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:

Education & Skills Funding Agency & European Social Fund: South East LEP Community Grants

Awarded by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) under their Community Grants scheme via European Social Fund (ESF) funding and managed by CXK; grants of between £10,000 to £20,000 are available for VCSE and small organisations supporting unemployed or inactive adults who are furthest from the job market improve their skills and/or get into work or training.

Grants are intended to enable locally targeted support consistent with the challenges set out in the South East LEP Skills Strategy which are to:

  • Develop the capacity of the community and to meet local needs.
  • Undertake activities that promote social inclusion.
  • Build employment and enterprise skills through the voluntary and community sector.
  • Provide intensive support to help up-skill individuals and move towards and enter work.
  • To engage those individuals who are the hardest to reach through innovative approaches.

The grants are particularly targeted towards organisations that help four key priority groups including people over 50s, individuals with disabilities, people from ethnic minorities and females.

Areas eligible: Kent/Medway/Essex/Thurrock

Deadline: Monday 30 September 2019

Useful Links:


Bright Ideas Fund

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.


Funding for Research and Projects that Address Severe Learning Disabilities

The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund is a registered charity which was established to provide both research and project funding in the area of severe learning difficulties, including autism for both children and adults.

Grants are made to cover capital projects and core costs to include staff costs, general running and office costs at charitable organisations, schools and centres.

The next deadline for applications seeking funding in excess of £10,000 is the 1st January 2020.

Useful links:



Interest Free Loans for Enterprising Ideas that Improve Community Spaces

Community organisations that own or manage a building or outdoor space that’s used for a wide range of community activities can apply for interest free loans of up to £50,000 for up to 5 years to develop their trading activities and generate a more sustainable income.

Successful applicants do not make any repayments in the first year whilst there are developing their trading activities.

Useful Links:



Funding of up to £50,000 available to improve access to Green Spaces

Grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 are available to schools, charities and other organisations in London to improve access to green spaces and nature. This could include creating a community garden, improving parks and other green spaces for people and wildlife; greening school playgrounds to create natural play space and protect children from air pollution; and creating pocket parks in urban areas; etc. The funding is being made available through the Mayor of London’s Community Green Spaces Grant. 

Closing date for applications: 5pm on the 30th September 2019.

Useful Links:



Team London and Thrive LDN

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: 

  • work with 10 – 20 year olds on volunteering and/or social action projects which promote wellbeing and emotional resilience
  • demonstrate how volunteering and/or social action positively impacts on young people’s wellbeing and emotional resilience
  • work with young people from one or more of the following target groups:
    • looked after children (or at risk of being)
    • young carers
    • young people in the youth justice system (or at risk of being)
    • young homeless people (or at risk of being)
    • refugee and asylum seeking young people
    • young people with learning disabilities
    • NEETs (not in employment, education or training)
    • vulnerable young people (or at risk of being)

Grants Available to Tackle Loneliness and Social Isolation

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.

Useful Links:

Application Form


The Open Fund for Music Creators

Songwriters, composers, and artists, bands, producers and performers who are writing their own music or commissioning other songwriters or composers can apply for grants of up to £5,000 to support the:

  • Creation, performance and promotion of outstanding new music in any genre
  • Enable the UK’s most talented music creators to realise their potential
  • Reaching new audiences

The funding is being made available through the PRS Foundation’s Open Fund for Music Creators and can support activities such as:

  • touring
  • music creator residencies
  • promotion and marketing
  • commissions of new music by UK-based creators
  • exciting community projects involving high-quality music creators
  • recording
  • live performances featuring new UK music.

The closing date for applications is 6pm on the 1st October 2019.

Useful Links:


Funding Criteria

Funding for Community Based Projects

Grants of an average of £5,000 are available to charities working at community level in the UK and developing countries on causes which are less likely to be able to raise funds from public subscriptions. Grant making activity is directed largely at supporting work at community level; in the UK, this is concentrated on work that addresses issues around: Homelessness, Penal Affairs, Asylum Seekers and Refugees, and Community Based initiatives for Disadvantaged Young People Aged 16 to 25. Charities working in developing countries on community development, education and health can also apply. The next closing date is Thursday 12th September 2019. Apply to the Hilden Charitable Fund.

Useful Links:



Building Resilient Local Economies

The programme aims to build a more resilient, fairer and sustainable economic system. Organisations working within the UK who want to help transform financial systems into 'engines for social benefit' can apply for grants through the Foundation. Grants in the past have been up to £200,000 to cover capital or revenue funding, core costs or project costs. Activities funded will fit closely with the aims of the Foundation and deliver one of two key outcomes.

These are:

"System Change"

"Local Economic Resilience"

Under 'Systems Change' the Foundation will be looking to support projects that develop and demonstrate methods that will effectively change policy and corporate behaviours in pursuit of wider social objectives.

Under 'Local economic resilience' the Foundation is looking to support projects that share learning about effective ways for communities to create more sustainable economic systems and retain more of the value generated. This might include creating community assets or new approaches to local finance.

The next deadline for applications to the Friends Provident Foundation - Building Resilient Economies programme is 12 noon on the 7th October 2019.

Useful Links:



Frequently asked questions


Funding for Artists to Develop their Artistic Practice

The next funding round of the Arts Council England's Developing your Creative Practice programme is due to re-open for applications on the 10th October 2019.

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:

  • Creative media and the wider creative industries e.g. film or audio, design or gaming
  • Technology, including digital technology e.g. virtual reality or live-streaming
  • Other non-arts organisations or settings e.g. residential-care providers, or a science organisation
  • Other non-arts cultural forms or sectors e.g. health and wellbeing, social inclusion, heritage or sport

This fund is only open to individuals over the age of 18 years who:

  • Are living and working in England
  • Have three years’ creative practice experience outside a formal education context
  • Are working in Arts Council England’s supported disciplines i.e. they will be dancers, choreographers, writers, translators, producers, publishers, editors, musicians, conductors, composers, actors, directors, designers, artists, craft makers, and curators.

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.

The closing date for applications will be 12 pm on the 14th November 2019.

For further information or to check eligibility contact Arts Council England by [email protected] or phone 0845 300 6200).

Useful links:

Application Guidelines

View list of successful applicants from previous funding rounds



Small Grants Programme for Projects Benefitting Children and Young People

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.

Useful links:



The Thamesmead Community Fund:

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:

  1. Increases levels of arts and cultural activity
  2. Supports educational outcomes for a group
  3. Brings the community together
  4. Seeks to improve local health and wellbeing
  5. Encourages community use of local outdoor spaces
  6. Supports activities to strengthen children and family relationships
  7. Help people develop new skills
  8. Provides local services or activities for older people

Grant size

Grants of up to £2,000 are available covering costs relating to the proposed project.

The application deadlines for this fund are:

  • Monday 18th November 2019 for projects from January 2020 - Decisions released by 23rd December 2019
  • Monday 24th February 2020 for projects from April 2020 - Decisions released by 31st March 2020If you have any questions or would like to discuss any element of the fund or your application, please contact us on 020 7582 5117 or at [email protected]
  • Contact details

Useful Links:



Peabody Community Leaders Programme:

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:

  • Community BBQ
  • Organised day trip
  • Workshop for skills development and knowledge sharing

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:

  • Funding Application
  • Community Leaders process

Completed applications should be returned to [email protected]

Useful links:


Grants of up to £5,000 Available for Local Community Projects

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 the UK. To be eligible to apply, organisations must be able to evidence that the project will be delivered to local people and have an annual income of below £100,000. Priority will be given to organisations that find it difficult to attract mainstream funding.

Deadline: 1st October 2019

For more information please click here.

ChurchCare - Grants for Fabric Repairs

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.

Funding of up to £3,000 Available to Groups Fighting Discrimination and Injustice (UK)

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:

  • Work that creates long-term change in society by addressing the causes of injustice and inequality.
  • Work addressing issues facing a particular community that is led by that community (e.g. a group working on issues around sex work should be led by people with direct lived experience of sex work).

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.

Useful Links:

Apply now



Funding for Housing Projects that Cater for People with Special Needs

The Quaker Housing Trust provides grants and interest free loans to housing projects that cater for people with a wide range of needs, including:

  • mental & physical health problems
  • learning difficulties
  • would otherwise be homeless
  • escaping domestic violence
  • single parents
  • young families
  • moving out of institutional care
  • addiction problems
  • refugees, asylum seekers, migrants
  • survivors of trafficking.

To be eligible for funding, applicants need to have legal charitable status and be a small organisation (with an annual turnover of not more than £1 million and without access to sufficient income, reserves, nor other fundraising, to pay for the work).

The Quaker Housing Trust give grants and interest-free loans as one-off funding for capital cost items of expenditure across a wide range of practical elements such as:

  • buying property or land
  • building new housing
  • converting, renovating or refurbishing property.
  • expanding an existing housing project.
  • making a housing project ‘greener’.
  • and smaller practical things which turn a house into a home.

Deadline: 18th October 2019

Useful Links:


Grants of up to £5,000 Available for Local Community Projects

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:

  • be applying for up to £5,000
  • be providing a service to the heart of your community
  • be a community charitable organisation whose reach is within a localised catchment area
  • be able to demonstrate the need of the project
  • have an annual income below £100,000
  • have charitable aims and objectives
  • operate within the UK
  • complete the project a year from the date of award.

Useful Links:

The CAF Tourle Foundation Fund - Application Form



Nuffield Foundation Announces New £15 Million Strategic Fund

The Nuffield Foundation is calling for applications to its new £15m Strategic Fund for ambitious, interdisciplinary research projects that will address some of the most important challenges facing UK society and the public policy agenda in the next decade. This is an opportunity for researchers to develop original and challenging ideas, to work collaboratively across disciplines, and to influence social policy in a period of rapid change and uncertainty for our society.

Through the Strategic Fund, the Foundation will make awards in the range of £1-3 million. Applications are encouraged from universities, research institutes, think tanks and voluntary organisations.

The Foundation encourage applications relating to a number of broad themes, set out in the call for applications. These themes include:

  • The impact of digital technologies and the fourth industrial revolution,
  • The future of education in a digitally driven society,
  • Interventions that might promote opportunity and reduce adversity at different life stages and between generations.

The listed themes are not exhaustive, and the Foundation welcome applications on other themes that align with their mission to advance social well-being.

Applications will open on the 1st October 2019 and the funding will be phased over two years.

The first closing date for applications will be the 9th December 2019.

Useful Links:

Call for Application



Grants of up to £1,000 Available to Sports Clubs

Sports clubs are able to apply for grants of between £500 and £1,000 to improve facilities, purchase new equipment, gain coaching qualifications, and invest in the sustainability of their club. To be eligible the club needs to be registered with their National Governing body or their local authority

The funding is being made available through the Cash4Clubs scheme which is funded by Betfair in partnership with SportsAid and the closing date for applications is the 23rd September 2019.

Applications can be made in writing or via video.

Useful Links:




Professional Development Grants for Teachers

The Goldsmiths Company offers Teachers and Head Teachers with a minimum of 3 years' practical school teaching experience the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £3,000 to enhance their personal and professional development. The offer includes and additional maximum payment of £2,000 to fund supply cover to the school. Grants offer teachers the opportunity to take time out from the classroom to undertake an original project in the UK or abroad.

Grants can cover the costs such as travel, accommodation and materials. Examples of projects that may be supported include:

  • An original project that will enhance the applicant’s teaching career and benefit his / her students on completion
  • A project that has a long-term aim of disseminating results / research back to the school and / or a wider audience
  • A project that is planned and well thought out
  • A project that presents an individual challenge to the applicant.

Applications are assessed on their potential to enhance a teacher's professional life and benefit his/her students on completion.

Applications must be submitted by 3rd October 2019.

This is the final year that the grant will be made available.

Useful Links:




Grants of Up to £100,000 Available for Cyber Skills Training

The UK Government has launched the third round of funding through the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF). Through the CSIIF Training providers and charities in England can apply for grants of up to £100,000 to work with employers to increase the diversity and numbers of those working in the UK’s cyber security sector.

The CSIIF already provides funding to a number of training programmes targeting groups underrepresented in the cyber security sector. A number of previously funded initiatives have developed new and inventive ways of reaching a wider range of candidates and offer flexible learning opportunities to fit different lifestyles.

This is one of a range of initiatives designed in support of the National Cyber Security Strategy aim of developing a sustainable supply of home-grown cyber security talent in the UK.

Questions about the CSIIF, should be emailed to [email protected]

The deadline for applications is the 27th September 2019.

Useful Links:




Veolia Environmental Trust Grants (UK)

The next closing date for stage 1 applications to the Veolia Environmental Trust is the 28th November 2019. Grants of up to £75,000 are available to constituted not for profit organisations and registered Environmental Bodies towards community buildings; parks and paths, play, Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs) and recreational facilities; nature reserves; and bio diversity projects. To be eligible to apply, the applicant organisation needs to be within the vicinity of a qualifying Veolia site; the projects must have a total cost of under £250,000 (including VAT and professional costs); the applicant must have secured 20% of funding towards the project prior to submitting a full (stage 2) application.

Useful Links:



Grants of up to £30,000 Available to support Disadvantaged and Neglected Children (UK)

Not for profit organisations such as schools; registered charities; voluntary organisations; churches; and community interest groups; etc. can apply for grants of up to £10,000 per year for up to 3 years for projects that help children and young people overcome the effects of illness, distress, abuse or neglect; disability; behavioural or psychological difficulties; and poverty and deprivation. Projects supported in the past include Trewirgie Junior School which received a grant of £9,760 to provide after school sailing sessions to disadvantage children aged 7-11; and Corley Special School in Coventry which received a grant of £6,000 to provide lunchtime horse riding sessions for children with disabilities. The funding is being made available through the BBC Children in Needs small grants programme and the next closing date for applications is the 2nd December 2019.

Useful Links:



Teacher Development Fund Opens for Applications (UK)

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has announced that the Teacher Development Fund (TDF) has re-opened for applications. Through the TDF, primary schools working in partnership with other primary schools as well as arts / cultural organisations can apply for grants of up to £150,000 to develop the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence to support the delivery of effective arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the classroom, and to embed learning through the arts in the curriculum. The Foundation expect to make around six grants to partnerships of arts/cultural organisations and up to ten schools, who will work together for two academic years. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on the 29th November 2019.

Useful Links:



Jack Petchey Foundation - Small Grants Programme (London and Essex)

Funding of up to £750 is now available to support organisations and schools in their work with young people aged 11 -25. Any organisation successfully running a Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award scheme in their school or club is eligible to apply. Grants can support a large variety of projects and will be assessed based on need, the benefit they will provide to young people and the involvement that young people have had in their planning. Previous grants awarded include Bentley Wood High School purchased Kite Making equipment for a Year 7 project; and Canons High School purchased a telescope and starscope for the thriving Astronomy Club. The next closing date for applications will be the 30th September 2019.

Useful Links:



Childs Charitable Trust (UK)

The Childs Charitable Trust has re-opened for applications with a closing date of the 30th November 2019. The Trust offers grants to registered and excepted charities based in the UK and operating in countries worldwide. Projects will be considered that fall into the following categories: Working in schools and with vulnerable and disengaged young people in the UK: All aspects of Christian outreach: Society i.e. social action and justice: All areas of Christian education. No minimum or maximum grant level is published, awards are made according to the values of the Trust and are based on the Christian faith.

Useful Links:


£3 Million Grant Announced to Help UK Nationals in the EU to Apply for Residency (UK)

The Government is providing up to £3 million in grant funding for charities and other voluntary organisations who will inform UK nationals living in the EU about the need to register or apply for residency and support them as they complete their applications. The focus of the funding will be on pensioners or disabled people, those living in remote areas or with mobility difficulties, and those needing assistance with language translation or interpretation. Organisations working with people who might be affected and who might require additional support can apply for project funding from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from the 19th September 2019.

Useful Links:


New £16 Million Fund Launched to Train Thousands More Customs Experts (UK)

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.

Useful Links:



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.