If you are a start-up or small & growing business looking for business grants, loans or funding within the East Cambs region, the Enterprise team can assist.
A grant can be a great source of start-up funding, primarily as there is no interest to be paid and funds are generally non-returnable. However, with grants often referred to as ‘free money’ and a number of regulations attached, they can be notoriously difficult to secure.
With small business grants available from various bodies including government, councils, charities and foundations, it is integral that you proceed carefully. You need to find the right grant and awarding agency even before you start completing your application, as a lot of time and effort is involved.
Signpost 2 Grow
This is an excellent website for specific grant information and incorporates a search facility. You can narrow your search using your business postcode, number of employees and the type of funding required. Visit Signpost 2 Grow here.
Get in touch
We are here to point you in the right direction, so get in touch with our team on firstname.lastname@example.org for advice. In the meantime, here are some tips:
Apply as soon as you can
The best time to apply for a scheme is when it first opens because this is when there will be the most money available. Competition will be less fierce and those administering the scheme will be most keen to get their grants awarded.
Talk to the awarding body before you apply
By making a personal contact you will get advice on whether it’s worth applying, get help with completing your application and someone to talk to as things progress.
Keep yourself informed
Grants are constantly being introduced and updated and there are very few venues for finding out this information - so it’s a question of keeping your eyes open.
Don’t start your project before you have applied
If you go ahead before asking for the money the awarding body will take the view that starting without their assistance means you don’t need their grant in the first place.
Make sure your application is in connection with a specific project
Most grants are awarded for a specific purpose, not simply to fund business growth. So if you need new equipment or more staff to launch a new product, emphasise the product not the equipment. You will need to highlight the advantages of the product’s success, for example, job creation.
Write your application proposals with as much attention to the awarding body’s objectives as possible
Make sure you mention the benefits the project will bring - particularly to the local community and environment. Again these should all fit in with the objectives of the scheme.
Don’t be untruthful or bend the facts
Try and imagine all the potential implications of your project even if, at the end of the day, you simply want to increase revenue and profits.
Make sure you have a strong business plan to submit along with your application
If you have an existing business plan then now is probably a good time to update it.
Ensure the awarding body is completely convinced
You need to assure the grant agency that there is no chance of you moving ahead with your project without the grant – not unreasonable really.
And finally, ensure you have matching funds available
It is extremely rare for a grant body to finance 100% of the costs of any project. So those handing out grants for business need to be totally sure that you can put your money where your mouth is.
Also in this section: