Business grants

Funding, usually awarded by governments and organisations, to invest in certain projects or to achieve a specific goal.

A grant is a payment provided by either the Government or a private organisation for a specific purpose.

Where it differs 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, with over 70 government grant schemesLink opens in a new window alone in operation at the time of writing (March 2021). Some business sectors – such as energy, export and innovation – are particularly active and offer a range of options.

How are 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

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

Business stage

Any

Annual turnover

Any

Sectors

All

Regions

All

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 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.

Other finance options

Expansion Capital
Equity
Expansion Capital firms give established businesses money to grow and reach maturity.
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Angel Investment
Equity
Angel Investors act as mentors and invest their own money in early-stage businesses for a share in the company.
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Equity Crowdfunding
Equity
Using an online platform, investors buy shares in a company to help it grow.
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Regional support

Enter your postcode to find business support and case studies from businesses within your region. You'll be taken to our interactive map.