Top Business Start-Up Grants in the UK

In the UK, starting a new business can be an exciting but challenging venture. One of the key considerations is securing the necessary funding to turn your ideas into reality. Fortunately, there are numerous business start-up grants available to provide financial support and resources to entrepreneurs. These grants can be a valuable lifeline for start-ups and small businesses, helping them access vital funding during their early stages.

Government grants for startups are particularly advantageous as they often come with favorable terms and conditions, making them an attractive option for aspiring business owners. Whether you’re looking for small business funding or exploring finance options for new businesses, understanding the application process for these grants is essential.

By tapping into these funding sources for entrepreneurs, you can not only secure the financial assistance you need but also benefit from the support and guidance that often accompanies these grants. From industry-specific grants to general business start-up schemes, there are options available for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and sectors.

In this article, we will explore some of the top business start-up grants in the UK, providing insights into the application process and highlighting the various finance options for new businesses. Whether you’re a tech start-up, social entrepreneur, or creative innovator, you’ll find valuable information to help you navigate the world of business grants and secure the funding you need to launch and grow your business.

Coronavirus Grants and Loans

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK government has implemented various grants and loans to support struggling small businesses. These initiatives aim to provide financial assistance and prevent businesses from collapsing during these challenging times.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is a key component of the government’s support package. It offers access to loans and other forms of finance of up to £5 million for businesses experiencing cash flow disruptions due to the pandemic. By providing funding on favorable terms, CBILS aims to alleviate financial pressure and help businesses survive and recover.

Another significant initiative is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which has been instrumental in supporting both employers and employees. The CJRS allows employers to retain their staff by reimbursing 80% of eligible employees’ wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. This initiative has played a crucial role in mitigating job losses and providing stability to businesses affected by restrictions and reduced demand.

To address the challenges faced by young people entering the job market, the government has introduced the Kickstart Scheme. This scheme aims to create job opportunities for 16-24 year olds who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers can access funding to cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for up to 25 hours per week, along with associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrollment contributions.

The Future Fund is designed to support high-growth companies that typically rely on equity investment by providing convertible loans ranging from £125,000 to £5 million. This initiative aims to help businesses access the investment needed to continue their growth and development during these uncertain times.

To offer immediate financial support to small businesses, the government introduced the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. This scheme allows businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with a 100% government-backed guarantee, making it easier for them to access the funding they need to navigate the economic challenges caused by the pandemic.

Local authorities also provide assistance through grants such as the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) and the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). The LRSG is specifically for businesses severely impacted by local lockdowns, while the ARG aims to assist businesses that do not qualify for other grant schemes.

To summarize, the UK government has implemented a range of grants and loans to support businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. These initiatives provide vital financial assistance and help mitigate the economic impact of the crisis. Whether through loans, wage subsidies, or targeted grants, these schemes aim to keep businesses afloat and support their recovery.

coronavirus grants and loans

Initiative Description
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) Provides access to funding of up to £5 million for businesses facing cash flow disruptions due to the pandemic.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Supports employers by reimbursing 80% of eligible employees’ wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Kickstart Scheme Creates job opportunities for young people at risk of long-term unemployment by offering funding for employers to cover their wages.
Future Fund Provides convertible loans ranging from £125,000 to £5 million to high-growth companies relying on equity investment.
Bounce Back Loan Scheme Allows small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with a 100% government-backed guarantee.
Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) Assists businesses severely impacted by local lockdowns.
Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Provides support to businesses that do not qualify for other grant schemes.

Small Business Grants

Small businesses in the UK have access to a variety of grant schemes designed to provide financial support and opportunities for growth. These grants can help businesses secure funding for various purposes, from investment to broadband upgrades. Here are some notable grant schemes available:

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) offers tax relief to investors who support small and early-stage businesses. In addition to tax benefits, SEIS provides grants of up to £150,000, allowing companies to secure the necessary funding for their ventures.

Grow It Award

The Grow It award focuses on supporting social projects and initiatives. This grant scheme offers funding of up to £15,000, along with expert guidance, to help social enterprises bring their ideas to life and make a positive impact in their communities.

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme aims to bridge the digital divide by providing funding to businesses in rural locations. With grants of up to £3,500, businesses can upgrade their broadband infrastructure and enhance their online capabilities, enabling them to compete on par with their urban counterparts.

Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants

The Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants support organizations in the creative sector. This grant scheme provides financial assistance to artists, cultural projects, and community initiatives, allowing them to bring their artistic visions to life and contribute to the vibrant cultural landscape of the UK.

CRACK-IT Challenges

CRACK-IT Challenges offer grants to innovative research projects focused on solving specific scientific and technological challenges. These grants provide funding and support to collaborative teams, encouraging the development of groundbreaking solutions with real-world applications.

Tradeshow Access Programme

The Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) helps businesses expand their reach and explore international markets. Through TAP, eligible businesses receive financial support to participate in trade shows, enabling them to showcase their products or services to a global audience and forge valuable international connections.

By taking advantage of these grant schemes, small businesses in the UK can access the necessary funding and resources to fuel their growth and success. Whether it’s through tax relief, expert guidance, or infrastructure upgrades, these grants provide valuable support tailored to the needs of small businesses in different sectors.

Continue reading to explore other financing options available to small businesses in the UK, including small business loans, start-up grants, and loans specifically tailored for entrepreneurs.

Small Business Loans

Entrepreneurs in the UK have the option to explore small business loans as a means of financing their ventures. These loans provide access to capital that can be crucial for growth and expansion. Whether you are looking to start a new business or expand an existing one, small business loans offer a flexible and reliable financing solution.

Enterprise Finance Guarantee

One of the options entrepreneurs can consider is the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme. This government-backed initiative provides loans of up to £1.2 million to small businesses that may have difficulty accessing traditional financing. The EFG scheme acts as a guarantee to lenders, making it easier for businesses to secure the funding they need.

Bank Loans

In addition to the EFG scheme, several banks in the UK offer small business loans with competitive rates and terms. Banks such as NatWest, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Lloyds provide tailored loan options to meet the specific needs of business owners. These loans can help fund various business requirements, including working capital, equipment purchases, and expansion projects.

Alternative Lenders

Entrepreneurs also have the option to explore alternative lenders for small business loans. Funding Circle, for example, offers unsecured loans that are designed to support small businesses with their financing needs. This peer-to-peer lending platform connects investors with businesses, providing access to funding that may not be available through traditional channels.

Funding for London Businesses

For businesses based in London, the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF) provides additional loan options. The GLIF offers various types of financing, including loans specifically tailored for early-stage and growth businesses in the capital. These loans can be instrumental in helping London-based companies thrive and achieve their goals.

Support for Underserved Businesses

The Fredericks Foundation is another organization that offers small business loans to entrepreneurs who may have been unable to secure funding through traditional means. This foundation aims to support individuals who may face difficulty obtaining finance due to factors such as previous financial challenges or lack of collateral. The Fredericks Foundation is committed to empowering underserved individuals and helping them turn their business dreams into reality.

small business loans

Overall, small business loans provide a valuable financing option for entrepreneurs in the UK. Whether through government-backed schemes like the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, traditional bank loans, alternative lenders, or specialized funding options for London-based businesses, there are various avenues for obtaining the necessary capital. It’s important for business owners to assess their needs, explore the available options, and choose the loan that best aligns with their requirements and financial goals.

Loan Option Description
Enterprise Finance Guarantee Government-backed loans of up to £1.2 million
NatWest Small Business Loan Flexible loan options tailored for small businesses
HSBC Small Business Loan Loan solutions designed to meet the needs of small businesses
Royal Bank of Scotland Small Business Loan Loan options for small businesses offered by Royal Bank of Scotland
Lloyds Business Loans Loan options for businesses provided by Lloyds Bank
Funding Circle Business Loan Unsecured business loans offered by Funding Circle
Greater London Investment Fund Loan Funding options specifically for businesses in London
Fredericks Foundation Loans Loans for underserved entrepreneurs who may have difficulty accessing traditional financing

Start-Up Grants and Loans

For those looking to start a business, there are specific grants and loans available to provide financial support. These funding options can help aspiring entrepreneurs turn their business ideas into reality. Let’s explore some of the start-up grants and loans that are available in the United Kingdom.

New Enterprise Allowance

The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) is designed to assist individuals who are currently receiving certain government benefits and want to start their own business. Through the NEA, aspiring entrepreneurs are connected with expert advisers who provide guidance and support throughout the start-up journey. In addition to mentorship, the NEA offers a weekly allowance of up to £1,274 for a maximum of 26 weeks to help cover living costs during the early stages of the business.

Do It Awards

The Do It Awards aim to support entrepreneurs who are working to address social issues through their business ventures. These awards provide funding of up to £5,000, enabling aspiring social entrepreneurs to make a positive impact on their communities. The Do It Awards not only offer financial support but also provide access to valuable networking opportunities and mentorship programs.

Eureka Eurostars Scheme

The Eureka Eurostars Scheme supports research and development projects led by small and medium-sized enterprises. This program provides funding to innovative businesses that are collaborating with partners from other European countries. By participating in the Eureka Eurostars Scheme, entrepreneurs can access financial resources that help drive technological advancements and contribute to the growth of their businesses.

Plug-In Van Grant

The Plug-In Van Grant encourages the adoption of electric vehicles in commercial operations. Through this grant, businesses can receive financial support to offset the higher upfront costs associated with purchasing electric vans. By transitioning to electric vehicles, entrepreneurs can reduce their environmental impact, lower fuel costs, and contribute to creating a sustainable future.

Start Up Loan

The Start Up Loan program provides entrepreneurs with the capital they need to launch and grow their businesses. These loans, ranging from £500 to £25,000, offer favorable interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and access to mentoring support. Start Up Loans are available to individuals aged 18 and above, providing them with the financial resources necessary to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality.

Prince’s Trust Enterprise Award

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Award aims to support young entrepreneurs in the UK. This award recognizes the achievements of individuals aged 18-30 who have successfully started and grown their businesses. In addition to gaining national recognition, recipients of the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Award receive a financial grant to further invest in their ventures and continue their entrepreneurial journeys.

Virgin Start Up Loan

The Virgin Start Up Loan program, in partnership with Virgin Money, offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to secure funding for their business ventures. Unlike traditional loans, Virgin Start Up Loans come with attractive terms, including competitive interest rates and additional perks such as mentoring and support from the Virgin StartUp community. With access to funds and resources, aspiring entrepreneurs can bring their innovative ideas to life.

These are just a few examples of start-up grants and loans available in the UK. By taking advantage of these financial resources, aspiring entrepreneurs can overcome financial barriers and start their businesses on solid ground.

start-up grants and loans


The availability of business grants and loans in the UK can provide crucial financial support to entrepreneurs and small businesses at different stages of development. From start-up grants to industry-specific funding schemes, the government offers a wide range of options to facilitate business growth.

It is essential for entrepreneurs to invest time in researching and understanding the eligibility criteria and application process for these grants. By doing so, they can maximize their chances of securing the financial assistance needed to launch or expand their businesses.

Whether it’s navigating pandemic-related grants or exploring funding options for specific industries, entrepreneurs should explore all available avenues for financial support. Taking advantage of these opportunities can help entrepreneurs take their businesses to new heights and realize their entrepreneurial dreams.

What are some of the top business start-up grants in the UK?

Some of the top business start-up grants in the UK include the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, Grow It award, Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants, and Tradeshow Access Programme.

What are the available grants and loans related to the Covid-19 pandemic?

The available grants and loans related to the Covid-19 pandemic include the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), Kickstart Scheme, Future Fund, Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Local Restrictions Support Grant, and Additional Restrictions Grant.

What are the options for small business grants in the UK?

Small businesses in the UK can consider grants such as the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, Grow It award, Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants, and Tradeshow Access Programme.

What are the available small business loan options in the UK?

Small business owners in the UK have options like the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, NatWest Small Business Loan, HSBC Small Business Loan, Royal Bank of Scotland Small Business Loan, Lloyds Business Loans, Funding Circle Business Loan, Greater London Investment Fund Loan, and Fredericks Foundation Loans.

What grants and loans are available for start-up businesses in the UK?

Start-up businesses in the UK can explore grants and loans such as the New Enterprise Allowance, Do It Awards, Eureka Eurostars Scheme, Plug-In Van Grant, Start Up Loan, Prince’s Trust Enterprise Award, and Virgin Start Up Loan.What are some of the business grants and loans available in the UK?In the UK, entrepreneurs and small business owners can access a range of grants and loans, including those specifically for start-ups, small businesses, and pandemic-related support.

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