Government Grants UK for Small Business and Entrepreneurs

The UK government offers many Business Grants and Incentives to the common people. This is to encourage citizens to take up small businesses to improve the UK’s economy. It may seem like the economic weather is harsh for many business owners. But this is why these government grants fit the picture. These grants are offered to those who are looking to venture on a small scale business plan.

There are many ways that small startups and businesses can be helped through the economic slump. The government of the UK has a range of business grants which are accessible and available to the common people. These incentives are quite helpful and ensure that business owners can get financial help from the government.

Boosting Small Businesses

Small businesses play a very important role in boosting the country’s economy’s overall growth. So, success in business ventures matters a lot for the government. The business landscape is more than just some massive international corporations. 

So, smaller businesses sometimes need a little help in the process. And if it turns out to be successful, the government benefits from it.

Small businesses also create a range of jobs for people from the ground level. The more support the small businesses receive, the more likely it is for them to make the most of their business plans. Supporting small businesses can present a solid basis for growth in the business sector. 

There are foundation grants that provide support, by helping small businesses and the people looking to open startups are encouraged. They begin to realise that they have more chances of continued sustained growth. So, it puts back more money into the economy.

Economic Advantage for the Government

It was estimated that small to medium scale businesses alone employ 14 million people in the UK. In fact, these small scale businesses are responsible for the employment of half of the population of the country. 

It actually covers a huge number of people. So, by not supporting small businesses, the government can lose a considerable amount of sustainable and growing employment options for the people.

That is why the government needs to allow small businesses to flourish and grow. This way the government can also ensure that the employment rate is going to continue to thrive higher.

By providing these government grants for small businesses startup, it is not a selfless act. The free money you get is not out of a charitable procedure. They are to boost business growth and bring back more into the country’s economy. 

So, if you are genuinely looking to use this grant to start a business, then you must ensure to claim most of all the opportunities.

Government Grants for Small Businesses/Startups

There are few specific Government grants whose sole intention is to help startups business and entrepreneurs ideas to grow.

1. Prince’s Trust Grants

This grant has been offering financial help to young entrepreneurs since the year 1976. The Prince’s Trust Grants offer an exclusive program that provides funding to the young crowd. They not just provide funding but also guide and train young individuals to start their own business.

To be eligible for any support or funding, one needs to be between the ages of 18 to 30 years. The funding amounts that were offered earlier ranged from 1500 euros to 3000 euros. But currently, the funding amounts are not listed on the website. They also gave out an additional grant of 250 euros for marketing but that is most probably no longer offered anymore.

2. Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

This grant offers small businesses funding of about 2500 euros that covers the entire cost of installing a Gigabit connection. You can apply for this installation as a solo business or as part of a group. Residents can also apply for this grant up to 500 euros for the same reason. Even on top of that, another additional funding is available too, especially for premises that are particularly hard to reach. 

The UK government has been seen committing to turning Britain into an entirely fibre based country. This scheme can be used by small businesses and local start-ups. It does not matter however small it may be in size. Even local communicates can apply for this grant. To help partially and sometimes even completely cover the cost of installing the gigabit-capable internet connection. 

3. CRACK IT Challenges

It is a series of many grants that come in the form of challenges. The challenges are to support a partnership between educational organizations and the SMEs. This is for solving business and scientific challenges to deliver the economic benefits of the country. The rapid research and commercialization of new technologies that are in effect will benefit economic development.

NC3Rs is the principal funder of the CRACK IT Challenges grant scheme. So, the challenges are formed and developed by them and the sponsor programs. The funding award can be up to 10  million euros over the time period of three years. But, the grant amount will be depending on the challenged contract.

4. Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

Although SEIS is strictly not a grant funding, it is a tax relief created to encourage investors to invest in companies from the UK. Investors are eligible to make investments against their tax bill. This significantly reduces capital risk and many professional investors require SEIS before they even look at a company. 

SEIS relief allows investors to claim back 78% of their investment through tax, but currently only up to 150K euros in the first year. Once, the companies are approved of the SEIS status, there is an advanced assurance process, which occurs before the investment. Or it could even be after the process when you go through with HMRC to claim SEIS on the behalf of your investor.

5. Apprenticeship Grant 

Apprenticeship Grant is meant to support work and training which is designed to meet the needs of the employers. They usually take 1-4 years to complete. This brings together practical training involved with job-based learning. 

Now, the amount of funding you will get depends on your business area and eligible criteria. Sometimes, the funding can begin at 100% with a 16 to 18 years time period. According to the current scheme, if you do not pay the apprenticeship levy, then it makes you eligible to cover 95% of the cost. 

That is the cost of training and assessing apprentices via the funds from the government. You would actually have to pay this if your payroll is over 2 million euros. Now, the grant scheme previously offered a 1500 euro standalone amount from the fund, for businesses taking on an apprentice(s).

6. Verb U Dell Social Innovation Challenge

The Verb U Dell Social Innovation Challenge encourages University students and graduates, including the International ones, to start their own business. The Verb U particular competition is a part of the Dell Social Innovation Challenge. 

This allows university students to get global exposure and also collaborate with other social entrepreneurs. 

DSIC or Dell Social Innovation Challenge has engaged students and entrepreneurs from different parts of the world. They have been awarded prizes of over 8 million euros. 

7. DigitalHealth.London Accelerator 

DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme was founded in 2016. It is a programme for late-stage technology companies or small enterprises. Most of these startups operate the health and well-being sectors. 

They take 31 of them at a time who get access to the top-notch academic and business partners of health technology. The programme is the successful partnership between UCL, MedCity, the London Academic Health Science Networks, CW+, Westminster Health Charity and Chelsea. Their overall aim was to increase the adoption rate of newer digital technologies in the NHS. 

8. Greater Lincolnshire Growth Fund

The Greater Lincolnshire Growth Fund is a lump sum amount of grant or fund amount to nearly 3 million euros. This grant is only open for business that is running in a few core areas of Low Digital, Carbon, Healthcare, Agri-food and Visitor economy.

The business projects that have been proposed must be able to prove that their projects are capable of having a positive impact on the local economy. Thus, it is worth undertaking the project. 

The grant ranges from 1.5 million euros up to 5 million euros. For small start-ups and micro-businesses with around 50 employees, the grant will cover up to 30% of the total cost of the business project. For a more extensive business project with the number of employees above 50, the grant covers 20% of the total cost.

One can spend these costs on building new infrastructure and adopt advanced machinery, equipment and hiring and recruiting staff. The criteria for being eligible to apply for a grant of 1.5 million euros will need to create employment for at least 27 people. A grant of 5 million euros will need to create a minimum of 90 jobs.

9. Fit For Nuclear 

“Fit for Nuclear” is a programme developed by Nuclear AMRC. It mostly works with manufacturing firms ready to carry out work in the civilian nuclear supply chain in the UK. 

The scheme is to aim for companies with no experience. This can include the ones that are involved in high-level mechanical engineering, supply instrumentation and control. The programme is eligible for businesses with an annual turnover of more than 16 thousand euros. 

And this is also applicable for businesses that have more than 10 employees. The process is a little complex for micro-business companies. But, those with exceptional products and services should not refrain from getting in touch.

The funding amount is not specified. But the government covers the cost of the fund and goes from the national fund.

Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI): A Close View

The primary object for IMI or Innovative Medicines Initiative is to speed up the development of innovative medicines. Also, improve the patient access to these medicines, in particular to those areas where social or medical needs are not met.

The program allows projects such as developing medicines, vaccines and treatments using next-generation antibiotics. The grant supports third-party organisations like SMEs and universities in participating in the projects. 

The grant can be in the form of providing personnel and covering other direct costs. A free subcontracting and a one-off financial contribution. They run a series of different calls for the applications for funding at any point in time.

The nature of the program is highly detailed. So, one will need to check out more advanced IMI2 rules before applying for the grant program. Now, the amount of funding depends on the project and the organisation applying through.

Adur and Worthing Small business grant

This grant is run by the local business partners and is created to provide general funding for small and micro-businesses. They have to apply for specific projects or acquisitions that will make a difference to Adur and Worthing business.

In order to qualify for that small business grant, one must have less than 10 employees working for the business project. And they have to be located in the Adur and Worthing area and have to be able to justify why the grant funding will further develop and establish one’s business. 

You can apply for a grant funding up to 2500 euros. But, you have to be able to contribute the same amount of money to match the grant. The entire grant is covered by the Adur and Worthing Small Business Grant from Borough, West Sussex, England.

Free Boiler Grants from the UK Government

The scheme of Free Boiler Grants includes the replacement of boilers that are available via ECO. They are free of cost and also heavily subsidised. It is a government scheme which has been set up to help low-income families. 

So, they too can have access to the benefits of home efficiency from technological advancements. It reduces the overall cost of heating in homes which in turn reduces the overall global carbon footprint.

The Government Boiler Grants are non-repayable and free of cost. This obviously means you do not have to pay any money for it. The terms and conditions set by the government are simple. 

The benefits related criteria to qualify someone for the grant includes having your current boiler that is not less than 5 years old, without condensing. 

If one qualifies for the grant, then it will be necessary for brand new boilers installed in their homes. The brand new boiler has to be installed along with new heating controls. The amount of funding that one will get is determined by the efficiency of his home. So, an energy assessment will be carried out free of any cost.

Those still having Oil/LPG heating should contact their local councils to get gas boilers installed in their homes. 

Best Areas of Winning Grants

The following are areas where the grants gain approval more easily than the others. This includes the ones that support good causes and the government benefits from your business in some way or the other.

  • Environment or Energy Conservation

With people slowly realising the importance of energy conservation and saving the environment, the government is now allowing these grants to encourage that very cause. It is not only making people aware of the conserving uses but also encouraging businesses to go environment-friendly. 

The grants are available to promote businesses that are offering products or services to help save the environment. The grants will cover the costs of small changes such as insulation of your office area, premises, etc. So, it is time we too start considering ways to save energy and making it a priority.

  • Export Grants

The UK government will always support businesses that involve exporting product goods that will bring money from outside the country. So, to boost the UK’s economy, this could be a key element to driving the economic recovery of the country.

  • Innovative Business Plan

If you have a unique business plan then chances are you can easily get this grant. It is really a no-brainer and you do not have to brainstorm a lot to come up with a good business idea. 

In the rapidly growing tech market in the UK, there are a lot of ways to come up with a good business strategy. You just have to look for the right opportunities and places to introduce your business in the market.

The government wants technological advancement hence it is always looking to encourage businesses that will support the tech market of the UK. One can learn a bit about technological advancements and study the UK’s market. This will enable a person to get a fair idea.

Applying for a Government Grant

Every grant will need specific documents and proofs for the grant to be approved. You need a solid business plan, explaining how the grant money awarded to you will be used to achieve your dreams. 

So, you must tailor your business plan in the most detailed way possible when applying for each of these grants, just like you would be preparing a CV for a job. 

A detailed prospective business plan will make you stand out among the competitive crowd of winning grants. You have to clearly refer to how the grant will help you in achieving your business goals. This will only increase your chances of winning the grant for yourself compared to the rest of the people.

It is not necessary for you to mention the exact cost of everything. You do not have to keep an account for each penny from the grant, that you may use. Just make sure to do your research properly before applying for the grant. 

This way you can understand where the hypothetical budget would be going to in order to allocate amounts where it is needed. You can show the costs allocated to various marketing expenses such as running ads on Twitter, Google Pay Per Click, distribution costs and real-life printing. 

The more you can elaborate your ideas and costs and build a convincing case, the better are the chances for you to be selected for the grant.


Although it is easy to apply for these grants, it is not quite as easy to be selected for them. It depends on various eligibility criteria and factors. They will include factors such as business size. 

Depending on how many employees are working in your business, the grant will be awarded to you. Apart from having a clear idea about why the grant should be awarded to you, the government will take a look at the location for your business. This is just to ensure whether it will be a successful venture in that selected region or not. 

That is why there are regional grants available depending on locations. Even the local competition will vary depending on each location. Some locations are more likely to be competitive than the others like London and Paris, where all types of businesses are already booming.

Some of these Government business grants can be industry-specific as well. This simply means that the grants will only be granted to you if you are already running a large-scale business. This is also applicable if you are operating under a well known industry.

Remember, that these grants are not just free from money. You need to make sure that most of the grant awarded to you is used in the appropriate way. A great resource for getting funds for small business is the Growth Voucher Scheme. 

The government offers this programme to businesses with less than 249 employees. They provide you with strategic advice on everything, including cash flow into your business to technology. Along with that, there are vouchers up to 2000 euros for covering the business costs.