Indeed, one of the biggest issues for every entrepreneur or small business is adequate funding to guarantee business success. Truth be told, grants are one of the most enticing sources of funding for businesses because they are not expected to pay it back, and they don’t have to give up any equity to an investor.
In the United Kingdom, cash grants can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds, with the highest reaching up to £500,000. It is pertinent to note that Grants aren’t always cash rewards. In this modern age, you can find grants available to SMEs in the form of vouchers for equipment and tools, subsidized costs for necessary resources, and employment subsidization.
A vast range of grants is available for businesses in Birmingham, under both privately and publicly funded schemes. This funding, regardless of source, is meant to encourage entrepreneurial activity in the city and also help businesses create new jobs and stimulate the economy. Although the advantages of getting a business grant cannot be quantified, experts still suggest that you take time to analyze whether a grant is the right funding for you.
Note that the application process can be daunting, so you need to be sure that you can afford to lose the time and resources invested if your application doesn’t succeed. Knowing the best places to source for new grant opportunities is of utmost priority if your organization depends on grant money to survive.
What are the Best Sources of Grant for Businesses in Birmingham?
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GrantFinder is renowned as a leading source for funding in the UK covering local, national, and international sources of funding. This site is trusted by local government, businesses, consultants, charities, and voluntary sector organizations all in the UK. Have it in mind that they manage funding portals for organizations such as local authorities who are seeking to bolster access to funding for local community groups and businesses.
This is another top source to consider when seeking business grants in Birmingham. According to reports, Get Grants (www.getgrants.org.uk) consistently holds workshops on fundraising for small community organizations. Sent monthly and received by numerous fundraisers, Get Grants’ e-newsletter carries details of grant programs, vital deadlines, and insights on how to be successful when applying for grants.
In addition, note they are very useful and can be used as a searchable database when seeking specific funding for clients. You can see previous editions of the newsletter and sign up for future mailings at www.getgrants.org.uk/newsletter.
Most often credited as the UK’s most up to date and comprehensive funding information service, Grants Online established in 2001 has grown to become one of the country’s most vital information resources for organizations looking for grant funding. Boasting of over 5,000 funding schemes available within the UK, this site makes available information to ensure you stay current with grant opportunities.
Aside from being trusted by hundreds of organizations to keep them up to date with the latest funding opportunities, this site makes available up-to-date grant funding information, alerts and newsletters. Note that they can help even businesses in Birmingham maximize their funding potential – no opportunities missed, and more time to write your applications.
National Lottery Funding
The National Lottery is renowned in the UK for raising money for good causes. Have it in mind that people who get this funding use it to do many extraordinary things, such as improving their lives and communities. Have it in mind that communities come in all shapes and sizes, and National Lottery funding is there for everyone.
According to reports, there are 12 distributors of money raised by the players of The National Lottery, which fund projects and activities that transform communities, protect the city’s heritage, and enrich lives through arts, sports, and culture. They also have teams all over the UK who serve as the focal point of contact for communities.
This is the website for the UK government. It’s the best place to find government services and information, especially those concerning government grants. It also serves as a Platform to help people interact with the government, and support government to operate more effectively and efficiently. This website offers the following services;
- Maintain and develop government information and services on GOV.UK
- Strive to always provide personalized, seamless, and intuitive online services and information for users through GOV.UK accounts and a digital identity solution
- Cultivate and support common platforms, services, components, and tools
- Provide Digital, Data, and Technology experts to support government transformation
- Maintain and improve these cross-government platforms and tools
Heart of England
Heart of England more or less collects money from people who are looking to make an impact, then awards it to community and voluntary groups who need it. They are well recognized for local giving, building partnerships with likeminded organizations and individuals who care about the communities on their doorstep.
Most often, they use research and expertise to invest in grassroots projects, funding fantastic ideas that enable communities in the UK to thrive. Originally set up to support communities in Coventry in Warwickshire, in 2015 they formally expanded to cover the whole of the West Midlands County.
Online Search Engines
Most often, a comprehensive Google search (or a search on another search engine of choice) is all you need to find grants for your business. To ensure that your search produces the required results, you must have keywords at hand.
Ensure you include keywords, subject matter, geographic area, target audience, gender, race, ethnicity, and any other parameters that fit your business. Don’t forget to make a list in advance to enable you to refine and focus your search easily.
Regional and Global Bodies
Have it at the back of your mind that regional bodies and multilateral organizations such as development banks and UN agencies can also be a source of funding and contract work, especially for larger organizations.
Aside from the European Union, the UN includes affiliated programs, funds, and specialized agencies, all of which have their own operating budgets, and many of which support grant and contract opportunities. Examples of UN agencies include the United Nations Development Fund, World Health Organization, and the World Bank. You can find a list of UN agencies on the UN website.
As a business in Birmingham, note that federal aid agencies fund the majority of international development work carried out in the country and around the world. One very unique site you may want to consult is Bond, the UK network for organizations working in international development.
Note that a good number of opportunities are limited to UK-based organizations; others are open to organizations found in other countries. Also note that you can find some information about international development opportunities on the site Devex. Although you might not see the full opportunity posting for free, you can get just enough information to be able to track down the full listing on the relevant funder’s public-facing website.
Birmingham City Council
Birmingham City Council is a primary source of small business grants and funding for local entrepreneurs looking to grow. Note that from regional debt and equity investments, it makes available finance ranging from £50,000 to £1m across a range of funds and initiatives for small and medium-sized companies keen to develop.
According to reports, one of its more successful schemes is the Creative Fund which makes available £50,000 to £500,000 growth capital to pre-revenue and early-stage creative businesses.
In addition to the sources mentioned above, it is recommended you track down potential funders and funding opportunities by subscribing to newsletters distributed by individual foundations and philanthropy news outlets. Also, consider setting up a Google alert to receive an email when new content related to your topic shows up in a Google search.