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Top Small Business Grants & Start Up Business Grants in the UK
Small business grants and start up business grants can provide the injection of funds needed to take your organisation to the next level. There are an array of options available across sectors and regions, from UK-wide opportunities to grants specific to each of the home countries.
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Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (by UK Government)
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is designed to help your company raise money when it’s starting to trade. It does this by offering tax reliefs to individual investors who buy new shares in your company.
You can receive a maximum of GBP 150k through SEIS investments. This will: - Include any other de minimis state aid received in the 3 years up to and including the date of the investment - Count towards any limits for later investments through other venture capital schemes
Your company can use the scheme if it: - Carries out a new qualifying trade - Is established in the UK - Is not trading on a recognised stock exchange at the time of the share issue - Has no arrangements to become a quoted company or a subsidiary of one at the time of the share issue - Does not control another company unless that company is a qualifying subsidiary - Has not been controlled by another company since the date of your company being incorporated. Your company and any of its subsidiaries must: - Not have gross assets over GBP 200k when the shares are issued - Not be a member of a partnership - Have less than 25 full-time equivalent employees in total when the shares are issued. If you’ve received investment through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) or from a venture capital trust, you cannot use SEIS.
Enterprise Investment Scheme (by UK Government)
The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is designed so that your company can raise money to help grow your business. It does this by offering tax reliefs to individual investors who buy new shares in your company.
Under EIS, you can raise up to GBP 5m each year, and a maximum of GBP 12m in your company’s lifetime. This also includes amounts received from other venture capital schemes. Your company must receive investment under a venture capital scheme within 7 years of its first commercial sale. You must follow the scheme rules so that your investors can claim and keep EIS tax reliefs relating to their shares. Tax reliefs will be withheld or withdrawn from your investors if you do not follow the rules for at least 3 years after the investment is made.
Your company can use the scheme if it: - Has a permanent establishment in the UK - Is not trading on a recognised stock exchange at the time of the share issue and does not plan to do so - Does not control another company other than qualifying subsidiaries - Is not controlled by another company, or does not have more than 50% of its shares owned by another company - Does not expect to close after completing a project or series of projects Your company and any qualifying subsidiaries must: - Not have gross assets worth more than GBP 15m before any shares are issued, and not more than GBP 16m immediately afterwards - Have less than 250 full-time equivalent employees at the time the shares are issued.
Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. They support business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. This funding for small businesses grants UK entrepreneurs with the means to pursue testing and development of new services and products. The application process is relatively detailed, so you will need a rather detailed idea of your product before you apply for a small business grant.
Numerous grants and other means of financing for several topics. To see a list of all funding & tender opportunities click here.
There are different eligibility criteria for each of UKRI’s funding opportunities. The best way to see if you are eligible is to look at the individual funding opportunity that you want to apply for. Search funding opportunities.
County Durham Growth Fund
The County Durham Growth Fund is an GBP 8.9m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme supporting capital expenditure to accelerate business growth.
Able to finance the balance of the investment cost, as grants are typically 20% to 45% of the eligible expenditure. Small companies (less than 50 employees and annual turnover and balance sheet of less than EUR 50m) may apply for up to 45% of their eligible expenditure and medium-sized companies up to 35%, in accordance with the State Aid Regulations. The grant must be the minimum necessary for the investment to go ahead (see below).
You could be eligible for a grant of up to 45% of expenditure, if you are: - A small or medium sized business - Planning capital investment of at least £100,000 - Expanding or establishing in County Durham. For more information click here.
Invest to Grow
The University of Derby's Invest to Grow programme provides grants and loans of between GBP 15k and GBP 250k to support private-sector businesses across the East Midlands to innovate, grow and create jobs. The programme is now funded by the repayment of loans awarded to successful applicants.
The minimum award size is GBP 15k, for which the minimum project cost must be GBP 50k. The maximum award size is GBP 250k. The majority of awards are a mix of grants and loans. Applications where the loan amount requested is higher than the grant amount, will stand a greater chance of being successful.
For your project to qualify for Invest to Grow funding, you will need to demonstrate that it meets the following criteria: - It will create new jobs or safeguard existing positions in your company - It will increase the scope or scale of your company activity - It will improve the company’s performance - It has not commenced and will not be achievable in the timescales proposed without Invest to Grow support.