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Find start-up funding

There are different funding options to consider for your business, depending on your circumstances. Here are some suggestions to help you find out more about what support you can access and what might be right for you.

Business Grants:

You can search for available grants using the following websites:

Headstart - Enterprise Ashfield

If you live, work, or intend to set up a business in Kirkby in Ashfield or Sutton in Ashfield, you could be eligible for free support through the Enterprising Ashfield project to get you started on your journey. Its  been designed to help you with establishing your new business in the early months and so guide you through everything that you need to know to make it a success. You don't need any prior knowledge or experience in running a business to attend this programme, participants will receive plenty of 1-2-1 advice, coaching and training on 'how' to set up and run a successful business. In addition to all of this, there's also a £1000 grant available to help you get your new business going.

Nottingham Urban Business Support Programme

This programme supports the start-up and growth or development of existing micro, small and medium-sized businesses based in Nottingham City, Broxtowe and parts of Gedling, Rushcliffe, and Hucknall in Ashfield. Grants between £1000 and £2500 are available. This is for a maximum of 25% of your eligible project costs. To access this grant, the minimum project must be £4000, but once it’s approved this can be used to purchase services or equipment to help your business expand or diversify.

Start Up to Scale Up – Food Sector 

This project is aimed at food and drink manufacturing businesses, including individuals who are about to start a business through to established businesses that require the support to innovate. It’s funded by the Community Renewal fund and SME’s operating in Nottingham City, Bassetlaw, Mansfield, or Newark & Sherwood. You can get help with business plans, food safety, product development, decarbonisation, and premises. This includes access to capital and revenue grants that can provide an 80% intervention rate of up to £8000, towards a range of eligible expenditures including capital equipment.

Tech Nation

If you’re a tech entrepreneur, be it aspiring, scaling or late stage, then Tech Nation may be able to help you through their specialised programmes. They offer peer-to-peer learning, access to world class scale-up coaches, and connections that will help you solve your tech business challenges. You will also gain added exposure for your brand. Each programme they runs is very selective as to who they will accept, however it’s completely free and they can even help you to find tech investors.

Business Loans:

British Bank 

The British Bank can provide loans between £500 to £25,000 to help start or grow your business. This is an unsecured personal loan not linked to your business. You can also get free support and guidance to help write your business plan, and successful applicants can get up to 12 months of free mentoring.

High Street Banks 

You can check the latest loan facilities with high street banks such as:

First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans 

First Enterprise offer a range of funding opportunities for businesses with finance between £500 and £250,000 for start-up and existing businesses looking to grow. These funds are all designed to plug gaps in high street lending and are backed by the Government to help businesses and individuals who might not otherwise be able to access business finance. First Enterprise also provide loans from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund Small Business Loans fund. They are a delivery partner for Big Society Capital’s Community Investment Enterprise Facility fund, which is aimed at providing finance to those businesses in communities which need it most.

Business Equity:

Crowd Funding 

Is the practice of funding a project or new venture by raising small amounts of money from many people, typically via the internet. They offer services for you to showcase your project/idea/business to potential investors. Some platforms specialise in certain markets and industries; however, the most popular ones are:

  • Crowdcube - UK's most rated crowdfunding platform
  • Seedrs - great for start-ups, minimum investments £10
  • Kickstarter - great for creative industries, food, music, film, technology
  • Indiegogo - the world’s biggest crowdfunding platform
  • Funding Circle - investments from £60,000 to £1M
  • Unbound - great for publishing projects, books etc.
  • RateSetter - you agree the interest on a loan directly with an investor
  • gofundme - great for charities and social enterprises needing support
  • Crowdfunder – they don’t always charge a fee for using this platform fees, it depends on what the project is your looking to fund.

The Minerva Business Angel Network 

Established by the University of Warwick’s Science Park in 1994 as part of an access to finance programme aimed at stimulating the growth of innovation-led businesses in any commercial sector. They have a large database of over 150 investors and operates 5 specific investor groups who meet every month in Coventry, Wolverhampton, and Malvern Science Parks. You can get help with sourcing funding, introductions to funders, help with your business presentations.

UK Business Angels Association 

Are a national trade association for angel and early-stage investments, representing 650 members that collectively deploy more than £2BN per annum. Members include angel groups, individual investors, early-stage venture capital companies, investment platforms, universities, and accelerators. You can subscribe or become a member to access the full investors list.

Angel Investment Network 

This is a platform that connects businesses looking for investment and investors with the capital, contacts, and knowledge to help them succeed. They claim to have 274,000 registered investors interested in new projects.

Venture Capitalists

Form is a new early-stage venture fund investing in start-ups disrupting regulated markets or building in new markets that will face regulation. It is backed by the British Bank and the Form II fund will invest between £200,000 and £1m in pre-seed and seed staged start-ups, typically delivering its focused support as a co-investor rather than leading rounds.