A grant is a form of finance provided by either government or private organisations for a specific purpose. Where a Grant differs from any other form of finance is that you don’t have to pay it back or give away a share of your business to receive it.

Business Grants have strict eligibility criteria that usually depend on different factors including the region you’re based in, the type of business you run and if there’s a focus on an area where your business could help.

There are 109 government Grant schemes across the UK.

Key requirement

Grants focus on specific sectors of business and outcomes. Your business must fit either to be eligible for funding.

Key benefit

You don’t have to give up equity and you don’t need to pay the money back.

Key consideration

Grant application processes are time consuming and competitive. You should have a back-up plan in case you’re unsuccessful.

What is a Grant?

Business Grants are an attractive form of finance as, provided a business meets the eligibility criteria, the support it receives is free.

But while the advantages of business Grants are well known, they’re not a straightforward nut to crack.

Eligibility criteria are strict, application processes are lengthy and there are no one-size-fits-all approaches to getting a Grant – it all depends on the rules and conditions of each individual Grant Programme.

There are hundreds of different business Grants available across the UK, with over 100 government Grants alone.

Along with a good spread of Grants across the UK’s regions, some business sectors, like Energy, Export and Innovation, benefit from an active Grant space, with lots of different options available.

Whether there’s a Grant available for your business depends on your business sector and the Grant provider’s aims.

“I would always recommend that people consider looking at the grants and financial support from the government. The worst that can happen is your application is rejected.”

Nigel O’Donoghue CCO at Frank Recruitment Group

Some 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.

You may receive your Grant as a single lump sum up front, you may be reimbursed after spending your own money or you may need to match the value of your Grant before you receive it.

It all depends on the specific Grant you’re applying for.

Grants have very specific eligibility criteria which vary from business size to location, the sector your business is in to the purpose of the Grant itself, so it’s always a good idea to speak to the Grant provider to find out what’s involved in the process and whether you’re eligible.

The application process varies too, and it can be time consuming, which is another reason why it’s worth finding out how it works early on, before investing too much of your business’ time in completing the application.

Benefits of Grants

You don’t have to pay your Grant back

You retain control of your business

About your business

Business stageAny
Annual turnoverAny

What's your next step?

Other finance options

Angel Investment
Angel Investors act as mentors and invest their own money in early-stage businesses for a share in the company.
{"mTitle1":"ANGEL INVESTMENT","mTitle2":"Investors like","mPara2":"Early-stage businesses with a turnover of less than £5m. They invest in any sector but like businesses with a scalable business proposition.","mTitle3":"You're looking for","mPara3":"Between £15,000 and £500,000 within two to six months from a single Angel for working capital, product development, entry into new markets, to build teams or increase sales. Large Syndicates may offer up to £2m.","mCTATxt":"FIND OUT MORE","mCTAUrl":""}
{"section1Name":"ABOUT ANGEL INVESTMENT","section1CTA":"LEARN MORE","section1URL":"/angel-investment","section1Rows":{"row1":{"Title":"Purpose of finance","Content":"Working capital, product development, entry into new markets, build teams, increase sales"},"row2":{"Title":"Amount of finance","Content":"Usually £15k-£500k, but large Syndicates may offer up to £2m"},"row3":{"Title":"Duration of finance","Content":"Typically 3-8 years"},"row4":{"Title":"Cost of finance","Content":"None"},"row5":{"Title":"Time to finance","Content":"2-6 months"}},"section2Name":"ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS","section2CTA":"LEARN MORE","section2URL":"/angel-investment","section2Rows":{"row1":{"Title":"Business stage","Content":"Generally early stage, pre-revenue or pre-profit"},"row2":{"Title":"Annual turnover","Content":"Less than £5m"},"row3":{"Title":"Sectors","Content":"All sectors, but especially suitable for companies with a scalable business proposition"},"row4":{"Title":"Regions","Content":"All regions"}},"applyItems":{"item1":{"txt":"view the journey to finance","url":""},"item2":{"txt":"view the application checklist","url":""}}}
Equity Crowdfunding
Using an online platform, investors buy shares in a company to help it grow.
{"mTitle1":"EQUITY CROWDFUNDING","mTitle2":"Investors like","mPara2":"Businesses of any size who sell their product or service in a compelling way on Crowdfunding platforms.","mTitle3":"You're looking for","mPara3":"Either large or small sums of finance to create new products, for acquisition, to develop products, fulfil projects or enter into new markets.","mCTATxt":"FIND OUT MORE","mCTAUrl":""}
{"section1Name":"ABOUT EQUITY CROWDFUNDING","section1CTA":"LEARN MORE","section1URL":"/equity-crowdfunding","section1Rows":{"row1":{"Title":"Purpose of finance","Content":"Creating new products, acquisition finance, product development, project fulfilment, entry into new markets"},"row2":{"Title":"Amount of finance","Content":"Up to £4.3m without a prospectus, higher with a prospectus"},"row3":{"Title":"Duration of finance","Content":"Dependent on the business being funded"},"row4":{"Title":"Cost of finance","Content":"This is platform specific. Platforms often charge a success fee (usually a percentage of the amount raised) with a listing fee. Others will charge a percentage of profit"},"row5":{"Title":"Time to finance","Content":"Once your documents are in order, it can take as little as a month"}},"section2Name":"ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS","section2CTA":"LEARN MORE","section2URL":"/equity-crowdfunding","section2Rows":{"row1":{"Title":"Business stage","Content":"Pre-revenue through to more established businesses"},"row2":{"Title":"Annual turnover","Content":"Any"},"row3":{"Title":"Sectors","Content":"Any"},"row4":{"Title":"Regions","Content":"Any"}},"applyItems":{"item1":{"txt":"view the journey to finance","url":""},"item2":{"txt":"view the application checklist","url":""}}}
An IPO (or Initial Public Offering) is when a business sells shares via the public markets, such as the Main Market or AIM operated by the London Stock Exchange.
{"mTitle1":"IPO","mTitle2":"Investors like","mPara2":"Established and growing businesses, with predictable revenues and a proven track record. Smaller companies, including those who are pre-revenue, can also be attractive depending on the proposition. ","mTitle3":"You're looking for","mPara3":"Unlimited equity capital. Up to £200m on AIM or even larger sums on the Main Market and exposure to a wider pool of investors.","mCTATxt":"FIND OUT MORE","mCTAUrl":""}
{"section1Name":"ABOUT IPO","section1CTA":"LEARN MORE","section1URL":"/ipo","section1Rows":{"row1":{"Title":"Purpose of finance","Content":"Acquisition, product development, new markets"},"row2":{"Title":"Amount of finance","Content":"Up to £50m on AIM; unlimited on the Main Market"},"row3":{"Title":"Duration of finance","Content":"10 years +"},"row4":{"Title":"Cost of finance","Content":"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"},"row5":{"Title":"Time to finance","Content":"IPO processes takes 10-12 weeks; but planning and negotiations can take 12-18 months"}},"section2Name":"ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS","section2CTA":"LEARN MORE","section2URL":"/ipo","section2Rows":{"row1":{"Title":"Business stage","Content":"Established and growing"},"row2":{"Title":"Annual turnover","Content":"Over £5m; this does not apply to healthcare businesses"},"row3":{"Title":"Sectors","Content":"All sectors; healthcare and tech may be able to list earlier in their lifecycle than other sectors"},"row4":{"Title":"Regions","Content":"All"}},"applyItems":{"item1":{"txt":"view the journey to finance","url":""},"item2":{"txt":"view the application checklist","url":""}}}