As of the start of 2021, the UK government has invested some serious funding into the small business environment – via small business grants to apply for.
We have put together the below comprehensive list of small business grants across the UK that your small business may take advantage of. If interested in moving forward, contact one of the UK Startups experts to get more details on how to apply for the grant, what is needed and start the process.
These small business grants are government provided and are available to small and medium-sized businesses across the UK. They are aimed at those with less than 250 employees or revenues of £50,000 or less. If you fit these criteria, as a small business or a startup, you may be able to take advantage of these 2021 small business government grants.
Keep in mind that most of the available government grants are usually based on a specific location or sector of business; they may also focus the funds towards a specific use of the money such as wage support, training, going green..etc
While small business grants are the best type of funding your small business can take advantage of, combining other forms of government funding such a government loan, tax break or credit, can greatly impact your success and minimize the focus of trying to ensure all funds come from one government scheme – increasing your chances of total funding for your business.
37 UK small business grants for 2021
Government grants are constantly changing. While below is a list of available small business grants, you may have better luck with alternative options. If you need guidance and assistance in finding out which of the below small business grants for 2021 are most applicable to you, speak to a small business funding expert at UK Startups.
1. The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)
One of the top small business funding programmes for existing and established small businesses. This specific funding programme helps small business owners raise money for their business needs. The programme provides a maximum of £150,000.
2. Government apprenticeships
Government apprenticeships are an excellent way to fund your small business and connect with resources that can give your own business a boost.
3. Innovate UK Smart Grants scheme
The Innovate UK Smart Grants are one of the top funding programmes that help with R&D innovation which can impact the UK economy. If you have something worth looking into as a business model, this funding option may be right for you.
Innovate UK Smart Grants help deliver ambitious R&D innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy.
4. R&D Tax Credits
R&D Tax Credits are for innovative businesses within the in science and technology sector. These tax credits can be used and claimed by businesses that want to research or develop. The bonus is that if you have a failed project/business but have spent your own funds towards, you may be able to file a claim.
5. Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
Much like the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) which is aimed at established businesses, the SEIS is the same, but for small business startups. This programme helps start-ups to raise money for their business. As an applicant, you may be able to apply for a maximum of £150,000.
6. The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme offers the “the Youth Can Do It scheme”, which provides resources for those individuals that are 18-30 years old and want to start a business. The programme is split into 4 sections: Info session, Workshop, Build your business, Launch. While not a grant offer, it fits’ into this category as it offers valuable services to those needing the resources to start up. You may be also able to obtain funding through the programme as well.
7. Kickstart Scheme
The Kickstart Scheme provides business funding to help create new job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds who may be on Universal Credit and are also at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers: 100% of the minimum wage for 25 hours per week for a total of six months. A great way to kick start your business with some help.
8. A £10,000 grant for ethnically diverse small businesses
Fiserv, has created a programme called the Back2Business programme, which is available for residents of the UK. This programme provides a £10,000 grants for small, ethnically diverse businesses. The funding can be used for a variety of functions including various technological needs, renovations of premises as well as wages. Each business grant recipient will also be connected to local networking, support, and resources from community partners, such as the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Black Business and Asian Business Associations. To take advantage of this small business grant, as an applicant you must be a business that is majority owned by a person from a diverse ethnic background. You must have been in business prior to January 2020, have 15 or fewer employees and have an annual turnover of less than £100,000.
9. Grow It Award
The Grow It Award is a £15,000 grant to help entrepreneurs that aim to solve a social issue. These funds are focused on building access to employment, developing resilient communities and assisting in creating solutions to solve ageing societies.
10. New Enterprise Allowance
The New Entreprise Allowence (NES) is a funding programme that is for unemployed people who want to start their own businesses. If you’re eligible and you may get a weekly allowance worth up to £1,274 over 26 weeks as well as a mentor.
11. Fantastic Services £5000 Re-start grant
Fantatic Services, the home services franchisor, has a grant programme offering up to £1m worth of cash grants to enable 200 people to start up their own business within the domestic service industry. The scheme is open to applicants in all parts of the UK, with more expected to be issued in London and the south east where demand for these services has grown over the pandemic. Each grant is worth up to £5,000 and will go towards initial business start-up costs in addition to the training programme to help grant recipients with the skills they need to successfully run their own franchise.
12. Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
The self employment income support scheme is a grant is an excellent way to boost your small business in the early stages. To be eligible the SEISS grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim the grant if you are a limited liability company or a trust.
12. Small business growth grant of Adur and Worthing
Adur council is offering a growth grant and an apprenticeship grant. The Small Business Growth Grant is open to micro businesses with up to ten employees to encourage growth and expansion of the local economy. There’s a grant of up to £2,500 available, with a 50 per cent match funding contribution required. The Apprenticeship Grants are available to individual businesses of up to 50 employees and pays out £1,000 per apprentice. Each individual business can apply for up to two grants.
13. High Impact Scale Up Coaching Grants
The coacging grants are ideal if you’re based in the west of England and need of a business coach. Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available to businesses to help with cost of coaching in the following areas:
- Business/Executive coaching
- Upskilling management staff
- Bid writing
- Financial forecasting/management
- Business planning
- Lean manufacturing
- Consultancy based non-executive directorship
Grants are available to businesses looking to invest between £4,000 and £20,000 in one of the above areas over a course of ten months maximum. Your company must have between seven and 250 employees and have had at least two years of sustained growth.
14. New Anglia Small Grants Scheme
The New Anglia LEP is awardingbusiness grants between £1,000 and £25,000 to entrepreneurs who want to grow their small business. In addition to that, the New Anglia LEP has a Growing Business Fund giving up to £500,000 to local businesses who aim to grow and create new jobs. It can cover up to 20% of your total requirements.
15. Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme
The purpose of these business grants is to invest in equipment that cuts down on carbon emissions within your business. Warwickshire District Council will fund up to 40%, providing grants between £1,000 and £50,000. The small business grants are for installing energy efficient equipment like LED controls and renewable technologies.
16. South East Creatives Top Up Grant
The South East Creatives Top Up grant is ideal for those businesses in need of of £3,000 and £6,000, where South East Creatives could fund 35% of your costs. The minimum grant that can be awarded is £1,000. The rest of the costs have to be paid from private funds and spent within one month of the grant being awarded. If you are sole trader or company trading in the creative, cultural or digital sector this could be a great boost to your business; perhaps bringing forward plans for some new equipment that you couldn’t quite afford or buying in expertise to help increase your customer base.
17. Locate East Sussex
Locate East Sussex provides small business support and access to funding for local businesses to promote growth, including grants between £10,000 and £25,000.
18. Business grant scheme, Elmbridge
Grants of up to 90% are available from the Civic Improvement Fund. This funding grant programme will provide money to small businesses needing training , marketing initiatives and improving shop fronts. As a requrement, you will need quotes from traders, consent from your landlord and other supporting documents to apply.
19. Elmbridge Start-Up Fund
This is a one-off grant to go towards start-up costs, such as marketing or buying equipment.
20. Greater Lincolnshire Growth Fund
Greater Lincolnshire LEP can offer between £150,000 and £500,000 in capital grant funding with the provision of between 70% and 80% match funding from you. Projects must be able to start within 12 months of the funding award. The priority sectors are agri-food, manufacturing, health and care, ports and logistics, visitor economy, low carbon and digital. Successful applicants will need to pay a due diligence fee of up to £10,000 if they wish to proceed with the funding process.
21. Business Innovation Fund, West of England
The Business Innovation Fund supports businesses from a wide range of sectors to help develop innovative projects and products that not only fulfil market demand, but also deliver industrial growth. Grants of £20,000 or £50,000 to invest in innovation. You can apply if your business is based in the West of England – Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset or Southy Gloucestershire and you are able to match fund the cost of your project.
22. Scarborough Business Development Grant Scheme
Business start-up grants are on offer for start-ups and business less than 18 months old with no more than ten employees. The grant can go towards the cost of necessary equipment and machinery, extension, adaptation of facilities and marketing. Up to £1,000 can be awarded on one project per year.
23. Small Business Grant Scheme, Crawley
Available to Crawley-based businesses in need of start-up funds or existing businesses looking to grow. You must be based in Crawley and have fewer than 50 employees. On top of that, you’ll need to match fund by at least 50% and the maximum grant available is £4,000/
24. Reigate and Banstead Business Support Grant
Nab an ongoing grant of up to £1,000 from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council with a free year membership of Enterprise Nation thrown in. It’s open to businesses looking to start, develop or grow. You must be based in the borough and have fewer than four employees.
25. NBV Grant for New Businesses, Nottinghamshire
The NBV grant is for businesses based in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Greater Lincolnshire. Grants between £1,000 and £2,500 are available and your project spend must be a minimum of £4,000.
26. Cumbria Business Startup Support Programme
For people starting a business or in their first three years of trading, this programme can include training, help developing your business plan and access to a £2,000 subsidy.
27. Business Growth Grant, Worcester City
You can apply for a grant between £1,000 and £3,000 which must be match-funded at least pound for pound. So, your project will need to cost a minimum of £2,000. You must have been trading for more than one year.
28. Manufacturing Growth Programme
The Manufacturing Growth Programme supports manufacturing in the UK. The grant covers a percentage of the cost, plus connection to wider support. You must be able to demonstrate that you have plans to improve and grow the business.
29. Mansfield business grant schemes
Mansfield Council has a selection of business grant schemes, offering up to £2,500.
30. North East Business Support Fund
The North East Business Support Fund is tailored to small businesses in County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. It’s made up of three different programmes which include
- County Durham – grant funding and masterclasses
- Northumberland – project grants and masterclasses
- Tyne and Wear – project grants and masterclasses
31. Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund
The Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund wants to support ‘relatively significant’ projects with a value of around £15,000, which would warrant a grant of around £5,400. It’ll fund 36 per cent of your project.
32. Business Energy Efficiency Programme, West Midlands
This programme covers SMEs in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin who could get a grant up to £20,000.
33. Leicester Business Growth Grant
This grant project supports small and medium-sized enterprises that have been trading business-to-business for at least 24 months in Leicester and Leicestershire who are looking to grow or develop their business. Grants from £2,000 up to £25,000 are available providing 35% towards the cost of capital projects (e.g. new machinery, tools, premises improvement or expansion).
34. Invest to Grow, Lincolnshire
Businesses in Lincolnshire can bag between £15,000 and £250,000 for developments that enable the delivery of new jobs and commercial space.
35. West Dumbarton Business Start Up Grant
This grant is for people in West Dunbartonshire to get up to £500 support with their business start-up costs. You must put forward a business plan and provide proof of trading such as evidence of a business bank account and identification like a passport or birth certificate.
36. Proof of Concept Grant Fund
This Proof of Concept Grant Fund from Techstart is a pre-commercial grant awarding fund. It supports entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland with grants to explore the viability and commercial potential of an innovative concept. Techstart gives out concept grants of either up to £10,000 or a concept plus grant of up to £35,000. Concept Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis while Concept Plus Grants are awarded every four months.
37. Skills Advancement Grant
Applicants can get up to £10,000 to go towards staff training for firms involved in manufacturing or internationally tradeable services. Just be aware that it’s only open to Invest Northern Ireland customers. If you’re able to show that you intend to sell outside Northern Ireland, are actively working towards growth plans, and will contribute to increasing productivity and innovation in Northern Ireland, you could become a customer of Invest NI. You’ll also need to have an actual turnover greater than or equal to £250,000 and external sales greater than or equal to 25 per cent or £250,000.
The above are 37 of small business grants you may be able to take advantage of. Whole this isn’t nearly the full list of small business grants, you may be able to find applicable govenrment grants, small business grants as well as other forms of funding in our Funding Database.