Many people around the world have some great ideas that never get off the ground because they are unaware that they can apply for a small business start up grant. Financial concerns are the main barrier to getting great ideas for a new business off the ground.
Sometimes the problem seems to be not just lack of awareness of these schemes, but also the difficulty in establishing which grant would best support your business. Unless you know what to look for, this can be a long and arduous process.
In the UK the government makes funds available for such schemes, which are distributed through various departments and agencies on a national and local basis. There are various small business start up grant schemes on offer, which almost any business is eligible to apply for.
Most direct grant schemes are a cash award that usually goes towards the cost of recruitment, training and export development. The company will in most instances be required to put up at least half of the money for these costs.
Capital is injected into the business with the investor taking an equity share of the company. If the business is successful the value of the company will increase and the stake could be returned.
This type of grant is expected to be repaid in full through future revenue. However, if the business fails the grant is completely written off.
Essentially a soft loan offers more generous terms than other types of lending. For example the interest rate may be a lot lower than for other types of loan or indeed zero. It may be that the repayment period will be longer than an ordinary bank loan as well.
There are other schemes available aside from the small business start up grants, which give new or smaller companies a helping hand. These are not necessarily financial but may offer advice or invaluable training. These include:
Access to Resources
Due to the cost of certain types of equipment and technologies, small businesses can struggle to compete and develop their products so there are schemes that enable companies to have access to publicly owned facilities.
Free or Subsidized Consultancy
Some schemes provide a great service by offering advice on specific sets of skills for free or at a vastly reduced fee.
In other instances it makes sense for small businesses to share the costs of research and development, which can be too expensive for some companies. By sharing the costs and the resulting expertise, it allows the smaller firms to compete more with their bigger rivals.
Whether it is financial, advisory or something else, any assistance offered to new businesses is crucial to them surviving in a competitive market. Governments in the UK, US and other countries are keen to promote entrepreneurship to help pull their respective economies away from a difficult period.
A small business start up grant can also give great confidence and encouragement to entrepreneurs. The fear of putting up all the capital for a new business either through their own money or bank loans might be reduced somewhat knowing such schemes are available in the UK as well as other countries.