A quick note on Government funding…
Funding is provided to either effect some change in the economy such as create more jobs, innovation, green working, etc. or to address a market failure such as a lack of social enterprises. For this reason, criteria and eligibility is often very specific and funding may often take the form of paid for advice, zero interest loans or small grants that require a match contribution from the business. If you’re unsure whether you qualify for any of the schemes below please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

british business bankBritish Business Bank Guide to Finance

The business finance guide provides a comprehensive overview of the financing options available to growing businesses. Whatever the challenges faced, the right financing decisions are critical. For business owners and management, awareness of the choices available allows the business to make a well-informed financing decision.
This link takes you to a helpful tool that guides you through the various options for finance – Find the right finance for you

British Business Bank Enterprise Finance Guarantee

This video explains what the Enterprise Finance Guarantee is; one of the many funding options available to UK smaller businesses looking to scale up and grow.

  • Arts council England Small Capital Grants

    The Small Capital Grants scheme is designed to benefit arts initiatives taking place in England, helping to make these projects more sustainable and resilient.

    Individual organisations can apply for a capital grant of between £100,000 and £499,999.

    The scheme forms part of a range of measures Arts Council England has in place to help create a more sustainable, resilient and innovative arts sector – one of the five goals set out inAchieving Great Art for Everyone , a 10-year strategic framework for the arts.

    Who can apply: Applications are invited from arts organisations operating across the private and third sectors in England. Eligible organisations are those that deliver arts activities which can engage people in England or help artists to carry out their work. The sponsor’s priority will be to support its National Portfolio organisations that currently own or operate arts buildings and can demonstrate that capital investment will increase their resilience in the longer term.


  • Childcare Business Grants Scheme Re-opens for New Childminders in England

    The Childcare Business Grants Scheme was introduced to boost the provision of childcare in England and to incentivise entrepreneurship. It encourages and supports the starting up of new childcare businesses by providing a flat rate start-up grant.

    Those intending to set up a new childcare business can apply to the scheme to:

    • Obtain financial support to help with the costs of getting trained and registered.
    • Access a business mentor, to provide support and advice during the business start-up phase.
    • Access business advice tailored to the childcare sector.

    There are three types of grants available:

    1. A £500 grant for an early years childminder or childcare provider on domestic premises.
    2. A £1,000 grant for an early years childminder or childcare provider on domestic premises of children with special educational needs and disability (SEN/D).
    3. A £1,000 grant for a Childminder Agency (CMA).

    All costs incurred for the set-up of a business will be considered as eligible. These include:

    • Courses attended.
    • Health checks.
    • Public liability insurance.
    • House or commercial building insurance cover.
    • Additional car insurance to cover the transportation of the children in care, and any additional equipment that is purchased.

    The scheme is now only open to newly registered early years childminders, childcare providers on domestic premises and Childminder Agencies (CMAs) in England. These are those which have been registered with Ofsted or a CMA within the last 12 months. From 1 May 2017, a newly registered business will be one registered with Ofsted or a CMA within the last three months.

    The scheme is due to end by 31 March 2018 or sooner if all funds have been exhausted.

    More information here: Childcare Business

  • Enable – Lloyds Bank Foundation

    Enable grants are awarded to charities which have identified clear development needs, and provide a great opportunity to strengthen charities to deliver more effectively.

    Enable grants are up to a total of £15,000 over one or two years, and can reinvigorate charities through funding organisational improvements, development of areas such as leadership and governance, improved systems and demonstrating outcomes. These developments put charities in a stronger position to better deliver services and attract funding.

    Applications for Enable grants are accepted on an ongoing basis, and applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application within six months of the application being received.

    What Enable Grants Fund

    Enable grants are awarded to charities that meet our eligibility criteria and have also identified clear development areas which will support their growth. Enable grants are not awarded for costs which are considered to be for the core running of a charity – please consider applying for an Invest grant to support your core or direct delivery costs. Enable is not a small grants programme and funds work to support identified development needs.

    Enable can fund a range of activity related to the development and improvement of the capability of your organisation, for example:

    • Business and service developments and plans
    • Development of monitoring systems
    • Investigation of mergers, partnerships, shared services, contract diversification
    • Consultancy support
    • Quality standards
    • Development of new income streams and enterprise

    For more information please click here: Enable

    For information on how to apply please click here: How to Apply

  • Evalu8 innovation Grants for Low Carbon Transport

    Grants to encourage businesses in the East of England to undertake innovations around the electric vehicle market. Grants of up to £1,000 will be available. The grants will cover up to 50% of the costs of public or workplace electric vehicle charging points (75% for local authorities and SMEs), up to 75% on home charge units and 50% grant for eco build projects.

    Who can apply: Businesses across the East of England may apply.

    Application deadline: vouchers limited


  • Food Processing Grants

    An Open Rolling Call under EAFRD Sub-Measure 4.2 (Food Processing Grants) – Up to £3.7m is being made available under this Call, which closes on 31st January 2018.

    Grants of between £50,000 and £1m are available to good quality eligible projects in the SELEP area.

    Projects can submit an Expression of Interest at any time before the closing date.  The Call documents and instructions on how to apply can be accessed athttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rdpe-growth-programme

    This is a national Call taking place across England.  Details of the local priorities for the SELEP area can be found on page 52 of the Call Handbook.  Projects will be expected to make a contribution to both national and local priorities.

  • Forestry Innovation Fund

    DEFRA’s Forestry Innovation Fund is a nationwide £1 million fund to support schemes that will promote the growth of the forest industry in their region.  The Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG) is financed by this fund.

    Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG)

    Applications for the WCPG are now open. Please note WCPG is not part of Countryside Stewardship which provides other funding opportunities for creating and managing woodland.

    What is it?

    WCPG contributes towards the costs of gathering and analysing the information land managers need to consider to ensure their proposals for productive multi-purpose woodland take account of any impacts on: biodiversity, landscape, water, the historic environment and local stakeholders.

    WCPG ultimately requires production of a UK Forestry Standardcompliant plan for creating the woodland that shows how any constraints and opportunities have been taken in to account.

    What is eligible?

    Proposals need to meet some basic criteria, being at least 30 hectares in area and showing potential to benefit the forestry sector in the long-term through the provision of timber or other wood products. We will accept applications that span multiple land holdings, though the grant is only available on land in England.

    Existing native, semi-natural habitats are likely to have a high value for biodiversity, and for landscape and visual interest. This will need to be compared with the value of new woodland. Moreover there is a specific presumption against the conversion of priority habitats, such as deep peat or active raised bogs. Where the proposed planting is on semi-natural habitat the presumption is that the planting will be restricted to native broadleaved species or it will be retained as open ground adding to the forest mosaic.

    For more information and what is the process please follow the link: WCPG

  • Get Exporting 2 Programme

    What is Get Exporting 2?
    Get Exporting 2 is a tailored programme of advice and assistance, both financial and 1-2-1, to enable companies to begin selling overseas or to expand internationally thereby increasing profitability and employment in a sustainable way. It is backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which has enabled us to provide services additional to our normal operations and grants of up to £3000.

    What do you need to get out of the programme?

    Do you need advice?
    With an export health check and advice from an experienced export professional we can help formulate your international strategy, select markets and decide how to enter them. It is not as scary as it might seem and the rewards can be considerable.

    Do you need a little financial assistance?
    Would like to dip your toe in the export water but are worried that the costs may not be totally affordable, Get Exporting 2… can provide match funding (50/50) up to £3000 to help you explore your chosen market and find the partners you need to succeed. Alternatively if on-line is your route to market we can help to internationalise your website and get your products onto e-commerce platforms in other countries across the world.

    Do you need insights?
    In conjunction with our partners we have put together a programme of events, workshops and webinars to deliver insights into different markets and sectors relevant to you.

    Do you need additional resource?
    It may be that you have a fantastic proposition and global potential but you just don’t have the time to devote to it while you build up your UK operation. For a limited number of companies with outstanding potential to grow and develop quickly internationally we offer the services of an Interim Export Manager to work inside your business on a project to accelerate your export ambitions. This could save you years of market development time and teach you a lot about the nuts and bolts of exporting at the same time.

    To be eligible for Get Exporting 2 you must be a small or medium enterprise (SME) and have a strong desire to grow. Places on the programme are limited but if you are accepted, entry is free!

    What can you expect from signing up to the Get Exporting 2 programme?

    A package of support made up of:

    • International Trade Advisor support
    • Digital online advice on how to market yourself internationally
    • One-to-one meetings to discuss individual needs and formulate your international strategy
    • Workshops on key sectors and markets
    • Meet the Buyer events providing opportunities to develop international sales quickly
    • Market research advice

    and / or Grant Funding

    • A maximum of £3,000 match funding (50/50)

    Match funding can be used for a wide range of activities. To help you understand just what you can and can’t spend the grant funding on we’ve put together the following criteria.

    Eligible Expenditure

    • Design and production and printing of international marketing materials specifically for target markets
    • Internationalisation of website, translation, creation of social media profiles, SEO
    • Consultancy relating to patents, trademarks or copyright
    • Product registration relating to international markets
    • International market research (excluding OMIS)
    • Consultancy to help develop your export strategy
    • Mentoring / consultancy for language and cultural awareness
    • Export professional training and language training for target countries
    • Costs of travelling to the target country and in-country accommodation
    • Subsistence
    • Travel in market (car hire/taxis/buses etc.)
    • Entrance to exhibitions/trade fairs and shipping of any associated products

    Ineligible Expenditure

    • Costs already supported elsewhere through DIT
    • Personal items (i.e. magazines, adaptor plugs etc.)
    • Gifts, spa costs, entertaining (e.g. client entertaining/bar bills)
    • General printing in large quantities
    • Creation of a website for ‘business as usual’ purposes
    • Registration of patent, trade mark or copyright for ‘business as usual’ purposes
    • Product registration for ‘business as usual’ purposes
    • On-going membership / renewal of membership to trade body / association or professional accreditation
    • Direct costs associated with exporting (e.g. shipping, warehousing, haulage etc.)
    • Capital equipment (anything that becomes an asset)

    Get Exporting 2 can give you the boost you need to expand your business and contribute to growing the Regional, and indeed the entire UK economy.

    For more information speak to your International Trade Advisor now or call our Customer Service Team on 01707 398398 or email eastinfo@mobile.trade.gov.uk 

  • Grants for the Arts

    Grants for the Arts has been designed to encourage applicants to develop ideas linked to artistic needs and future plans.  It aims to be flexible and to encourage new ideas.  It also supports activities that engage people in England in arts activities or that help artists and arts organisations in England to carry out their work.  Activity must take place mainly in England. Minimum value is £1,000. Maximum value is £100,000

    Who can apply: Artists, performers, promoters, presenters, curators, producers and other individuals working in the arts.

    Application Deadline: applications may be submitted at any time


  • Innovation Funding

    Specialist innovation and incubation centre OrbisEnergy, is delivering a £6 million grant investment support project, part financed by the European Regional Development Fund, which will support small to medium sized businesses to develop new and innovative technologies in offshore renewable energy.


    Grants are available to support the development and introduction of new products, processes and ideas.

    Eligibility criteria apply and include:

    • Grant maximum 40% or £50,000 of eligible costs, whichever is the lower.
    • Minimum grant level £2,500
    • Pre-trading and established businesses can apply
    • Businesses must have < 250 employees and a Balance sheet with net assets of < 50m Euro’s.
    • Businesses must be based in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, and Peterborough.

    Business sectors include offshore wind, wave and tidal, other marine renewable energy technologies, and their direct supply chains.

    Only costs relating directly to the development and introduction of new products, processes and ideas can be supported.


    The grant aims to support businesses to bring new products, processes and ideas to market and increasing production capacity of existing innovative products and services by supporting costs such as:

    • Research and Development costs including specialised consultancy expertise
    • Implement the findings of the planning process such as in areas of new product development, manufacturing and design
    • Collaborate with Research Institutes, Universities and Colleges and source facilities, equipment and expertise to help solve technical problems and allowing further innovation
    • Expert services for Intellectual Property registration, including patents, designs and trademarks
    • Equipment or services that support a technology ‘step-change’ for the business
    • Equipment or services to provide additional production capacity exploiting innovative products or services
    • Alternative uses / markets for waste products
    • To investigate the technological and commercial viability of transforming innovative ideas into new products, processes and technologies
    • For research to acquire new knowledge for the development of new products or technologies, or significant improvements to existing ones
    • To implement the results of industrial research, including the creation of pre-production prototypes
    • To assist with the exploitation costs of new products or processes, including marketing, publicity and attendance at trade fairs


    The grant is approved by a panel who review each application. A business plan and simple application form is required to assess the grant request. Costs already spent cannot be claimed through the grant –pre-approval of expenditure is required. The grant is provided on a reimbursement basis once the full spend of the project has been evidenced.


    A meeting with one of our experienced business development specialists can be arranged by contacting OrbisEnergy on 01502 563368 or SCORE@orbisenergy.co.uk . An adviser will then check eligibility of the business and costs and assist with the preparation of a business plan and application.

    For more information Call: 01502 563368

    Email: SCORE@orbisenergy.co.uk

    Go online at: www.orbisenergy.co.uk

  • KEEP+

    What is KEEP+?

    KEEP+ is a European Regional Development (ERDF) Funded programme supporting small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to access knowledge and expertise through collaboration with universities and research institutions.

    KEEP+ is a collaboration of seven delivery partners including Anglia Ruskin University as lead organisation, EELGA (East of England Local Government Association); University of Brighton; University of Suffolk; University of Essex; University of Greenwich and University of Hertfordshire.

    The programme runs for three years and is primarily focussed on SMEs registered and actively trading within its core geographical area made up of the four Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) covering:

    • Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Rutland (Greater Cambridge/Greater Peterborough LEP)
    • Hertfordshire (Hertfordshire LEP)
    • Suffolk and Norfolk (New Anglia LEP)
    • Essex and East Sussex (South East LEP)

    What’s on offer?

    The range of interventions on offer can cover a wide variety of business needs and scenarios, providing your business with flexible opportunities for the innovation of new products and services:

    Knowledge Exchange and Embed Partnerships (KEEPs) – a three way collaboration between a business, a university and a graduate employee who will work with the business to achieve agreed goals (Limited capital funding may also be available to support the approved collaborative activity).

    Research and Innovation Collaborations (RICs) – a collaborative research and development activity for projects requiring more feasibility work and greater levels of research support than a KEEP (Limited capital funding may also be available to support the approved collaborative activity).

    Innovation Internships – a 12 week placement within a company enabling graduates to work in a role aligned with their qualification, and giving businesses access to the expertise needed to bring their products or services to market.

    How will my business benefit from KEEP+?

    Depending on which part of the KEEP+ Programme is best suited to your needs, by accessing the programme your business will benefit from:

    • Access to academic and graduate talent to bring new knowledge into your business
    • Support for innovation and business improvement
    • Assistance for the development of new products and services
    • Greater awareness of potential markets for the development of your business
    • Increasing your competitive advantage and profitability

    The KEEP+ Programme is match funded, with part of the cost of each activity being met by the European Regional Development Fund and part by the SME. SME match funding contributions are generally 50% for revenue costs and 70% for capital costs. You will need to satisfy initial SME eligibility criteria to ensure you can benefit from the programme. (Full details are available on the KEEP+ website)

    Contact us:

    To find out more about the KEEP+ programme can help your business, contact the team or your local delivery partner:

    Carole Randall – KEEP+ Programme Manager

    01245 684310


    Cheryl Cook – KEEP+ Marketing and Administration Manager

    01245 684207


    Kayleigh Parkes – KEEP+ Project Finance Officer

    01245 684985


    Visit the KEEP+ website for full details on the programme offer and advice on SME eligibility criteria atwww.keepplus.co.uk

    Why not follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn? Search for @KEEPPLUS.


    LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) which provides funding to local businesses and communities. LEADER funding is accessed through ‘Local Action Groups’ (LAGS) – in Essex there are 4 LAGs, which each have approx. £1.5m available to provide grants until 2020.

    What will LEADER Fund?

    LAGs decide which projects they will fund in their area. This depends on their local priorities but all projects must support one or more of the 6 LEADER priorities.

    These are to:

    • support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
    • boost rural tourism
    • increase farm productivity
    • increase forestry productivity
    • provide rural services
    • provide cultural and heritage activities

    Projects must also be able to demonstrate that they are contributing to economic growth and/or job creation and provide match funding.

    How do I apply?

    Are you a farmer, producer, forester, rurally-located business or community organisation working in a rural area? Do you require funding towards a project? If you are interested in submitting an application then in the first instance please contact:

    Suzanne Harris:

    Email: suzanne.harris@essexrcc.org.uk

    Telephone: 01376 574335

    Simon Maidment:


    Telephone: 03330 136722




  • Manufacturing Growth Programme

    The Manufacturing Growth Programme Grant scheme

    The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) provides free advice and support to manufacturing SMEs to help:

    • Identify opportunities and create plans for growth and improvement
    • Work with the best external experts to implement those plans
    • Cover 35% of the cost of implementing the plans through a growth/improvement grant
    • Connect to wider support to maximise opportunities for growth

    What the MGP means for manufacturing SMEs

    If you are an SME manufacturer, the Manufacturing Growth programme provides many advantages for you, including:

    • An independent business review to identify opportunities for business improvement and growth
    • A detailed action plan guiding you through the process of improving your business
    • Access to matched industry experts to provide consultancy and/or coaching tailored to your needs
    • Access to grants to co-fund your growth/improvement project

    How you can benefit

    By joining the Manufacturing Support Programme, you can benefit from:

    • Insight into the risks/issues and opportunities for your business, helping you better plan for the future
    • Understanding of what needs to be done to make improvements
    • Work with new expertise to make bring about real development
    • Reduced cost, helping you make the changes you need sooner

    How do you get involved?

    If you are a manufacturing SME interested in growing and meet the eligibility rules, get in contact with us first, and we will get your local MGP team for a free, no-obligation Manufacturing Review and Action Scoping Session. You will then be guided through the rest of the process by a dedicated Manufacturing Growth Manager.

    Who can apply?

    To apply you must be:
    1. an SME as defined by the EU definition. This means your company or group of companies must have:

    a. Fewer than 250 employees
    b. A turnover less than or equal to €50 million OR
    c. A balance sheet total less than or equal to €43 million

    2. A manufacturer, defined as:

    “A business that engages in any economic activity directly related to a product or production process they have researched, designed or produced, or otherwise hold core intellectual property in.”
    If you are unsure if you meet this definition, please get in touch with your local MGP team.

    3. Able to demonstrate the intention to grow/improve – (through creation of increased turnover, increased jobs and/or introduction of new products/services/processes)

    Businesses operating mainly in the following sectors are unfortunately not eligible:

    • fishery and aquaculture
    • primary production, processing and marketing of agricultural products
    • coal, steel and shipbuilding
    • synthetic fibres

    How much grant can be claimed and what can it be used for?

    The grant is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the costs of working with an external expert/coach of your choice to implement a pre-agreed Growth/Improvement Action plan. An average project value of £4,000 of support would attract a 35% Grant contribution (Minimum grant applications accepted: £350). Larger grants may be considered for exceptional cases (subject to panel approval) for projects demonstrating significant job/new product growth and higher level of applicant contribution (ie >65%).
    The scope of the Growth/Improvement plan will be specific to each applicant’s growth needs and will be agreed in advance with our Manufacturing Growth Manager. It will typically cover:

    • Expert consulting/coaching input – to analyse, recommend and support implementation of a Growth/Improvement Plan
    • Associated other expenditure specifically related to achieving a Growth/ Improvement objective (eg small equipment, preparation for accreditation costs etc)

    Grant supported Growth/Improvement projects must be completed, paid and claimed for within 4 months of grant confirmation.

    SME beneficiaries are at liberty to select any consultant/coach of their choice provided they can evidence adherence to EU procurement rules requiring them to invite a minimum of 3 quotations for the work and justify value for money in their selection.

  • NWES Start and Grow

    The Start & Grow programme is designed specifically to provide pre and post start support to individuals looking to start sustainable businesses which expect to employ people from the early stages and where start-up financing will be required to get the business venture off the ground.

    Clients must have the aspirations, the commitment and the capabilities to make the business succeed. The dedicated support provided is tailored to the individual needs of the business owner and the business concept. The comprehensive Start & Grow offering includes one to one support and advice; workshops and training; mentoring and coaching; and support to source the most appropriate funding available.

    The support package available could include the following:

    • 1:1 advice and support (available through multi-media options where appropriate
    • Specialist and tailored business planning advice and support
    • Advice and access to finance opportunities
    • Designated business support over a 2 year period
    • Signposting to other appropriate support services
    • A 2 day financial masterclass covering forecasting and book-keeping
    • A 1 day marketing masterclass covering marketing strategy

    Follow on supprt with:

    • digital marketing
    • financial performance
    • HR and Employment
    • Personal brokered introductions to business and professional specialists
    • Comprehensive support mechanism of appropriate local clusters and supply chains


    Must have a main registered trading address (or home address of one of the owners) which falls within one of our designated areas: Basildon, Bedford, Castle Point, Colchester, Fenland, Great Yarmouth, Harlow, Ipswich, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Luton, Peterborough, Southend on Sea, Stevenage, Tendring, Thurrock, and Waveney

    • must be fully intending to start a business that will create jobs
    • must be over 18 years of age
    • must have the right to work in the UK.

    The applying business is to be expected to:

    • still be trading three years after the business commenced trading
    • create at least one other additional job
    • benefit from investment, either personal equity or a loan/grant

    To find out more contact NWES now on 08456 099 991 or email info@nwes.org.uk

  • Plug-in Van grant

    The aim of the scheme is to reduce the cost of eligible electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen vans.

    The grant is part of a wider initiative – also including the development of low-emission vehicle technologies, establishment of a service infrastructure and provision of charging stations for electric vehicles – to promote the uptake of next generation, ultra-low emission vehicle technologies. By stimulating the uptake of electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen powered vehicles, the grant will contribute to reducing carbon and pollution emissions by road vehicles, helping to meet national targets for carbon reduction, and decrease the future manufacturing and purchase cost of ultra-low emission vehicles.

    Grant assistance is available to cover up to 20% of project costs up to a maximum of £8,000.

    Who can apply: The grant is available to individuals and businesses in the UK. Vehicles must be pre-approved and registered in the UK. Both commercial and private buyers are eligible to purchase vehicles under the scheme.

    Application Deadline: ongoing



  • Rural Business Development

    An Open Rolling Call under EAFRD Sub-Measure 6.4  (Rural Business Development) – Up to £2m is being made available under this Call, which closes on 31st January 2018.

    Grants of between £50,000 and £170,000 are available to good quality eligible projects in the SELEP area.

    Projects can submit an Expression of Interest at any time before the closing date.

    The Call documents and instructions on how to apply can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rdpe-growth-programme

    This is a national Call taking place across England.  Details of the local priorities for the SELEP area can be found on page 52  of the Call Handbook.  Projects will be expected to make a contribution to both national and local priorities.

  • Tendring business Grants

    Cash grants of up to £150,000 are up for grabs for businesses in Tendring to grow, flourish and create new jobs.

    The money is available now to new and existing firms within the area – and starts from £3,000.

    Firms will need to be able to put up some of their own funding, 75 per cent for existing businesses and 50 per cent for those starting up.

    Who can apply: Those SME’s eligible for funding need to be involved in manufacturing, engineering, energy, low carbon, maritime or research and development activities. The areas eligible involve the following electoral wards: Brightlingsea, Great and Little Oakley; Harwich East Central; Harwich West Central; Ramsey and Parkeston, St Johns; Manningtree, Mistley, Little Bentley and Tendring; Burrsville, Harwich East, Harwich West; Little Clacton and Weeley; Pier, St Mary’s; St Osyth and Point Clear.

    Application Deadline: applications open



  • The Business and Local Government Data Research Centre


    Explore data.

    Enhance knowledge.

    Empower society.

    The Business and Local Government Data Research Centre is leading the way in advanced analytics to help companies explore data, enhance knowledge and empower our society.

    Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Centre provides a range of no-fee business services supported by academic expertise from the University of East Anglia, University of Essex, University of Kent and London School of Economics to help your company use your data more effectively.

    What we provide:

    We collaborate with small and medium businesses to help you find a practical solution to a business problem, discover new opportunities within your sector, and support you to develop an overarching strategy for your company. We can help you understand what powerful data you have at your fingertips and how best to use it.

    We apply academic expertise to your projects, bridging research and knowledge in an empowering way. We help identify solutions for growth and improvement through data exchange and collaboration.

    We provide specialist academic time, knowledge and expertise to work on a specific issue or business project that you have identified.

    Training to ensure your analysts use the latest data tools and techniques. From introductory to advanced levels; through to customised training, your analysts will acquire new skills, working with your data.

    Data Analytics Innovation Vouchers to enable you to receive greater support and services from the Centre.

    Research placements in your business to provide time, talent and data analytics skills.

    Partnerships to transfer cutting-edge knowledge from the University into your company for long-term benefit. These can run from six months to three years. Innovation vouchers may be used to scope out your requirements.

    Contact us now to discuss how we can help you.

    Website: www.BLGdataresearch.org

    Email: BLGdataresearch@essex.ac.uk

    Phone: 01206 873859

    Address: Parkside 2C, Essex Business School, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ UK

  • The FedEx Small Business Grant

    The FedEx Small Business Grant UK (the “Competition”) begins on 1 March 2017 at 00:00:00 GMT and ends with the announcement of winner and runner up on 9 May 2017. The Competition consists of five periods as set forth in the chart below:

    Submission Period 1 March 2017 4 April 2017
    Sharing Period 1 March 2017 8 May 2017
    Judging Period to select Top 10 Finalists 5 April 2017 11 April 2017
    Second Submission Period 12 April 2017 21 April 2017
    Judging Period to select final three (3) Winners 22 April 2017 8 May 2017
    Phase Start Date (at 12am GMT) End Date (at 11:59 p.m. GMT)

    *FedEx will announce the top 10 finalists on the Competition website on 12 April 2017. The top 10 finalists will be notified via email and asked to provide a second-round submission by 21 April 2017. FedEx will announce the winner and runner up on 9 May 2017.


    The Competition is open to only for-profit companies registered in the United Kingdom which at the time of entry:  i) are registered at Companies House in the UK; and ii) have filed at least one set of annual trading accounts; or iii) have a valid UK VAT number. The company must also be wholly owned by legal residents of the United Kingdom who are over 18 (eighteen) years of age at the time of entry.

    Your business could win one of these grants:

    • Grand prize grant of £20,000
    • Runner-up grant of £10,000

    Follow these tips to enter:

    Your story will appear on the public profile page along with your photos and video (optional). Here are a few tips to help you complete the process smoothly:

    • Review the sample entry forms before you start. Note the word count for each response and what FedEx may consider when determining the finalists.
    • Gather the four images you want to submit with your entry, including your company logo in JPEG.
    • Prepare your one-minute video (optional) and upload to YouTube so you can enter the share link.
    • Write your profile in another document and edit it before you type it into the entry form.
    • Once you submit your entry form you will not be able to edit it.

    Enter here: FedEx

    For more information please click here: FedEx

    Full T&Cs

  • The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)

    The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is the UK’s innovation network and a network partner of InnovateUK. KTN specialises in cross-sector collaboration and can help companies to facilitate connections to other business, academics and other innovation support providers. KTN can help companies to find new markets for their innovative products and services, and find new solutions to their challenges that could come from a different market or area of technology. KTN is helping companies to access public and private funding.

    Website: https://ktn-uk.co.uk 

    Telephone: 03333 403250

    Email: enquiries@ktn-uk.org

  • The Prince’s Trust

    The aim of the Trust is to provide practical and financial support to young people in the UK that are not in work, education or training. The scheme helps develop key skills, confidence and motivation, enabling young people to move into work, education or training.

    The maximum grant assistance available is £3,000 although this varies by programme. Loans of up to £5,000 are also available.

    Who can apply: The Prince’s Trust programmes are available to individuals in the UK, aged 14-30.  The Trust has four target groups within this age range.  Programmes are available to people that fall within the following groups:

    • Young people under-achieving in education.
    • Young people leaving care.
    • Young offenders and ex-offenders.
    • Unemployed young people.

    Application Deadline: ongoing


  • Waste Prevention Loan Fund

    Grants and loans to enable organisations in England to introduce business models and processes which make more efficient use of material resources. Examples include product reuse, repair and upgrading services (eg through leasing), and materials recovery and reuse by the manufacturer.

    Textiles, electricals and furniture are the priority materials to reduce their environmental impacts, the quantity of products going to waste and the UK’s reliance on the resources required to make these products. However WRAP will consider applications of other materials that also demonstrate significant environmental benefits.

    For businesses interested in re-use and repair of textiles, electricals and furniture specifically, the following support is available:

    • Grants of up to £50,000 eg for equipment
    • Business development support, eg marketing and financial planning
    • Loans of between £100,000 and £1 million.

    Who can apply: The Loan Fund operates in England and is open to organisations operating in England and business models. Applicants may include businesses, social enterprises and local authorities. Applications will be invited in phases for different types of activity.

    Application Deadline: Applications may usually be submitted at any time.

    http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/wplf – (need to login to view grant)

  • LOCASE Grant Scheme
    • £10,000 match funded grant/support
    • Growth related projects
    • Sustainability must be a feature

    Apply here

  • ESi5 Growth Loan/Grant
    • Must create or safeguard jobs
    • Up to £8,000 per job created
    • Capital Spend Only
    • Delivered by Locate East Sussex and backed by East Sussex County Council

    Tell me more

  • Start Up Loan + 12 months Mentoring
    • 18+ years old
    • Pre-start or trading less than 24 months
    • Up to £25000 low interest (6%) up to 5 years

    Tell me more

  • LEADER Rural Grant scheme
    • Up to 70% of project costs
    • £50,000 maximum (neg.)
    • Location dependent
    • Must create jobs and growth

    Tell me more

  • RGF Asset Grant Scheme
    • 20% grant towards capital cost
    • Must be part of an asset purchase plan
    • Must create or safeguard jobs

    Tell me more

  • Innovate UK Grant Funding
    • Test new ideas and develop innovative products or services
    • Variety of schemes from £25,000 to £10,000,000

    Tell me more

  • Business Finance Finder
    • Find government-backed support and finance for business
    • grants
    • finance and loans
    • business support eg mentoring, consultancy
    • funding for small and medium-sized businesses and start-ups

    Tell me more

    • Provide support for rural businesses
    • Support the development of sustainable rural tourism
    • Develop the skills of the rural workforce

    Tell me more

  • South East Business Boost (SEBB) Grant Scheme
    • Launched 1st April 2017
    • Funding available to SMEs to cover costs such as business development, machinery and business expansion
    • £1,000 – £10,000 grants
    • Can fund up to 30% of the cost of qualifying projects

    Tell me more and apply here


  • Be UK based, with turnover of no more than £41 million per annum
  • Operate within an eligible industrial sector (a small number of industrial sectors are not eligible for support)
  • Have a sound borrowing proposal and robust business plan, but inadequate security to meet a lender’s normal requirements
  • Be able to confirm that they have not received other public support of state aid beyond euro 200,000 equivalent over the previous three years

EFG guarantees loans to fund the future growth or expansion of a business, from £1,000 to £1.2 million. Finance terms are from three months up to 10 years for term loans and asset finance and up to three years for revolving facilities and invoice finance.

Tell Me More

Funding Options

Find public finance using the finance finder tool, or search for private finance.

Professional advisers such as accountants can help you to work out whether it makes financial sense to take on loans or investment. You should take legal advice before taking on new investment in your business.

Find a chartered accountant on the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) website, or a solicitor on the Law Society website.

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