Finding development finance for a new business can be highly difficult; it can be difficult to attain and may be restricted to a certain business activity or a specific geographical area such as areas which are seeing economic regeneration.
Grant finance is an aspect of business start-up finance that is mainly overlooked; people seem to forget that it actually exists when in reality if you are successful in gaining it grant finance could end up being one of the biggest helping hands that your new business will ever receive.
There are many places in which grants can be attained from such as; the European Union, Regional Development Agencies in England, Scottish Enterprise, the Welsh Development Agency and Invest Northern Ireland as well as local authorities or local councils and local development agencies; however the most common place that people are able to gain a government grant from are Government bodies, these grants won’t come easy though. Government bodies only have a certain amount of grants that they are able to hand out every year to businesses meaning the competition that you will be facing to gain one of these grants will be tough and strong, which is why you have to make it crystal clear why you want the grant, what it will be used for and how it will benefit not only your business but the surrounding community.
When you are applying for a Government Grant there are certain aspects that will be looked at. These aspects will include the location of your business, the size of it and the industry sector that your business is based in. So why are these looked at? The main reason comes to the fact that government grants are awarded for a specific purpose and before you apply for a grant you should make sure that you meet the conditions of the scheme. Grants are generally awarded to small and medium sized businesses that have an idea to develop an innovative product, process or service.
As well as ensuring that you have clearly outlined what your grant is needed for and how a grant will benefit your business and the surrounding community you also need to make sure you have some money of you own to put towards the proposed project. You’re probably thinking but I thought that’s what the grant was for? Yes the grant provides you with money that you do not have to repay but it doesn’t cover all of the costs that are involved in the project. A grant will provide you with part of the cost of the project; it is then up to you to put the rest towards it. If you can’t afford to put the rest of the money towards the grant to cover the cost of the project then your application will automatically be turned down.
Some other reasons as to why your application for a grant may be turned down include your area of proposed work not being relevant, the need for the grant not being proved and the impact that the work will have on the community not been correctly explained as well as the information that has been provided not being up-to-date. If your application for a grant is declined for any reason you should always ask for feedback as this will help you structure your future applications better.