Securing the required finance to start up a business can be a tough challenge, but not impossible. Lending criteria has become stricter, making it more difficult for self-employed people and small businesses to borrow money.
However, there are a few alternative ways to raise funds that are worth trying. Although there is stiff competition, there are a number of grants available throughout the UK for all types of businesses and projects. The main advantages of applying for a grant is not having to pay anything back and still keeping control of your business.
Currently there are a few organisations offering business and start up grants, including the government, local councils, charities, the EU and financial agencies. Some will offer direct grants while others offer repayable grants (which are intended to be paid back if the business or project is a success).
What business grants are available?
Speak to your local council and other small businesses in the area as they may be able to help or recommend grants to apply for. You can also find out what grants are available by looking online, with the chance to apply straight away. Below are just a few websites to begin your search:
- www.gov.uk/business-finance-support-finder for help and advice finding grants, loans and financial support specific to your area of business and location.
- http://www.j4bgrants.co.uk/default.aspx - access to finance for small businesses
- http://www.smallbusiness.co.uk/financing-a-business/government-grants/ - advice, information and guides on grants and alternative ways to finance a start-up or small business.
- http://www.ukbusinessgrants.org/ - advice on how much you can borrow and where to get help.
How to get successful funding
When you’re applying for a grant, you need to make sure you have done the sufficient research and can provide the information the benefactor wants. They want to see that you’ll spend their money wisely. It goes without saying that your project needs to have a definite structure, clear objectives and a good pitch.
Stay organised by making a note of deadlines and important dates involved with the project and funding procedure, including legal contracts and policies. Before you put forward your application, let a family member or friend read over it. If they don’t understand something, it’s possible the benefactor won’t understand either.
As well as grants, there are other ways to get funding, for example:
- Business loans
- Business angels
- Venture capital
- Asset based finance
- Private equity
- Help from family and friends
Whatever you choose, make sure you thoroughly research the different types of funding so you can decide which option is the most sustainable.
Commercial bridging loan
While banks may be able to help with longer term lending, bridging loans can provide finance quickly over a short-term period. A commercial bridging loan can help purchase business premises, ease cashflow or buy new stock. You will, however, need property or assets to secure the loan against. If you’re interested, fill in our quote form to get an individual quote to match your bridging requirements.