If you run your own business, you may not be aware of the financial support available to help you grow and develop it. If you’re willing to look, and take the time to ask, there is often money available for those who know where to find it. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of our top six resources on how to fund your small business.
There are a variety of grants for small businesses available through the Scottish Government, local councils and EU funding. Grants can be the best option for funding your small business as you won’t normally have to repay these, however, there could be some targets to meet as part of the funding. Grant funding is usually available for specific projects and is intended as an additional source of income to help businesses create new jobs, products, or services.
In Scotland, small business grants are usually available to support projects that are collaborative in nature and which can lead to new technology or product ideas. Grants which are less focused on research and development tend to be available for businesses bringing about social and economic benefits.
So, without further ado and in no particular order, here are our top six funding resources:
- UK Government
When looking around at how to fund your small business, it makes sense to go straight to the top and see what the government has to offer. You can find information on the UK government’s website when searching for small business finance and support. Their online resource makes it easy to find a specific type of financial support, be it grant funding, loans or general advice. You can search for funding by industry or by the stage in which the business is at – both criteria are especially useful for grant funding.
- Scottish Enterprise
If you’re looking for funding based closer to home then The Scottish Enterprise website provides information for grants for R&D, and Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grants for projects which will help create jobs in Scotland. So far, the Scottish Enterprise has offered £16.2 million in RSA grants to support expansion plans and job creation. The project must be based in Scotland, and should involve some capital investment.
Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are eligible for SMART: Scotland grants for R&D projects or development of a new product, and there are plenty more grants to look out for at the Scottish Enterprise website.
- Scottish EU Funding
Another Scottish-based resource, the Scottish EU Funding portal allows you to search for funding available to businesses in Scotland and funding for businesses looking to collaborate with Scottish enterprises. Most of the funding available comes from the Horizon 2020 – the largest EU research programme – with grants given to businesses and organisations collaborating on a project involving an academic institution. To date, the top six British universities are leading, or are in partnership with, Horizon 2020 projects with funding amounting to nearly £450 million.
Interface is another initiative with funding streams available to all Scottish SMEs with an academic partner. If you fund your small business with this option, you’ll receive Standard Innovation vouchers of up to £5,000, which aim to encourage first-time partnerships between a company and a university.
- Innovate UK
Innovate UK is a resource focused on supporting innovation through collaboration. Their grant funding competitions are open to projects led by UK-based business or research and technology organisations. For the development of an innovative product, process or service, you may be able to get funding starting from £25,000.
- Better Business Finance:
Finally, the Better Business Finance website has a quick and easy tool for finding a finance provider for whatever stage your business is at; from whether you are just starting up all the way through to plans to grow your business. This service is an excellent resource to find how best to fund your small business. Although it covers more than just grant funding, it is a handy tool that lets you identify the purpose of finance (working capital, buying equipment or property, start trading internationally, etc.) in order to match you with funding schemes most relevant for your business. Finally, once you select your location and the amount of finance you are seeking, you should be presented with all the available options, including grants for small businesses.
We prepared this blog to help inform individuals and provide advice on finding grants for small businesses in Scotland. If you have any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a phone 0141 334 1318. We do not claim responsibility for any action taken as a result of the general information and tips found in this blog.