The difference between a grant and a gift
Many entrepreneurs and new business owners will seek support through gifts and grants. The difference between a gift and a grant is that gifts usually have no strings attached and grants usually do. Gifts are hard to come by but it might be worth thinking about whether you have someone you could approach who might be prepared to give you some money.
Grants do exist but, like gifts, can be hard to find. If grants are available they are usually only available to certain individuals, or to certain sectors or for a particular business activity – like research and development. So, how do you find out what grants might be available?
Here are some suggestions as to where you could look:
Business Links are government funded business support organisations which cover the whole of the UK. The main website has a good section on raising finance and looking for grants but you can also track down your local Business Link by entering your postcode online. Local sites should have more information on grants that may be available in specific geographical areas.
0845 600 9 006
The Prince’s Trust supports unemployed 18 – 30 year olds into self-employment and offers both financial support through grants and loans and also business advice and mentoring.
0800 842 842
PRIME supports the over-50’s into self-employment.
0800 783 1904
J4B is an information services company with an excellent grant search facility on its website.
Finally on grants: while your local Business Link should know what grants might be available in your area, you could double-check with your local and county council to see whether they are offering any business grants. Also, if you have a development organisation related to your sector as a whole such as The Arts Council, The Craft Council or The Sports Council, check out their websites for news of any potential grant funding. If you’re not sure whether there is a development organisation related to your trade, Business Link can send you something called a ‘Business Opportunity Profile’. These are wonderful fact sheets which cover just about every type of business you could think of!
Other articles in this series: