government pledging to help SMEs through the stages of start-up and growth,
there is a range of funding for small businesses to take advantage of. Follow
our guide to government grants...
Growth Fund (RGF)
looking for funding of less than £1 million, can apply for support through
Regional Growth Fund programmes. These are schemes run by national or local
organisations that have been awarded RGF cash to offer grants and/or loans to
Since 2011, £1.7 billion has been allocated to RGF
programmes, supporting more than 9,400 small and medium-sized businesses. To
be eligible, your business must be based in England, have a growth plan,
create or protect jobs, and be investing private capital. See a list of ‘live’ RGF programmes and funding
government-funded initiative provides loans, mentoring and support for
start-ups or very small, early-stage businesses with potentially viable
propositions but who are unable to attract investment from high-street banks.
To be eligible, businesses must be yet to launch or have been trading for
less than 12 months. The scheme provides free business planning to ensure
applicants are in the best possible position to receive funding. Every loan
application is considered according to the needs of your business, with an
average loan size of around £6,000. The final loan size will be determined by
your business plan. Find out
more about Start-Up Loans.
Small businesses grants are available from the UK government, the Scottish Parliament, the
Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly. Each grant provider has its
own application process and criteria for applying.
For a full list of
providers use the government’s business finance support finder. This tool allows you to search for
funding opportunities based on the location, size and type of business you
Finance helps UK exporters by ‘underwriting’ bank loans offered to overseas
buyers of UK products and services. This means it takes on the risk of the
loan from the bank, so that the bank is more likely to offer it.
It can also
help UK exporters to raise tender and contract bonds and access working
capital finance. To be eligible for export insurance, your business must be
based in the UK and the buyer must be overseas. Find out more about UK Export Finance (UKEF).
government investment of £1.2 billion, the Business Finance Partnership is
designed to diversify the sources of funding available to small and
medium-sized businesses via non-bank lenders.
Loan terms will vary, but
businesses can directly apply for finance with a number of non-traditional
fund managers and lenders.Find out more about Business Finance Partnerships.
Get our essential guide to alternative funding for startups and small businesses:
- Traditional versus alternative funding for businesses
- Ten sources of alternative funding
- Crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and invoice trading explained
- Where to find government-backed startup loans
- 6 questions to ask before you apply for funding