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

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.
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Asset-Based Lending
A business secures finance against its existing assets; these can include invoices and also machinery, property and even intangible assets such as IP.
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Leasing & Hire Purchase
A business can use Leasing and Hire Purchase to buy specific assets, like vehicles, machinery or other equipment.
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