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A guide to setting up your own business: grants and applications

Money is probably one of your biggest concerns if you're thinking of starting a business. Setting up your own business and grants for your ideas is the easiest way to secure finance; many loans and grants are available on government schemes or through organisations looking to promote certain industries. To find the right business grant for your organisation, you'll need to take a look at the kind of companies or authorities you need to go to, and what to expect from the application.

Setting Up Your Own Business: Types of Grants

There are a few grants available for start-up businesses. Some of them are cash awards while others offer access to resources and offer no cash at all. A few types of grants are:

  • Direct grants - direct cash awards, but the start up company is normally considered to provide 50% towards the rest of their start-up costs.
  • Repayable grants - these grants have to be repaid at some point, but the general repayment terms vary amongst providers. Not all of the grant may be repayable.
  • Soft loan - a soft loan is a form of grant where repayment options are normally more generous than other forms of finance. Normally, most of the finance must be paid back.
  • Equity finance - the provider of the finance injects a capital into the business and takes an equity share of the business when it begins trading.
  • Access to resources - some grants may not be hard cash and may instead be incentives towards buying resources, or an offer of additional resources. If you receive a grant of this type you might need to prove what resources the money was spent on.

Setting Up Your Own Business: Government Grants

Government grants are the best way to find finance. You could try visiting the Business Link website for information on grants and government schemes, or refine your search by looking for specialist schemes and local authorities. Particular government departments will fund different incentives, such as the Department of Agriculture who may be more concerned with agriculture related businesses. Your local authority may have an interest in developing business in their area so it's also worth taking a look at any local development schemes.

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