Here's our latest roundup of the grants and funds for businesses that are still available.
Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator is, ‘a six-month programme for entrepreneurs with high growth businesses who are looking to scale up.’ If you’re an established entrepreneur who wants to take your business to the next level, you can get free office space, Wi-Fi, 1:1 coaching and access to business mentors. This is a fully funded programme, and Natwest don’t take any equity in any business. You can apply online here.
PNE Sustainable Start-up award
PNE’s Sustainable Start-up award is a grant available to individuals in the North East whose ‘’businesses positively demonstrate their commitment to supporting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’’. You have to be aged between 18 and 30, and be able to demonstrate that your business idea meets at least one of the UN’s SDGs. You can apply from PNE’s website.
European Structural and Investment Funds
The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) is a programme which ‘provides funds to help local areas grow in a smart, sustainable and inclusive way.’ You can use the gov.uk website to view projects in the North East (or further afield) which you can apply to run, and receive funding for.
The New Enterprise Allowance is a weekly allowance of up to £1,274 over 26 weeks, and is designed to help those on Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance start their own businesses. You can also access mentoring through this scheme. To get started you’ll need to talk to your Jobcentre Plus work coach.
The R. W. Mann Trust
The R. W. Mann Trust is a charitable organisation, which gives one-off grants to organisations improving the North East. The Trust gives priority to organisations which are 'locally run and led, help people with the greatest need, involve disadvantaged and minority groups, improve the quality of life in their community, and are in the public interest'. To apply, visit their website.
Our friends at North Ventures have recently announced a new fund that North East businesses could be eligible for; Innovate:Grow. The new business support programme could mean up to £15,000 of investment for SMEs with ‘interesting, and potentially market-disruptive ideas’. You can now apply online.
The Prince’s Trust is a great organisation for young people wanting to start their own businesses. If you’re between 18 and 30 and have an idea for a business, you can join the Enterprise programme. It’s a great way to get your business started, and in special circumstances there are even grants available.
BEST Energy efficiency project
The BEST Energy efficiency project is an EU funded project allowing businesses to provide 250 SMEs with a free energy audit, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. SMEs will be able to reduce their running costs, do their bit for the environment, and there are even 100 grants up for grabs to implement audit recommendations. Just complete the eligibility form to get started.
Small Business Grants is a monthly cash competition, where you could win £5000 to help establish your business. There are no strict criteria, apart from that your business needs to be set up and actively trading. It's free to apply, and you can do so on their website.
Business Compass Leadership and Management Programme
If you're a Tees Valley business you could be eligible for up to 40% funding towards, 'coaching, mentoring or knowledge transfer relating to any business discipline that will improve the capability and/or capacity of leaders or managers'. Projects should cost between £2,500 and £5,000, and you can register your interest online.
The Business Clinic at Northumbria University
The Business Clinic is an education scheme set up by Northumbria University, designed to give final year undergraduate and masters students on the ground experience working with real businesses. If you're looking for consultancy advice for your business, or you have a specific problem, The Business Clinic offers their services for free.
Free workshops with The Business Factory
The Business Factory is offering residents of North Tyneside, as well as businesses in North Tyneside a number of free workshops catering for all areas of business. Self Employment, Social Media, Finding Customers and Applying for Tenders are just a few of the workshops they're offering, ideal if you need a little extra help or advice getting your business off the ground. Check out their eventbrite for more information.
RTC North are currently running two grant programmes, Designing Better Business and Pathway to Innovation. Through the Designing Better Business programme, RTC North are offering eligible businesses in Durham up to 40% of costs of a design, product or service innovation. Through the Pathway to Innovation programme, they're offering eligible businesses in up to 35% of funding for projects that will support the introduction of new healthcare products, processes and services. You can apply to both programmes online.
The North East Fund
This new fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and will be investing £120m in 600 businesses in and around the North East. There are 5 separate funds within the North East Fund, and the majority of SMEs should be eligible for at least one of them.
R&D Horizon 2020
If your business is an SME with a 'long-term development plan for your technology' then you could be eligible for funding from the EU with R&D Horizon 2020. Funding is focused on businesses aimed at improving the EU's position in science, particularly in regard to sustainable transport and climate change. Contact MSC R&D for more details on how they could help your business get funding.
Gateshead Goes Local
This fund is a local development strategy, intended to bring funding and support to people in the community who are struggling to get their business ideas off the ground. In January the fund received £2.2m to help develop businesses and startups in Gateshead. The projects funded will need to meet the criteria, but eligible businesses could receive a grant of up to £200,000.
Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator
This fund is from the Carbon Trust and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It's intended to help strengthen the global competititveness of British industry. Its open to all UK sectors, and if your business is coming up with innovations that have an impact on energy and carbon reduction you could be eligible to recieve betwen 40-60% project cost, usually between £150,000 and £750,000 per project.
Digital Drive County Durham
Digital Drive is ideal for businesses in County Durham who are embarking upon digital technology projects, who could be eligible for funding to cover up to 40% of their costs. This will include digital consultancy projects, equipment, broadband infrastructure and installation.
The Community Foundation
This organisation funds legally charitable work, and provides grants to groups trying to, 'keep their services or activities going, expand them or work in new areas' as well as projects which aim to, 'improve services, develop your staff and trustees or work on your longer-term plans'. The average grant is £6000, and if you're based in Tyne and Wear or Northumberland you can apply at any time.
This growth service provides grants to support your client's business growth. They help create jobs, including consultancy, specialist advice, and support towards participating in overseas trade fairs. The average grant is £11k, to fund 33% of your client's projects.
The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund provides funding support to businesses through 'energy assessments, training, equipment procument support and up to £10,000 capital contribution per company towards your energy saving equipment purchase.' Register your interest online, and download the application form to get started.
The Hadrian Trust provide grants to charities and groups working with people or the environment in the North East. Grants provided are usually between £500 and £2000, and can be used for running costs, project costs, part salaries and basic equipment. You can apply online or by post.
The Virgin Money Foundation's North East Fund is designed for community organisations, that are promoting long term change in disadvantaged areas in the North East. Successful applicants can receive between £10,000 and £50,000 towards the running costs of their organisation. Just fill in a short application form to get started.
The Foundation for Women in Enterprise provides small grants to women-led organisations, in order to support access to professional services, training and equipment. If you are successful, the foundation typically awards grants of around £250. You can apply online.
The North East Core Funding Programme comes from the Greggs Foundation, and 'makes grants to organisations in the Counties of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham and Teesside to support core running costs'. If you're a charity that supports disadvantaged people, you could get £15,000 per year for up to three years.
This program has recently been relaunched, and supports rural businesses, farming and forestry, culture and heritage, rural tourism and rural services. They are requesting funding applications for projects which focus on 'job creation and business growth'. You could receive 40% of the project's total eligible costs.
If your business is within the North East Local Enterprise Partnership area, you can receive up to £6000 when you hire a graduate. You must be a business to business SME, and work in the private sector. Email the University for more information.
This fund is available for businesses who have an innovative idea that will encourage business growth. SMEs must be based in the North East and be investment ready. Successful applicants will have up to 40% of their project funded, and gain access to industry experts, suppliers and independent advice.
This programme offers loans to businesses, which can be used to ''grow your business, take on new staff or manage cashflow''. Funding Circle offer loans from £5,000 - £1 million, and offer free early repayment. Just fill in the online form to see if you're eligible.
If you are looking for investment, Northstar Ventures could be for you. They are currently running the North East Social Investment Fund, which is designed for charities and social enterprises that help improve the region. Read the guidelines for submitting a proposal here.
Shell run a competition every month, where businesses could win £5000 towards a project which helps the UK become more sustainable. Sign up to their website to apply.
This fund is still running and offers support when you hire a graduate. They have different deadlines for each sector, so check their website for details.
If you're thinking about hiring an apprentice this fund is still available.
This fund offers up to £2800 towards your next business venture. You can apply online, and the process should only take 15 minutes. There are still dedicated offers for businesses in County Durham.
You can still claim tax relief if a project you're running aims to advance science or technology. The tax relief on allowable R&D costs is currently at 230%.
If you know about a fund, grant or investment opportunity we should be talking about, tweet us @TranscenditUK