Grant Money For Small Business
When considering grant money for small business let’s get one thing out of the way first. The days of free handouts or leg-ups is long gone - unless you live in the USA or Canada. It is a practical impossibility to get grant money in the UK especially when the economic situation is gloomy however there is some good news on the horizon that there is now leadership and management development funding available. At the bottom of the page are some useful links to learn more but before you go there it may be wise to read about my experience because invariably when you research the possibility of securing funding what you are met with are, in point of fact, loans. A different animal entirely.
I recently had cause to visit the Business Link website as I knew that this was what in the past was recommended to do by a number of business information sites and as I started browsing the site I became quite excited. There was mention of grants galore. But pretty soon after answering a few simple questions I was directed to sources of loans, borrowing and free advice.
In the end all I felt was despair. I called the number given on the site and asked for current information on grants for setting up a new business. ‘If only you had set up your business 3 or 4 years ago it was all so different then,’ I was told. I do so hate it when people say things like that to me. ‘If only you’d been here yesterday…’ Well I wasn’t and three or more years ago I hadn’t wanted to start a business.
And beware that many ‘loans’ if ‘granted’ require you to put up an equal amount of money. You will also more than likely be asked for collateral – just like your bank manager (or any bank manger or any other financier for that matter) will require.
If you are over 18 and under 30 (unlike me), are unemployed in the UK or work less than 16 hours per week then you can always try The Princes Trust. You can access funding of up to £4,000 (or £5,000 for partnerships), along with support for your business idea. But this ‘funding’ does ‘charge interest on the loan of 3%. Also the repayment scheme ‘requires that you only hand over £20 for the first six months, with the remainder spread out over a period of two to five years’. So not a ‘grant’ in the true definition of the word then.
If you're a US citizen then the story is somewhat different and altogether more optimistic. I've found a number of websites offering grant money for small business and I've listed them below.
Federal Government Grant Source
US Government Grants
Government Grants Canada
Leadership And Management Funding is now available in the UK
May I wish you all the best in finding the grant that you need!
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