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Small Business Grants and Funding

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 11 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Small Business Grants Funding Loans

One of the key elements of starting up a craft business is having enough money to fund and finance it. So could your business be eligible for a grant or funding?

Small business grants and funding opportunities exist to help primarily new businesses to get off the ground and are an alternative to loans. They usually consist of a set amount of money that is given to a business for a specific project or purpose. Often business grants have conditioned tied to them, such as the type of business they’re given to and the type of new business owner.

For example, there may be certain grants set aside for crafts businesses, and others for sporting businesses. Likewise, some funding opportunities are specifically aimed at young business owners, so age is taken into consideration and older people won’t be applicable to apply.

Even though some funds and grants are aimed at businesses that are just launching, you’ll also find some development funding available, which is aimed at businesses that want to work on developing their service or products further.

Where to Look for Grants and Funding

The big question on many people’s minds is where and how to find this funding, as sometimes it can seem a bit elusive. Local and national business organisations, such as Business Link, often have grants available, but they’re also a good source of information as to what is available in your local area. As they’re so clued up on business issues and what’s going on locally, they may know of some grants that you’ve not heard of.

Other good sources of grants include the European Union, Regional Development Agencies, local authorities, enterprise grants and even some charitable organisations. On a national level, you can purchase, or view at a library, directories that list business grants and funding.

Depending where you live, the nature of your business and what you’re proposing to do with the money you’d like to receive, the nature of applying for – and being granted – funding can be a very competitive process. Due to this, it’s important to try and research any funding available in good time, as grants may only be given out on an annual basis and, if you miss the application date, that’s it for the year.

In addition, once you’ve applied, it can take a while for the organisation or trust involved to assess all the applications, interview (if necessary) the applicants and decide which businesses can be awarded the money.

Applying for Grants and Funding

The application process for grants and funding will differ depending on what you’re applying for and from whom. As a rough guide, with government grants you can generally expect to have to put forward a proposal detailing why you’re applying for the grant and what you’d do with it. Help, advice and information about how you need to fill in the application form will be provided, but you can expect to have to provide information such as:

  • Full details of the project or business.
  • Details of how the potential benefits of the business.
  • A full plan of how you aim to implement the ideas.
  • Full details of how much you predict it will cost.
  • Details of your experience and background.
  • A copy of your business plan.

Once your application is submitted, be prepared to sit back and wait. A decision can take a while to arrive, anything from a few weeks, to a few months and even up to a year.

A grant is unlikely to ever be enough to provide the full financial backing you need for your business, but it can work out as a great way of helping to get things off the ground and give you the vital boost you need.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I have just been redunded from my job of 29 years with remploy ltd,I want to start my own business, As a supplier of workwear and embriodery and wonderd if there was any funding or grants available as the embriodery machine and start up is very daunting and expensive, Any comments or ideas help me please...........micky
micky - 11-Dec-12 @ 3:15 PM
Hao Crafts Society request information for grant funds for training program,building capacity
Apam Ahum - 12-Aug-12 @ 6:44 PM
HaoCrafts Society request information forgrant funds for training program,building capacity
Apam Ahum - 12-Aug-12 @ 6:42 PM
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