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Financing your business is one of the most important aspects of starting and growing your enterprise. A variety of business funding options are available but picking one that might work for you can seem like navigating a minefield. Call on our knowledge to avoid the hidden timewasters.
We can support you to find and access the right funding for your business, whether it be start-up loans, bank finance, grant funding, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, invoice finance, and equity finance.
Help and advice on what funding mechanism best suits your business is only a phone call away. Contact us and we’ll connect you with trained and knowledgeable funding advisors who know what’s most likely to match your situation.
If you're looking for something different, take a look at these alternative funding opportunities:
UK Aid has announced that the UK Aid Match programme is now open for applications. UK Aid Match brings charities, the British public and the UK government together to change the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. For every £1 donated to a UK Aid Match charity appeal by an individual living in the UK, the UK government will also contribute £1 of UK aid up to £2million.
To be eligible to apply for UK Aid Match funding, the applicant must be a UK registered, non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation and the appeal must aim to raise at least £100,000 within a three-month period.
Deadline: There is a two-stage application process. The first step is to submit concept notes by the 12th November 2019. Organisations successful at this stage will be able to submit full applications in February 2020.
Grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 per year are available to registered charities in the UK for projects that contribute to the development of a just society based on a commitment to non-violence and environmental sustainability. Grants can be for up to three years.
The Foundation's priority is to address systemic threats by seeking to change policy and attitudes at a national or European level. The Foundation also supports organisations or projects that are not UK registered charities if they can indicate a UK registered charity that is able to receive funds on their behalf. Priority will be given to small, pioneering organisations with an income of between 10,000 and £500,000.
Deadline: 28th February 2020
The Charity supports a wide range of charitable projects with an emphasis on social reform and tackling the root causes of social inequity. The charity favours causes that are outside the mainstream, and unlikely to be funded by other charities. Typically, grants are between £1,000 and £5,000.
Organisations applying do not have to be a charity, but its work must satisfy the Charity Commission's definition of charitable purposes and public benefit.
Deadline: 14th January 2020
The Bright Ideas Fund supports new community business ideas through the start-up and planning stages with tailored business support, to the implementation stage with grants of up to £15,000.
The Bright Ideas Fund is funded by Power to Change, the independent trust supporting community businesses in England, and delivered by Locality, the national network for community organisations, in partnership with Co-operatives UK, the Plunkett foundation and Ground Work UK.
The Bright Ideas Fund application is now open until 30 September.
There will be additional funding rounds in:
• February 2020 – April 2020,
• August – September 2020,
• February 2021 – March 2021.
Watch the Bright Ideas Fund webinar
The webinar for Round 6 funding took place on Tuesday 16 July at 11am. You can watch the recording here.
The webinar will help you understand what the Community Business Bright Ideas Fund is about and whether you can apply. It runs through what the programme offers, the criteria, application process and have examples of what we’ve funded in previous rounds.
In partnership with Thrive LDN and the #Will Fund, Team London offered grants of between £5,000 - £10,000 to community groups, small charities and voluntary sector organisations to run projects which encourage young Londoners to volunteer or take part in social action.
The projects will focus on any area of volunteering or social action such as sports, arts, media, environment, inter-generational, music, etc., but should also encourage good mental health and wellbeing. The majority of young participants will be new to volunteering and will come from groups that are disproportionately affected by mental health, such as those within the criminal justice system or young refugees or asylum seekers.
The Team London and Thrive LDN Small Grants will fund projects which:
Team London has announced that grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 are available to small charities and voluntary organisations that help Londoners who are experiencing loneliness and social isolation. These Londoners are sometimes referred through social prescribing to small charities and voluntary sector organisations. The grants will help to develop the grantees’ ability to engage sustainably with social prescribing. The funding is available to organisations with a turnover of less than £500,000 per year.
To see if you are eligible for funding please click here.
The John Lyon’s Charity gives grants to benefit children and young people up to the age of 25 who live in nine boroughs in North and West London i.e. Barnet, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, City of London. Since 1991, the Charity has distributed over £100 million to a range of organisations that seek to promote the life-chances of children and young people through education.
The Small Grants Fund enables organisations to access smaller amounts of funding outside the main Trustee meetings. Requests to the Small Grants Fund are considered at least six times a year and there are no deadlines.
Grants of up to £5,000 are available for small one-off projects for one year only.
There are no deadlines and applications can be submitted at any time.
The Fund awards grants of up to £2,000 to support charities and community groups or individuals to deliver activities in Thamesmead that connect the community and support social and cultural activities.
The Thamesmead Community Fund (TMCF) will provide grants for not-for-profit organisations* including charities and community organisations, and also for Thamesmead residents aged 16+ who have an existing or new project.
*Income Threshold: Applicant organisations must have an annual income of £100,000 or less.
Applications must be for projects/activities that demonstrate benefits for the wider Thamesmead community and meet one or more of the following themes:
Grants of up to £2,000 are available covering costs relating to the proposed project.
The application deadlines for this fund are:
This is a great opportunity for any resident or client who wants to do or offer something useful or fun in and for their community.
This could be:
Grants of up to £500 are available for each activity.
We are piloting the programme with an initial 10 projects, and funds will be granted on a first come first served basis.
I have attached the following:
Completed applications should be returned to [email protected]
The Church of England has announced that the next deadline for applications to its ChurchCare - Grants for Fabric Repairs is the 27th January 2020. ChurchCare supports all those in parishes, dioceses and cathedrals caring for their buildings. The Fabric Repairs programme helps PCCs with the eligible costs of essential fabric repairs in architecturally or historically significant Anglican churches in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Applications are considered on the grounds of the historic and architectural significance of the building and also on a parish's engagement with the history and interpretation of the site/building. Works eligible for funding tend to be Category A or B recommendations in a quinquennial inspection report and include things such as roof repairs; masonry repairs; rainwater disposal and drainage.
For more information please click here.
Apply for grants of up to £3,000.
The Edge Fund is a very small fund which was initiated by a small group of philanthropists and activists in early 2012. The Fund supports those taking action for a just, equitable and sustainable world. Grants are awarded to fund work that challenges abuses of power and aims to bring an end to the systems that cause injustice. This could be any system that discriminates against people based on their identity or background (e.g. class, ability, gender, race, nationality, religion, sexuality, age or other factors).
The Edge Fund supports:
Groups eligible to apply will be non-profit organisations (including groups that are not formally registered) based in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. In particular, the Fund supports small groups that struggle to get funding elsewhere, particularly if other funders might consider them to be too radical. The average income of groups supported is around £2500. Groups with religious purpose are welcome to apply but funding will not be provided for any activity, initiative or project where the primary aim is to promote religion.
The Charities Aid Foundation has announced that the Tourle Foundation Fund will re-open for applications on the 1st October 2019. The CAF Tourle Foundation Fund seeks to award grants of up to £5,000 to local charitable organisations delivering services for local people within the UK.
This 10-year programme is funded through the generosity of a £4.5m legacy left for CAF to distribute for this purpose.
To be eligible to apply, organisations must be able to evidence that the project will be delivered to local people.
Organisations applying must:
A new government £16 million fund is now available to help businesses train staff in making customs declarations, and to help businesses who support others to trade goods to invest in IT. This is to ensure that trade with the EU continues as smoothly as possible after Brexit on 31 October 2019. Customs agents currently help businesses who trade outside the EU. This funding will help increase the capacity of the sector as businesses trading with the EU consider whether to get an expert to complete customs documentation for them after Brexit. Applications will close on the 31st January 2020.
Schools, colleges and youth groups can receive up to 75% towards the costs of providing environmental outreach education for groups of disadvantaged young people through the Field Studies Council's Kids Fund. The Field Studies Council is an independent educational charity committed to raising awareness about the natural world and works through a network of residential and day Centres in the UK to provide outreach education and training. The funding is available to help young people aged 14 - 18 (25 for those with special needs) attend a course who may otherwise be excluded due to some form of disadvantage - health, mobility, deprivation or financial. One free staff/adult place is provided for every 12 young people; additional adults pay 20% +VAT. This includes all equipment, tuition and waterproof hire costs. Food and accommodation are included for residential courses.
Closing date: 1st March 2020
Do you have ideas that will grow the trading activities of the community space you manage and help generate a more sustainable income?
Apply for loans of up to £50,000 (interest-free for up to five years) from the Co-op Foundation’s Community Spaces Fund, to help your organisation boost its income.
The business ideas must be viable and benefit the whole community, particularly those facing greater challenges. Depending on the local needs you are addressing, the Foundation might also be able to offer some grant funding alongside a loan to support your work.
Small charities and not-for-profit organisations working with disadvantaged people and communities in Gloucestershire (including Bristol and South Gloucestershire), Hampshire (including Southampton and the Isle of Wight), Kent, Leicestershire, Suffolk, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex can apply for grants of between £500 and £20,000. The funding is being made available through the Henry Smith Charity’s County Grants scheme. Projects can last between 1 and 3 years and to be eligible the applicant organisation need to have a turnover of up to £250,000 (up to £1m if activities are county-wide). Applications can be submitted at any time.
Community groups have the opportunity to apply for funding to help them to take forward innovative community led housing projects. Grants are available to build or refurbish well-built, affordable and future-proof homes designed around the needs of local people. A total of £4.2 million is available as revenue grants over the next three years (up to 2021). The average grant will be £50,000. Small amounts of capital funding averaging around £25,000 are also available to applicants to sit alongside the main revenue grant. The funding will be mostly focused in Leeds City Region, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley City Region, West of England and West Midlands but will also be available to anywhere in England. The funding is being made available through the Power to Change Trust and applications can be submitted at ant time. All funding must be committed by December 2021.
Not for profit organisations, informal groups and individuals can apply for grants of between £2,000 and £5,000 for activities that use sport and physical activity to bring Londoners from different backgrounds together and help isolated and lonely Londoners feel better connected in their communities. The funding is being made available through the Mayor of London’s Stronger Communities Fund and will support recognised sporting activities as well as more informal exercise-based activity such as scoot events, walks, games such as Frisbee, tug of war etc. Applications can be submitted at any time until the 15th May 2020.
The Health Foundation has announced that it will be launching a funding programme in partnership with the Local Government Association for councils to work with others from their local area to improve health and address health inequalities. The Shaping Places for Healthier Lives programme is due to launch on the 20th November 2019 and will provide grants of up to £100,000 per year for up to 3 years to take system-wide action on the wider determinants of mental and physical health. Up to five projects will be selected for funding.
The Secretary of State has announced a new £10million Universal Credit Transition Fund. The fund will be available to organisations across the UK who are working to help vulnerable people, including the disabled, care leavers and those with mental health issues to claim Universal Credit as a route into work. Current figures show that a fifth of claimant’s delay making a Universal Credit claim because they don’t know how to make a claim or think that they will find a job quickly. The fund aims to support innovative ideas that engage with vulnerable people early, helping them to make timely claims for the new benefit. Applications will open in April 2020.
The Bruce Wake Charitable Trust will consider grant applications relating to the provision of leisure activities for people with physical disabilities. The Trust was established to encourage and assist the provision of leisure activities for the disabled.
The Trustees particularly favour applications where the potential beneficiaries meet one or all of the following criteria:
Community-led cultural organisations in London can apply for grants of between £1,000-£5,000 to support arts, culture and heritage projects and activities. The funding aims to help groups that usually miss out on grants because they are too small, too informal or from marginalised communities. Priority is given to projects that support people on lower incomes and connect communities that lack access to cultural resources and funding. The funding is being made available through the Mayor of London's Culture Seeds funding programme. There are no deadlines and applications will be accepted at anytime up to Spring 2020.
The School Holiday Activity Fund has grants available to help charities and state schools deliver activities for children and young people during the school holidays in North West London. This includes all half-term breaks, Easter, Christmas and the Summer holiday. The Fund will pay for the running costs of holiday programmes that provide young people with activities in supportive and accessible environments. Up to £4,000 is available for activities such as holiday drop-in activities; arts activities; sports projects; family activities; trips out of London; etc. The next closing date for applications is the 18th January 2020 to run activities during the February half-term.
Grants of up to £1,000 are available to registered charities and non-profit organisations who work to improve the education and physical and emotional wellbeing of children. Applicants applying for funding may focus on one or more of these areas: Living in Poverty; Physical & Mental Health Problems; Health & Wellbeing; Living With Disability. Examples of grants awarded in the past include a grant of £5,000 to the Panathlon Foundation for the Panathlon Challenge for young people with disabilities, to fund tournaments and specialist equipment; and a grant of £2,500 JT Inspires to promote the fitness of children and young people with congenital heart disease. The funding is being made available through the Les Mills Fund for Children and the next closing date for applications is 5pm on the 28th April 2020.
The Heritage Fund has announced that the next closing date for its Funding Programme £250,000 - £5 Million is the 2nd March 2020. The Heritage Fund provides grants to fund a broad range of projects that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK. This can include a broad range projects relating to natural and designed landscapes; cultural traditions; community archaeology; historic buildings, monuments and environments; and languages, etc. The funding is available to both not-for-profit organisation (such as charities, community groups and local authorities, etc) and partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations. To be eligible applicants must contribute at least 5% of their project costs for grants up to £1million and at least 10% for grants of £1 million or more.
The Warm Homes Fund will re-open for applications on the 2nd December 2019. The Warm Homes Fund is a £150 million grant scheme funded by the National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS). The fund aims to help make households warmer, healthier and cheaper to heat. The Fund provides capital funding for the installation of affordable heating solutions in fuel poor households who do not use mains gas as their primary heating fuel. This funding round is open to private sector bids and is split in to three categories: Urban homes and communities; Rural homes and communities; and specific energy efficient/health related solutions (including Park Homes). The closing date will be noon on the 24th January 2020.
The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, which supports charities in the UK working in agriculture, rural development and insurance has announced that the next closing date for applications is the 31st May 2020. The Trustees are particularly interested in initiatives in the areas of education of young people in rural areas and the relief of poverty within rural areas.
Trustees are particularly interested in funding larger initiatives, which would have a significant impact on the rural community.
Grants of between £1,000 and £50,000 are available. In 2016, the Trust made donations totaling £256,500 to a total of 15 organsiations.
Closing date: 31st May 2020
The Co-op Foundation is offering interest free loans for enterprising ideas to improve community spaces. Community organisations that manage community buildings and outdoor spaces such as parks and community centres; etc which are for the use of the whole community can apply for loans to grow their trading activities to generate more sustainable income.
The Co-op Foundation can offer:
Applications can be submitted at any time.
Applicants will need to fill out an expression of interest here
The next funding round of the Arts Council England's Developing your Creative Practice programme is due to open for applications on the 16th January 2020.
Arts Council England is looking for exciting, ambitious proposals that allow applicants to take that important next step in the way they make their work. Applicants are encouraged to consider their long-term needs and proposals can cover creative research and development or building skills through international exchange. Examples might include:
This fund is only open to individuals over the age of 18 years who:
Awards of £2, 000 - £10,000 (from a total pot of £3.6 million per year) are made through quarterly rounds. Funded project activities can last up to one year.
For further information or to check eligibility contact Arts Council England by [email protected] or phone 0845 300 6200).
Closing date: 12pm on the 13th February 2020
Groups undertaking a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order are eligible to apply for grants through the Neighbourhood Planning grant scheme. The scheme provides three types of grants. Basic grant funding of up to £9,000 to undertake a neighbourhood plan; additional grant funding of up to £8,000 for those groups meeting specific criteria and grants of up to £10,000 for groups that wish to evaluate the case for bringing forward affordable housing for sale by undertaking housing needs assessments and other relevant studies. In addition, the scheme includes professional support and advice on technical or process issues. Applications for grant for 2019-2020 can be submitted until 5pm on 31 January 2020. This means the last date for completing an Expression of Interest form for a grant application is 5pm on 30 January 2020 (applicants will still need to complete their application form by 5pm on the 31 January 2020). Expenditure through a grant must be completed on or before 31 March 2020.
Schools, voluntary organisations and charities can apply for grants to help both children and adults suffering severe learning difficulties. The grants can be used to purchase capital equipment, support capital works as well as covering project and core costs such as staff costs, general running and office costs. Previous grants have been used to support capital works for residential, nursing and respite care, and schools; employment schemes including woodwork, crafts, printing and horticulture; play schemes and play therapy schemes; day and social activities centres including building costs and running costs; support for families, including respite schemes; independent living schemes; support in the community schemes; and Snoezelen rooms. The next deadline for applications seeking funding in excess of £10,000 is the 1st March 2020. Applications for £10,000 and below can be submitted at any time.
The UFI Charitable Trust (Ufi), which aims to help improve vocational skills in the UK's workforce, has announced that it will launch a new call for proposals through its VocTech Seed fund on the 21st January 2020. VocTech Seed offers grants of up to £50,000 for innovative ideas that use digital technology for vocational learning. As the name suggests, VocTech Seed is intended to support innovative and creative projects at a relatively early stage of development. Ufi is particularly keen to support projects which will have long term impact on employers, communities of learners or sectors which cannot easily access current provision because of industry or market conditions, past learning history or other factors. The closing date for applications will be the 13th February 2020.
Charities in England and Wales with an income of between £25,000 and £1million that are tackling complex social issues such as mental health, homelessness and domestic abuse can now apply for core funding grants worth up to £100,000. The funding is part of the Lloyds Bank Foundations relaunched grants programme which now has a simpler and more flexible approach. Grants are available of up to £100,000 and are available over three years (with the possibility of continuing to six years) and can be used entirely for core costs. Core costs are overhead costs of an organisation, as opposed to those specific to a project; with charities able to flex how much they spend each year. Applications can be submitted at any time.
Grants of up to £5,000 are available to support the development of outstanding women, trans and non-binary songwriters and composers of all genres and backgrounds at different stages of their career. The funding is available to support touring, recording, promotion and marketing, community projects involving high-quality music creators, music creator residencies and live performances featuring new UK music. The funding is being made available through the PRS for Music Foundation’s Woman make Music Grants Programme and the closing date for applications is the 12th February 2020.
Artists and bands that are at a crucial point in their careers have until the 10th February 2020 to apply for grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 to grow and progress. Activities eligible for funding include recording, touring and marketing. Applications can be submitted by the artists themselves or those who are working on their behalf, for example, a manager, an independent label or publisher. The funding is being made available through the PRS for Music Foundation’s Momentum Fund and priority will be given to those that have not been funded by PRS for Music Foundation in the previous 12 months.
State primary schools and special schools (primary or secondary) are eligible to apply for a grant of up to £2,000 to help children to access and take part in arts activities at the many high-class institutions in London. Activities could include visits to the theatre, a musical experience or to a museum or art gallery. Grants could cover, for example, travel costs and contributions towards participation activities. The funding is being made available through the John Lyon’s Charity Schools Explorer Fund and applications can be submitted at any time.
Grants of between £2,500 - £5,000 are available to local community groups, sports clubs and charities to increase opportunities for young people in disadvantaged areas to play outdoor sport. Grants can be used for the development and improvement of playing fields and other facilities; volunteer training including the provision of qualifications; purchasing specialist disability equipment; or the development of long-term sustainability, for example marketing and finance expertise. Applications for grant to help unlock additional funding from other funders are encouraged. The funding is being made available through the Angus Irvine Playing Fields Fund. The fund will re-open for applications on the 6th January 2020 and applications can be submitted until the 28th February 2020.
Funding of up to £1 million is available for an organisation or partnership to support those working with heritage to develop their enterprise skills. The funding will be used to deliver a UK-wide programme of training and development to support heritage organisations in developing their enterprise and social entrepreneurship skills. This funding is being made available through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is part of a total £3m investment which also includes funding for business support programmes across the UK. Applications will be accepted from not for profit organisations or partnerships led by a not-for-profit organisation. The deadline for Expressions of Interest is noon on the 13th January 2020. Applicants successful at this stage will have until noon on the 20th February 2020 to submit a full applications. Applicants will be notified by 28 March 2020.
Not for profit youth organisations that support young people (aged 14 - 25) facing disadvantage can apply for grants of between £30,000 and £60,000. The funding is available for up to two years and will support the core operating costs of the applicant organisation. Examples of what can be funded include part-funding the salary of a key individual; policy work; additional fundraising or income generation capacity; and upgrading IT systems or website to reach young people online; etc. There is a two-stage application process. Stage 1 applications can be submitted at any time by completing an online application form answering a standard set of questions. The funding is being made available through the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Youth Fund.
From the 13th January 2020 funding and support will be available to business start-ups who want to create a product or business using location or property data. Grants of up to £10,000 will be available alongside a range of support which includes access to mentors, workspace, product development support, marketing and PR support, professional and personal development and access to a range of open and proprietary datasets.
The Geovation Accelerator programme is a partnership between the Ordnance Survey and HM Land Registry which aims to help launch and grow innovative solutions to social, environmental and economic challenges that harness the power of data and technology.
Further details will be available when the programme opens for applications.
Not-for-profit organisations in the UK that are working with children and young people using the arts and creative media can apply for funding through the Ragdoll Foundation's Open Grants Programme. The Foundation's vision is to support projects where the concerns of childhood can be heard. A variety of art forms can be supported including dance, drama, ceramics, creative play, film, music, puppetry and storytelling. Supported projects will support equality of opportunity, can include families and take place in rural or urban settings and may be delivered, for example, in children’s and community centres, nurseries, schools and hospitals.
Organisations can apply for both one-off short-term projects and for projects lasting up to three years. Preference will be given to those projects which have a deep commitment to listening to children and allow the perceptions and feelings of children themselves to be better understood. The Foundation is mainly interested in applications that involve children during their early years, but appropriate projects for older children (up to 18 years) will also be considered.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
For a full and detailed list of all the funding available please click on the following links:
or Click here!
You can also visit www.grantsonline.org.uk to help finance your business.