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Business Grants Available in 2024

Introduction

Finding applicable funding or grants for your small business can be tricky, whether you’re a new business that’s just starting out, or an established business that needs a little help levelling up.  

Our guide outlines some of the current schemes and business grants for small businesses available, what you could be eligible for, and how to apply. 

What is a Small Business Grant and How Do They Work?

Grants for small businesses, usually offered by local authorities such as governments and councils, are designed to support businesses and help them make improvements such as: 

  • investing in renewable energy infrastructure and upgrading equipment and buildings for more energy efficient alternatives 
  • providing additional training for employees 
  • investing in business expansion.  

These grants are usually non-repayable sums of money and require businesses to provide proof of eligibility and a description of what they intend to use the grant money for.  

Grants are a great option, particularly for smaller businesses who may not otherwise have the means to invest in new initiatives. Securing a grant can help you to get ahead of your competitors and can even boost your credibility – once you have secured a grant for your business, other organisations may be more willing to accept future grant applications if you are seen as a reliable entity.  

business owners discussing small business grants

Available Grants for Businesses in the UK

UK business grants are frequently being updated with applications opening and closing and new grants becoming available, so be sure to keep checking the Gov.uk website for the most-up-to-date information. 

There are a number of local schemes across the country designed to support businesses wanting to meet their goals.  Many of these schemes involve non-repayable grants for small businesses. Here are some key grants to help boost your business. 

Green Initiative and Business Energy Efficiency Grants

Glasgow City Council Green Business Grant (Scotland) 

For SMEs with a headquarters in Glasgow that have been trading for a minimum of 6 months, seeking support with the cost-of-living crisis, as well as the introduction of energy efficiency measures. 

Energy Efficiency Grant  

Aimed at East Sussex based SMEs, social enterprises, and charities looking to introduce an energy efficiency project. SMEs applying must also have had an energy audit to identify energy saving measures and confirm that their proposed project will result in quantifiable emission reductions before applying. Businesses can apply for a business energy efficiency grant between £200-£1000 to cover a maximum of 40% of the cost of their energy efficiency project. 

Green LEAP – Small Business Grant Scheme 

A council grant scheme for small businesses based in Horsham District with the aim of supporting new climate-friendly business projects with funding of up to £5000 available for successful applicants. 

Business Grants for Growth and Innovation

Invest to Grow 

The Invest to Grow programme provides grants and loans of between £15,000 and £250,000 to support private-sector businesses across the East Midlands to innovate, grow and create jobs.  

Innovate UK Business Growth 

A grant for small businesses with a maximum of 500 employees, across the UK. This grant offers funded, bespoke support to help you grow your business, enter new markets, and access finance to get your business investment-ready. 

Ad:Venture  

Open to new businesses in West Yorkshire, Ad:Venture offers a range of support services, from free advice to grants to help you level up your business. 

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme  

Aimed at young business owners and entrepreneurs, The Prince’s Trust delivers free support to help equip people with the skills and confidence they need to start a business. 

UnLtd Starting Up Award  

Two grants for small businesses ‘starting up’ or larger businesses ‘scaling up’ who are committed to making a positive impact on the community and the planet. Criteria varies for each grant.  

Business Development Grant Scheme 

Two grants available to both start-up and established businesses based in Scarborough, to encourage the formation and development of local enterprises. Eligible applicants can receive a grant to cover up to 50% of the cost of their proposed project. 

Resilience and Innovation Grant 

For businesses in the South East Midlands to set up projects that will strengthen business performance and resilience to cost-of-living challenges and increase sustainability and innovation levels.  Successful applicants could receive up to 50% match-funded grants between £5,000 and £50,000. 

small business grant application

Other Grants for Businesses

Horizon Europe Funding 

Provides grants and funding to businesses and organisations across Europe and the rest of the world, for projects such as improving research, training, and development, particularly those involving ground-breaking research or new technologies, or focussing on areas such as climate change, food security and healthcare.  

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme 

A grant for rural SMEs in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland designed to help them upgrade their business broadband to higher speeds. This scheme helps eliminate the issues faced by businesses in areas where digital infrastructure is more difficult and expensive to build.  

Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk 

This grant from Historic England was set up to help fund the costs of repair and conservation of historical listed buildings in the UK, including project development which enables repair or improved future management. Applications are open year-round, and applicants are advised to contact their local Historic England office to discuss their proposal and application.  

Am I Eligible for a UK Business Grant?

The eligibility criteria for a business grant will vary depending on the terms and conditions of the grant you are applying for. However, many grants will state that they are only available to ‘micro’, ‘small’ or ‘medium’ businesses.  

The general criteria for each of these business sizes is as follows:  

Microbusinesses – employs fewer than 10 employees and has an annual turnover of less than 2 million 

Small businesses – employs fewer than 50 employees and has an annual turnover of less than 10 million 

Medium businesses – employs fewer than 250 employees and has an annual turnover of less than 50 million 

When applying for a business grant, you should be sure to check the application requirements and terms and conditions to ensure the grant is right for you, and to avoid disappointment.  

How to Apply for a UK Business Grant

When applying for a business grant, you must demonstrate that you meet the criteria for the grant you are applying for, such as your business size, location and annual turnover. 

If you are applying for a business energy efficiency grant, you may be required to complete an energy audit to give a comprehensive view of your energy usage and how the grant will help you to make improvements.  

Most UK business grant providers will include detailed criteria and instructions on how to apply, so it’s a good idea to read this through thoroughly before applying.  

It is important to make sure the grant you’re applying for aligns with your business’s goals and when filling out your application, be sure to thoroughly research the grant you are applying for as well as the organisation supplying it. Your application should be well-written and showcase your business’s strengths, with a step-by-step business plan on how you intend to use the money.  

business owner applying for a small business grant

Where To Find Out More About Grants for Businesses in the UK

To find out more about grants for businesses as well as free, local support available to you, you can contact your local council or check the Gov.uk grant finder for an up-to-date list of new grants when they become available.  

You can also get support for your business from your local growth hub. Your growth hub team have specialist advisors who will work with you to find the best support and help available for your business. You can find your local growth hub here. 

If you want help improving your business’s energy efficiency, check out our free guides. There are also several nation-wide organisations such as The Energy Saving Trust and Gov.uk that provide free advice and tips on how your business can become more energy efficient and cut both carbon emissions and costs.  

Want to Save Money on Your Business Energy?

As well as making the most of grants to help your business save money, switching to an energy supplier that offers great rates and energy-saving solutions can also help to boost your business.  

At Yü Energy, our customers can access a range of handy energy-saving tools, from smart meters to our Energy HealthCheck tool, designed to help you understand your energy usage and make sustainable changes.  

You can also find other ways to boost your business with our free business development guides, covering everything from marketing tips to securing the best energy contract.  

Interested? Get your free Yü Energy quote in under 30 seconds and start saving today!  

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