For new start-ups to established companies, one of the biggest stumbling blocks facing businesses is how to access the finance required to grow. However, if you have a viable business proposition, funding opportunities exist to help your business achieve its full potential.
The UK Government publishes a regularly-updated extensive list of funding opportunties which can be accessed here:
Government-backed support and finance
Listed below are a selection some of the top grants and loans that can assist you in starting a new business or growing your existing business.
Apply for a government-backed startup loan of £500 to £25,000 to start or grow your business. Unlike a business loan, this is an unsecured personal loan.
You'll get free support and guidance to help write your business plan, and successful applicants get up to 12 months of free mentoring.
To apply for this loan you must live in the UK, be over 18 and have (or plan to start) a UK-based business that's been fully trading for less than 24 months.
The aim of the British Business Bank is to make financial markets work better for small businesses in the UK at all stages of their development, whether that be starting up, scaling up or staying ahead.
The British Business Bank is 100% Government-owned but independently managed.
Fredericks is a responsible finance provider that provides finance and mentoring to people who want to expand an existing Social Enterprise.
Funding Circle provides loans which are typically more affordable than a business overdraft or credit card.
Low Carbon Across The South East (LOCASE)
LOCASE offers grants between £1,000 and £20,000 for businesses to improve their energy efficiency.
Doing something as simple as replacing regular light bulbs with smart low energy bulbs could save you up to 25% of your energy costs.
LOCASE grants will pay up to 40% of the costs of your investment.
Help to Grow: Management Course
The Help to Grow: Management Course gives you access to 12-weeks of learning designed to fit alongside work commitments.
With 1:1 support from an experienced mentor, the course involves developing a bespoke business growth plan to help your business reach its full potential
With the grant, the UK Government covers 90% of the course cost, with businesses paying just £750 to access it.
Businesses can receive a discount of up to 50% or £5,000 (excluding VAT) towards the cost of buying approved Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Digital Accounting, or eCommerce software.
The scheme is backed by the UK Government and aims to encourage SME to use modern software to drive their growth.