Grant For Women To Start A Business – Every business needs financing. Getting enough money together for your small business can seem daunting and you may feel like you need to take out a bank loan. However, small business grants offer another option to help you avoid additional debt.
Grants can reduce your financial risk and burden, and the government has invested millions in grants to help women entrepreneurs build their businesses. After all, research shows that “boosting women’s entrepreneurship could bring an extra £60 billion to the UK economy”. Unfortunately, only 17% of UK business owners are women. Grants can help take your business to the next level.
Grant For Women To Start A Business
Business grants can be a competitive field, and it’s important to note that “not all small business grants available are just for women.” Requirements vary: for example, some grants require your business to be up and running, while others may allow those still in the initial ideas and start-up phase to apply. Others may require that your business be in a certain industry or location. For anyone with a UK-based business outside of London, including Northern Ireland and Scotland, you’re likely to find many grants for your localisation.
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Note that while most grants are unpaid, some may be loans or partial loans. Make sure you read and understand all the information regarding terms, conditions, fees and other detailed information. Sometimes this down payment has a lower interest rate or other incentives that may make it worth taking on the debt.
When you’re ready to apply for small business grants, you need to have the proper documentation and knowledge about your business. They also require a statement of purpose. You want to introduce the woman (or women) who own your business, then explain her story, what inspired her to start it, and why your small business deserves a grant more than other similar businesses.
If your application is accepted, grant organizations may require further action to make a decision. You may have to call your local council representative or pitch your startup idea to a panel. You really want to refine your elevator pitch.
Below are some outstanding programs and small business grants for women available in the UK. Each has its own application requirements and deadlines. In general, according to Women Entrepreneurs UK, when applying for a grant you should know the following:
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Take a look at these grants and make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare your application. Most seem to accept applications online.
There are many incubators, angel investors, venture capitalists and others trying to help women-led tech businesses. With 86% of tech workers in the UK being male, your business stands out.
If you want to add e-commerce to your B2B company and you’ve been in business for at least a year, this grant could be your solution. The business must be located in the Convergence Area of Wales. You may be entitled to up to £10,000.
This group of grants specifically focuses on those hoping to launch new technologies and products in the technology space. Women looking for small business grants to take their idea and make it a reality can get almost 100% coverage.
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While not a traditional loan, the Outbox incubator, a Stemettes initiative, provides education instead. It focuses on free STEM training for girls and young women under 22.
“RGF programs are schemes run by national or local organizations that have been awarded RGF funds to offer grants and/or loans to eligible businesses.” Local funds are strong and there may be less competition for grants awarded to those living in rural areas. Eligibility requires businesses to be based in England and unable to find funding elsewhere to apply. Make sure you check your local council and gov.uk.
For those trying to increase their marketing spend or improve their accounting, Growth Vouchers will give female entrepreneurs £2,000. It’s never too late to learn essential skills like PR for your women-owned small business.
London may be the UK’s capital and economic hub, but if you’re in Scotland, there are great grants. These programs enable the development of the local economy. If you’re not in Scotland, make sure you research your local area and council.
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This grant specifically targets small and medium-sized enterprises in Scotland. If you are doing some kind of research and development with a commercial endpoint, you can get up to £100,000 for a feasibility study and up to £600,000 for an R&D project.
Anyone can apply for free business rates relief, which can give money back to those whose businesses have a combined rateable value of £35,000 or less. For those paying less than £10,000, you can get 100% relief. You must apply for this through your local council.
If your business puts money back into the Scottish economy and is mainly funded through the private sector, you could receive up to £10,000. This grant specifically focuses on growing the Scottish economy.
If your business is in a niche market, you can find a grant for the industry. For a diversified and strong economy, all types of businesses must be represented.
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For those living in the arts space in Northern Ireland, the Arts Council provides a range of grants. This includes everything from small businesses and start-up groups to apprenticeship programs and public art.
This £8m fund from the University of Chester supports businesses in the chemical sector. If your business is in the North West of England, this fund can help you buy equipment and enable other capital investment, which will lead to regional job growth.
Those involved in childcare businesses can benefit from this grant. The grant is currently closed to applicants (as of November 2016) but will be re-opened soon with revised guidelines.
If traditional banks refuse your small business loan, you can still get a loan from them. Not all businesses are giving up because of business viability. Funding Xchange tries to turn traditional bank loans into crowdsourcing of banks: instead of one bank giving you the full loan amount, nine banks give you different parts of the loan under one loan.
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Don’t look to your fellow citizens: More peer-to-peer funding sites have sprung up recently. There you can find a group of people who want to finance your business. Or maybe you decide to become a sponsor yourself. Some popular UK-based peer-to-peer lending organizations include RateSetter, Zopa, Lending Works and Funding Circle.
If you are a startup and want to get a loan, these companies work specifically to finance ideas and innovations in the technology space. Start Up Loans provide loans of up to £25,000 to qualify. Big Issue Invest operates more like venture capital funding, focusing on social enterprises and charities. Prince’s Trust focuses on low-interest loans for startups with founders between 18 and 30 years old.
Finding financing can be daunting, but you can do it. There are many grant opportunities for women entrepreneurs. With the huge impact women entrepreneurs have on the UK economy, funding a woman-owned business is an important step for both the business owner and the community.
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