Sources of funding for small businesses

The biggest cause of concern for entrepreneurs I meet is finding a source of finding now that banks are so reluctant to lend.

Here in the Business & IP Centre we have access to the subscription part of GRANTnet (6,000 grants, loans, awards and other assistance). GRANTfinder gives access to detailed information required to make an application.

GRANTnet logo

However have also created a Grant Watch service which acts a  guide to small business funding. Definitely worth checking out.

Looking for new business finance? There’s lots of free money out there! A range of small business grant schemes, awards and other initiatives are available to entrepreneurs. Read our latest guide to what’s on offer.

  • time4change is offering Train 2 Gain funding for leadership and management training to business owners based in London, with a workforce of between 9 and 250 employees, volunteers or associates. Train 2 Gain will provide funding where the first £500 is 100% reclaimable. Thereafter, you can spend up to another £1,000 and reclaim £500. More details.
  • Innovative London-based small businesses are being offered R&D grants of up to £10,000 as part of the London Development Agency’s Knowledge Connect scheme. The initiative aims to put SMEs in touch with universities, further education colleges and private sector specialists to develop new business opportunities. More details.
  • To stay up-to-date with the latest from Grant Watch, follow us on Twitter.
  • Striding Out is offering entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30 who are at the pre-start or early stages of running a company £500 and training from business experts in its Big Leap competition. 10 finalists will take part in an Apprentice-style business boot camp in April and compete for the overall prize. Deadline: 06/03/2009. More details.
  • Barclays is offering cash prizes totalling £17,500 to the UK’s most enterprising family businessses in its Family Affair competition. Eight regional winners will win £1,500 and the chance to compete for the overall prize of £5,500. Deadline: 31/03/2009. More details.
  • The Crisis Changing Lives Awards is offering grants of up to £2500 for single homeless people or for those who have experienced homelessness in the past five years to find a work-related course or fund tools or equipment to carry out a job or become self-employed. Deadline: 13/03/2009. More details.
  • Make Your Mark in the Markets is giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to turn their buisness ideas into reality and start trading at a local market for free. The winner of the competition will receive prizes including £1,500, six months free market trading and free business mentoring, marketing and advertising. Deadline: 20/03/2009. More details.
  • Lancaster City Council is offering local businesses grants towards the cost of renting premises. Finance to cover 50% of the first year’s basic rent can be claimed. The maximum grant is normally £2,500 but this may increase to £5,000 if rapid expansion and significant jobs growth is projected, requiring larger scale premises. Deadline: 31/03/2009. More details.
  • The Welsh Assemby has created a new £4.5m fund to help sub post offices in Wales to improve and diversify during the economic crisis. The money can be used for areas including business and marketing advice, advertising, training, improved security and upgrading computer equipment. Applications can be up to £20,000 capital funding and £15,000 in revenue costs. Deadline: 30/04/2009. More details.
  • Dell is seeking entries for its 2009 Small Business Excellence Award. Entrants have the chance to win £25,000 in Dell solutions and a meeting with company founder Michael Dell. The UK winner will receive £15,000 in Dell products and services; a day of best-practice sharing with Dell executives, including Michael Dell, and a 10 year membership to an Accredited Chamber of Commerce. Deadline: 03/04/2009. More details.
  • Winweb is offering £10,000 to new and existing entrepreneurs in its Business ’09 competition. Deadline: 01/10/2009. More details.