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A business grant is a sum of money awarded either by the UK government or another independent organisation. It can be used for a specific purpose, such as investing in new machinery or equipment to exploring untapped markets. Best of all, unlike business loans, business grants do not need to be repaid.

Business grants available to start-ups and small firms and how to find them

There are dozens of business grants available to apply for throughout the UK. These can be categorised under the five following headings:

Innovation grants
Often supplied by independent, third parties, these funds are distributed to small firms that have innovative plans to grow and advance their respective industries. More information can be found here.

New Enterprise Allowance
Budding entrepreneurs aged 18 and over on government benefits can apply for funding and business support with developing and launching a start-up. More information can be found here.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)
LEPs and Growth Hubs are dotted throughout England, providing business funding, guidance and support to start-ups in their respective local areas. More information can be found here.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Grants through the National Lottery Heritage Fund are distributed to businesses seeking to maintain and transform Britain’s cultural heritage. These firms include places of historic and cultural interest. More information can be found here.

The Prince’s Trust
In “special circumstances”, people aged 18 to 30 are supported with grants to set up their own businesses, as well as training and ongoing mentoring. More information about The Prince's Trust can be found here.

Small business grants applicable in England

For start-ups and fledgling small businesses in England, applying for business grants through your nearest LEP’s Growth Hub makes the most sense. To date, England’s 38 LEPs have leveraged over £25 billion of private investment in small firms and supported over 2 million small firms in generating more than 180,000 new jobs.

Small business grants applicable in Wales

Start-ups and small businesses looking to grow in Wales should head to the Business Wales website to use their Finance Locator to find suitable grants. At the time of writing, there are 1,054 business grants available. By completing the Finance Locator and detailing your business structure, business type and your requirements for funding, the form can pinpoint the most suitable funds to explore.

Small business grants applicable in Scotland

Depending on your location in Scotland, it’s possible for start-ups and entrepreneurs to apply for business grants via Scottish Enterprise. Those living further north may be suitable for grants from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise or indeed funding from local councils. The Scottish Government has its own advice page for those seeking funding to invest in growth.

Small business grants applicable in Northern Ireland

NI Business Info should be your first port of call as a small business in Northern Ireland. This site is the number one resource for grants and funding, including information on the Invest NI Innovation Vouchers. The latter of which enables businesses to work with public sector organisations to collaborate and innovate together.


Date published 24 Nov 2021


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