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Written by
Katy Ratican
19 Oct 2021
4 minutes

What types of small business grants are available?

The various business grants that are available to small businesses and startups in the UK
Types of small business grants

Every dream needs a little bit of help. No entrepreneur has made it without a team to support them and financial aid at the right time. To make it easy for entrepreneurs and startup founders in the UK, there are several business startup grants for over 30s in the country.

An essential part of starting a business is understanding where to get financial help from in case you might need it. You may not know it but there are business startup grants for over 30s that your business could benefit from. But first, let’s understand the concept of business grants.

What is a business grant?

Grants are financial schemes mostly funded by the government to help entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. They come in the form of financial aid, tax relief, training subsidy or free equipment. Some business grants may also offer vital resources at reduced costs to entrepreneurs.

The objective behind business grants is to encourage entrepreneurs to create jobs, foster innovation and have a positive impact on the economy. Business grants can range from hundreds of pounds to millions of pounds. What makes a business grant unique is that your business won’t have to pay it back.

What is the difference between a small business grant and a loan?

You don’t have to repay a business grant. While in most cases there may not be any conditions, for some business grants, you may have to invest an equivalent amount in the business. In certain other instances, there may be restrictions on where you can spend the grant amount.

What makes them different from the loans that financial institutions usually provide is that you’ll have to repay a loan. Along with the principal amount, you’ll also have to pay interest and any penalties should you miss payments.

All businesses hoping to get a startup loan should be aware of this crucial difference.

What types of business grants are available for startups?

Direct grants

The most common business grants are direct grants. Through this, a business would be awarded cash for a particular project. Usually, direct grants would require the applicant to match the amount and have stipulations on how the money can be spent.

Training and resource grants

These are grants to help startups get the necessary resources and training for any projects they might be pursuing. Any startup with a particular idea that needs a specific skill set can be a part of these publicly-funded accelerator or incubator schemes.

Tax relief

Startups may not be in a position to pay taxes in the initial stages. To support them, the government has several schemes that include business rates relief, employment allowance and corporation tax relief.

Business grants for specific entrepreneurs

Along with business startup grants for over 30s, there are several other schemes designed to encourage certain groups of entrepreneurs.

Business grants for women

To give women equal opportunities, there are business grants created exclusively to support female entrepreneurs. Women in Innovation Awards, Women Who Tech Startup Challenge and the Global Fund for Women are some of these.

Grants for young people

To nurture an ecosystem of entrepreneurship, there are business grants aimed at young entrepreneurs. Some of the most common programmes include The Prince’s Trust, UnLtd, and Shell LiveWIRE.

Business startup grants for over 30s

There are several schemes to encourage those over the age of 30 to begin their entrepreneurial journeys. There are reduced-price resources, grants and other schemes for entrepreneurs in this age group.

Grants for the unemployed

Did you know that if you’re unemployed, you can apply for government schemes to start your business? The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) is one of the most popular schemes for the unemployed who want to become entrepreneurs.

Where can I find small business grants in the UK?

Your search should start at the finance support centre of the UK government. You can learn more about 170 schemes including the Kickstart Scheme and Business Cash Advance among others.

You should also find out if you can get support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), Innovate UK, the Arts Council, or Spaces 4 Change.

In short

If you’re wondering how to start up a business, you could benefit from several of these programmes. From business startup grants for over 30s, to special plans for the unemployed, there are a lot of opportunities that an entrepreneur can choose from in the UK.

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