When it comes to finding government funding for your small business in the UK – where do you go? Who do you turn to? Is it even available?
Finding government funding to fit your small business needs isn’t easy, but at the same time it isn’t impossible.
In fact, thousands of small business owners across the UK in search of government funding, be it a grant, a loan or a tax break – get funded each year.
Funding is available for many startups and existing business owners. Funding can come in the form of a grant (different type of grants), a loan (different type of loans), tax breaks and credits as well as other forms of financial and non financial assistance from the government.
Not everyone is eligible, but you don’t know until you try.
The trying part of the “funding search” is the difficult part.
Well the “government of the UK” is actually not just one government when it comes to funding small businesses. Instead, government funding can come from many levels of the government such as the local funding agencies, regional and national. So where do you go to find these programmes?
Most people will simply visit the government website and locate the “popular” programmes which are for everyone. But the problem is, or a good problem in fact is that the UK government has hundreds of funding programmes (over 600 actually). But all of these programmes are handed out and managed by various funding agencies across the nation.
So can’t you just go to the agencies directly?
You could. However funding programmes and these numerous agencies are hard to find. Not every one of them has a great marketing department attached that has a website ranking high on Google for you to find. Nor do many of these funding agencies have social media presence for you to just stumble upon. So the problem is finding them!
Another option is to call your local government office and spent hours on the phone trying to get some information, but if you do this, you are hoping that “Joe” from the little town you live in knows about a programme you are looking for that may be across the country in another office somewhere. This programme may be perfect for you, but nobody has heard of it, because not all government offices (local, regional and national) communicate on that level. Think about it in simpler terms; if you go to a grocery store to purchase an ingredient for cooking, and you as the meat department employee where it is, you may get lucky if he or she knows. Why? Well because the meat guy knows meat. The dairy person knows the dairy section and the produce person knows produce – it’s not different then government agencies. Joe, from Whitby, North Yorkshire, knows Whitby (maybe a bit of North Yorkshire), but what if the programme you want is managed in London (yet funds all of the UK?), you are out of luck!
So how the heck do you find government funding programmes for your small business?
Consider third party services, or directories such as our Funding Database. We have a team of dedicated researchers who compile the information non-stop to ensure our funding database of all available government programmes are up to date and available for you to find (all in one place). Think about it, each week, multiple people spend 40 plus hours each to search though what may be available and to place it in our funding database. Do you have that much time, or even know where to start?
Before you start looking for funding programmes for your small business consider the factors. Each programme has different factors that you have to meet to be eligible, but even before that – make sure you have your business plan ready!
Once you have your business plan ready, you can start your funding search for your small business. To simplify your search, use the 3rd party services as mentioned (it will save you a ton of time), unless you have all of the time in the world (just ensure you find the programmes and apply before the deadlines). Remember to break down your search based on your location, your industry and your funding needs – this will allow you to narrow down your funding search for the specific few government grant or loan programmes which may be best for you.