If you are an entrepreneur who has just started a business or someone who is planning to, your biggest concern might be getting finance to support your idea. One of the best ways to get funds is to get a business grant for your small business. However, getting a grant is a long and stressful process. There are several kinds of grants according to different purposes. But you need not worry as we are here to help you in understanding the process of a business grant.
A grant is a public-funded scheme given to small business owners or entrepreneurs in the form of cash, tools, equipment or reduced costs. Whenever an organisation decides to provide a grant for a business, they believe that the idea of business can help lives, industry, economy, or even jobs.
Types of Business Grants to get started
Direct Grants: It is a form of a most common grant which is given in the form of cash awards to help out your business with a project. In this grant, you have to raise 50% of the amount by yourself.
Resource and Training Grants: Incubator and accelerator schemes help businesses that are unable to afford skill sets, resources, tools, or equipment for a project. These schemes provide access to publically-owned facilities and experts. They can get Innovation Vouchers, local advice and support, networks and initiatives, and helplines.
Tax Relief: some schemes by the government help reduce tax which can give relaxation to small businesses. Some of the examples of such schemes are Corporation Tax Relief, Employment Allowance, and Business Rates Relief.
Soft Loans: Such types of loans are given to small businesses with a lesser interest rate than regular financial loans. You have to pay the amount back but with a longer repayment period.
There are some special grants available for women in the UK to help them set up a business and provide them with more opportunities. There are other grants available for young entrepreneurs, unemployed entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, and people who are starting a business at age over 30. Even if you are someone who has bad credit, you can quickly get grants from the government.
Where to find business grants?
UK government, The European Union, and local authorities provide grants to start-ups and small businesses. Universities, corporates, and charities also offer such grant schemes.
Government authorities from the UK government, Welsh, Northern Ireland Assemblies, and Scottish Parliament offer grants to small businesses for encouraging growth, wealth and create more job opportunities. The European Union provides several grants to UK small businesses through the European Regional Development Funds, the European Social Fund, and European Structural and Investment Funds. There are also many schemes available in particular regions such as Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
How to get yourself a business grant?
The first step is to research thoroughly and find a grant that fit your need and your business. Look at the eligibility carefully and narrow down the schemes that will work for you. You should keep your business plan updated and create a work plan which will include how you will plan to use the money.
- The best tip is to apply as soon as possible when it opens to get the best opportunity. You might get a better chance as fewer businesses will know about it at the start-up. If possible, you should make contact with the awarding body that might help you if you are any problem in applying for the grant.
- You can also consult a grant consultant that will help you in selecting the best grant saving your hours and efforts. A perfect approach will help you in getting the grant from larger organisations. You should further need to make the awarding bodies see that you need their help in flourishing.
- You should also pay attention to the objective of the grant you are applying for. Smartly explain how the money provided by the awarding body will fulfil the objectives. Usually, it takes months in the process of grant approval.
- If you don’t get approved for the grant, then you can always find another way. You can apply for fast loans with no guarantor from direct lenders and can even get a loan with bad credit.
A grant is a great help for small businesses that can help achieve the dream. But it is no cakewalk as it needs an adequate amount of preparation for applying to the right grant. A dedicated time given to the researching for a fitting grant is half work done.
Have patience and be prepared for a challenging and lengthy application process ahead. But if you get selected, then it is worth the wait. So, if you are planning on applying for a grant, we want to tell you to go ahead.