It’s been a while since I shared a question from one of our members with you but this one stood out at me and I wanted to make sure that you see this issue and how we as a team were able to help and overcome. The question pertains to government funding schemes, applying to funding and getting denied funding.
I’ve shared a screenshot with you below to see the exact message with the members permission of course. What you don’t see if the attachment PDF of the denial letters from the 3 funding agencies.
This member joined UKStartups and our Small Business Startup Portal with the specific purpose of building his business plan, to get our business plan experts to review the business plan and to apply for funding in order to help his startup company to obtain a grant or a loan for hiring staff, to purchase tools and equipment and to cover some initial expenses.
The member was a registered member for 6 months with over a hundred conversations back and forth with out experts to perfect his business plans and to get him ready for the funding search.
After everything was completed and the member was ready to start his funding search; he said to our team “I’ve got this I found the schemes which I’m going to apply for”, and that was it.
However, not long after “February 25th” to be specific I received the above email asking what he did wrong and why he was denied government funding by not only 1 funding scheme but all 3.
The first thing that I did was open up the government agency denial letters to see what the problem was. And as you all may know; they don’t do a great job telling you what you did wrong when you do something wrong. These denial letters being the perfect example.
1st letter – Sorry to say, you are denied acceptance into our scheme
2nd letter – At this time we are not able to accept your application into our funding schemes.
3rd letter – You application for funding has been declined by SCHEME NAME
So I moved on to the next step and reviewed the schemes which our member applied for. I won’t name the schemes but after reviewing the applications I was able to notice the mistakes pretty quickly. Something that could have been avoided if the member used the Funding Application Review Service.
After reviewing the first letter and the first application; the member applied to a grant scheme which was for the wrong industry. The member is in the agriculture industry however the scheme only funds those in the manufacturing industry. While this is a mistake on behalf of our member, the government agency’s reply does not state as to why funding was denied.
*When applying for funding schemes always remember to apply only to those schemes which you meet the qualification criteria such as location, industry, funding needs and such. As each funding scheme has different criteria, carefully review before you apply.
After reviewing the second letter and funding application, on top of the funding application it stated that the application must be submitted at a certain time. The application deadline was passed once the member applied, and it appears that the application was submitted on the day of the final date, however sending the application by mail took longer then expected and application was denied for being late to apply.
*Funding schemes deadlines are listed in the Funding Database for our members to see. While many have no deadlines, it’s important to follow the ones that do show deadlines. Otherwise, a denied stamp will cover your funding application as it’s sent back.
The third application was also denied, and after reviewing the funding application the denial reason for the application is due to the fact that the member didn’t follow the instructions that were presented on the application document. The application requested that two separate mail outs be sent to the funding agency office; the first would be a business plan that was a must, and second the funding application for the funding – however, the application stated that the two mail-outs have to be sent to the same building/different floors. And this was not done.
*Funding agencies get a ton of applicants every single day. Most of the work-flow in these funding agency offices is manual and if the submitted applications don’t match what was asked, they are quickly placed into a denied area to avoid wasting further time so that the agent in charge can focus on other applications.
In this case the funding applications being denied had very little to do with the business and the actual request for funding, and a lot to do with how the government funding applications were presented. A valuable lesson to learn when applying for funding; Take advantage of our complimentary Funding Application Review Service and apply knowing that the mistakes that could be avoided would be noticed by our experts.