Finding Business Financing Grants
Finding business financing grants will take some research but can be well worth the effort. There are grants available from a number of different sources to cover a variety of business needs. Financing for start-up companies is available but there are stipulations that must be fulfilled before any money will be given.
What Are Business Grants?A grant is a specified amount of money given to businesses that can be spent on a variety of uses. As long as the grant provider’s conditions are met the money will not usually have to be repaid. There are a huge number of schemes and agencies that provide this sort of financial assistance. Some grant providers will be industry specific or only available within a geographical location. A grant will usually cover part of the money needed to finance a business or it can be used for a specific requirement such as paying for staff training
Researching your OptionsResearching all providers would take time so seeking help from local enterprise agencies on the right grant for your company will be beneficial. Enterprise agencies will also be able to give advice that should increase your chances of a successful application. There are also websites that will do most of the legwork for you. These websites have a comprehensive list of the different sources from which assistance is available and they should be free to use. Always be wary of websites that offer to search for you for a fee; there is really nothing extra they can do that you cannot do yourself for free.
Financing Help AvailableIt would be impossible to list all of the providers available that offer assistance. There are British and European grant providers as well as local providers. Other sources which are worth investigating will include:
- Lottery funds
- Local, central and national government
- The Department of Trade
- The Chambers of Commerce
- Enterprise and Development Agencies
- The Business Link Website
- The European Union Business Website
Are You Eligible for a Grant?Each provider will have their own eligibility stipulations. Some will provide money for particular businesses such as start-ups or small businesses with less than 250 employees. Other providers may have stipulations on the locality of the business; some may only award financing to areas where there are high levels of deprivation. Money may be awarded to those within certain industries or have a certain reason for setting up a business. The terms and conditions of the award will set out all of the stipulations that you will need to fulfil in order to be eligible for this type of funding.
Application TipsIf you do meet the eligibility requirements for this type of award then you should consider your application carefully. Most providers will want to see a detailed plan with a full explanation of how and where the money will be used. Providers may also want to know how the money they provide will be of benefit. You will also need to show relevant business experience and a form of commitment to the project. This commitment will usually come in the form of an investment from yourself towards the business or the project. Another usual rule is that you do not proceed any further until the funding has been guaranteed.
Taking AdviceGood advice should always be taken when applying for this type of financing, and enterprise agencies should be your first point of call when looking for advice. Advice on proposals, plans, and costing can also come from financial advisors and accountants. If your application is declined then always ask for application feedback. This feedback will be useful when applying for other grants and may help as a guideline for further applications.
There is a large amount of financial assistance available especially for small start-up businesses. Always make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements before submitting an application. Never hand in late applications as these will rarely be looked at and will simply be sent back. Taking advice from business advisors should be especially beneficial before submitting any type of funding application.