will expect a retainer fee|
|Time of finance||Minimum of 3 months but can be up to a year|
|Business stage||Post-revenue, profitable and growing|
|Purpose of financessss||Acquisition, product development, new markets|
|Amount of finance||Up to £50m on AIM; unlimited on the Main Market|
|Duration of finance||10 years +|
|Cost of finance||You will need to appoint an accountant, a law firm and usually a PR firm. Assume this will cost 8% of the amount you hope to raise|
|Time of finance||IPO processes takes 10-12 weeks; but planning and negotiations can take 12-18 months|
|Business stage||Established and growing|
|Annual turnover||Over £5m; this does not apply to healthcare businesses|
|Sectors||All sectors; healthcare and tech may be able to list earlier in their lifecycle than other sectors|
|Business stage||Any but must have invoices|
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