Available funding schemes for business

Piles of coins, representing savings and business funding

A number of current business funding schemes are summarised below. However, navigating these with regards to eligibility and knowing whether they are right for your business can be a daunting task. If you require further support, please contact our team who will be happy to help.

  • Ad:Venture

Eligible businesses (based in the Leeds City region or West Yorkshire) have access to two funding options: a start-up grant of between £500 – £2,500, designed to cover start-up costs but is not available for running costs, or building up working capital; or a growth grant of between £2,500 – £25,000 for businesses aged between 12 and 36 months, which is for capital investment that will support growth and job creation. Ad:Venture also provide workshops, 1:1s and light touch guidance.

  • British Business Bank Finance Hub

British Business Bank is a Government-owned, independently-run bank that helps businesses find the right finance options. The Finance Hub has been built to help businesses understand and discover finance options. There are various options on equity funding and loans, as well as articles and resources to help you make the right choice.

  • Business Enterprise Fund

This government-backed scheme offers a range of flexible loan solutions. They are the delivery partners for the Start-up Loan Company and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, but also offer a growth loan.

  • Countryside Stewardship Scheme

Financial incentives for farmers, foresters and land managers to look after and improve the environment. They offer a variety of capital, revenue and research grants for many aspects of countryside management

  • Creative Growth Finance

Loan-funding scheme offering investment to businesses in the creative industries. They are suitable for companies looking to scale-up or, through the development of existing or new technology, develop new products and services which will meet emerging client demand, provide a significantly better service and enhance the company’s competitive edge.

  • Federation of Small Businesses

Provides non-profit supporting small businesses across the UK. A business will need to pay for membership fee, but in return they can access a wide range of benefits including: legal advice; advocacy; funding; networking and events; and specialist advice.

  • Finpoint

Finpoint is a platform that supports businesses to secure the funding they need to grow. It can help businesses to navigate the complex funding market to find the right lender. The business will need to prepare one funding application that can be shared anonymously with over 120 lenders, including banks, specialist finance houses and alternative finance providers.

  • Forward Enterprise Fund

This national funding organisation, run by The Forward Trust, aims to help ex-offenders and people in treatment from addiction get into work. Businesses can access loan funding to assist with developments that will allow them to recruit from these groups and provide opportunities for people to engage with work.

  • Funding Circle

The UK’s largest example of a peer-to-peer lending platform, which will connect businesses who want to grow with investors who want to lend. Peer-to-peer lending is simply when businesses able to borrow funding directly from other organisations and individuals or ‘peers’. Businesses can apply online and get a dedicated account manager for an unsecured loan.

  • Gigabit Voucher Scheme

Offers a grant which can contribute towards the cost of installing a gigabit capable connection. Businesses can claim up to £2,500 against the cost of connection, either individually or as part of a group project.

  • Innovate UK

Government-supported database of competitions for grant funding and innovation vouchers. There are a range of schemes available across sectors and the support can help to: research and develop a process, product or service; test an innovative idea; and collaborate with other organisations.

  • John Cracknell Youth Bank

Only available for young people aged up to 21 and living in certain areas. Provides grants of £1,000 for individuals or groups of young people who need finance to help make their idea happen. The project should benefit other people, or help the applicant develop an enterprising idea. It can also offer practical help with developing business ideas.

  • Key Fund

Key Fund are a lender and grant provider with a difference – they support social enterprises, and are a dedicated finance scheme for these businesses. They are the delivery partners on several schemes, and businesses will be directed to the right scheme for them.

  • Manufacturing Growth Programme

Grant towards the investment of an external expert. Their specialism could cover a range of topics and there is a lot of flexibility with regards to the projects that it can cover. However, main project areas include: business strategy; finance; leadership and management; customer and supplier relationships; R&D; productivity and capacity; systems and procedures; quality (e.g. accreditation), competitiveness; marketing; continuous improvement; and the implementation of environmental measures.

  • Kriya Lending

This scheme offers support for businesses that need to boost their cash flow whilst they’re waiting to receive payment on their goods or services. If the business invoices for goods and services that they’ve delivered and need to wait for them to get paid for, this will provide funds much quicker.

  • Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

This loan funding scheme is aimed at growing businesses that struggle to obtain finance from primary finance markets (e.g. banks). It’s useful for businesses looking to build working capital to support new investment projects, such as expansions, new premises, machinery and equipment, new employees, export etc.

  • Plunkett Foundation

Plunkett Foundation provides project and business funding, mentorship, advice and support to established rural businesses looking to preserve themselves, and for new ventures who have seen a gap in their village and want to fill it.

  • Resource Efficient Business (REBiz)

This programme helps businesses lower their energy usage, reduce their water and waste costs and minimise their impact on the environment. It combines free environmental audit (worth £1200) and hands-on business support. Measures that businesses can implement can be low-carbon methods of heating and lighting, making use of their waste in line with the circular economy, or other recommendations made by an efficiency advisor.

  • Start-up Loan Company

Delivered by the Business Enterprise Fund, this scheme provides loan funding for businesses that have been trading for under two years to help them get off the ground. Flexible loans are unsecured and no guarantors are needed, meaning that they are a low-risk method of gaining working capital to help with set-up and initial expansion.

  • UK Business Angels Association

Angel investors are wealthy individuals who invest their funds into a business for a small share of that business. The UK Business Angel Association, can offer guidance and advice on what to look for and how to structure the agreement, as well as put you in touch with potential investors or investment networks.

  • UnLtd

UnLtd is the support, development and advocacy group for social impact organisations in the UK. They run various social inclusion programmes, some of which have grant, loan, or blended funding attached to them. They also award small amounts of business funding to help organisations test and start their ideas through their dedicated start-up programmes.

  • Virgin Start-up Loans

A delivery partner for the Start-Up Loan Company, with a scheme particularly interested in new brands and products. Businesses must have been trading under two years. There is also a dedicated business support offer with this programme. Alongside the loan, businesses can receive mentoring and business planning advice.

If you require further support, please contact our team who will be happy to help.