Government Grants For Small Businesses

In the early days of your business, there's a variety of ways of raising money available as you try and get your venture off the ground. These include the sale of shares, whether to people you know or outside investors; bank loans, and government finance schemes.

600 Initiatives

The UK government runs a variety of schemes aimed at small businesses, including grants, loans and support that can include mentoring. Some are regional, and some are aimed at certain age groups, while others are open to all. When you're considering ways of developing your business idea, it's definitely worth looking at the range of government-backed initiatives; there are currently over 600 different schemes available.

The "Start Up Loans" scheme, for example, is available to anyone in the UK over 18 and offers both relatively cheap loans and mentoring for new entrepreneurs. Loans must be paid back inside 5 years, though it's often possible to take payment holidays on the capital you've borrowed.

Regional Plans

Other schemes can help you to navigate your way through the technology available to modern businesses. "Connected" is a Northern Ireland-based service offering support to businesses with up to 249 employees, while Caerphilly's "Go2" assists local businesses with online issues, whether they're website startups or choosing online accounting software.

In London, small businesses that have been operating for at least a year can apply for unsecured loans of between £2000 and £20,000 via the Fair Business Loans scheme. These are particularly useful for companies that, not unusually these days, have found it difficult to raise money through traditional routes.

The list of government grants available is frequently revised. You can keep an eye on the latest ideas at