Grants for your business
How to find and apply for suitable grant schemes
�Virtually no grant will cover 100% of a project's funding�
Free money for your business often sounds as though it's too good to be true. Often it is. Occasionally, however, grants really are available.
Without wishing to appear negative, the first thing to bear in mind when looking for a grant for your business is that you might well not be eligible. One business advisor, who asked for anonymity, told us: "The first thing a start-up will ask, all too often, is whether there's a grant around for them. I ask them why there should be, hoping for an answer with some sort of criteria, and they shrug and say ‘just thought it was worth a try...'"
Indeed, the first thing you need to ascertain if you're looking for a grant to help your company is why you should be eligible. The first things to bear in mind are:
Identifying which grant might apply to your business is therefore the second step. You need first to identify why exactly you want a grant. Remember, insufficient funds in your account is a business issue and applying for a grant might be your way of masking the problem subconsciously; ask yourself whether this really is something for which you ought to be applying for extra funds or whether in fact you're using this to dodge an income issue.
Your local Business Link will be happy to help identify any grants for which you might be eligible. The sorts of thing they will be looking at will include general grants for the following:
There are also localised grants focusing on specific issues and again, Business Link is an excellent place to start looking. You can also search Microsoft's European Union Grants Advisor to find grants relevant to your business. The sorts of things the issuers of these grants will look for will include:
Finally, again at the risk of sounding negative, remember the most likely outcome of a grant application is a polite rebuff, and the safest way to look at grants is to have a second business plan that assumes an unsuccessful application.