Non-repayable grants are an excellent source of funding for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) as it is effectively free money to accelerate the journey between concept and commercialisation. There are several government departments, non-departmental public bodies and certain private bodies that can offer businesses grants. The amount of funding can range from £500 to several Millions. The larger the grant funding award often means more complexity in terms of the eligibility conditions and the process of applying. It is not unusual for grants to require matched funding by the applicant which can be typically between 10-70% of the overall cost of the total project (the grant providing the rest).
Below are just a sample of some of the grants currently available. Members of the Sustainable Islands International Programme can contact their Account Manager if they are looking for specific types of funding. Alternatively, use the government’s business finance support finder. This tool allows you to search for funding opportunities based on the location, size and type of business you run. Or visit the Scottish Government’s Funding Opportunitieswebsite provides access to over 600 grants and funding options.
Make it to Market grant by Scottish Enterprise help firms to get your products or services ready to be exported to international markets.
SMART: SCOTLAND is a high-profile innovation support grant scheme in Scotland aimed at SMEs. The grant helps you undertake technical feasibility studies and research and development (R&D) projects that have a commercial endpoint.
Regional Selective Assistance grants provide discretionary grants to investment projects that will create and safeguard employment in the Assisted Areas – areas designated for regional aid under European Community law.
Research and development (R&D) grants help projects that will lead to innovative new products, processes and services to: improve company competitiveness and benefit the Scottish economy.
Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) provides funding for early stage feasibility work, business case development work as well as capital support for projects in Scotland.
CARES Enablement Grant from Local Energy Scotland provides up to £25,000 for non-capital aspects of a project if working in conjunction with a community.
Innovation in the workplace contribute fund towards activities that will allow your business to introduce new and innovative workplace practices.
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency and is part of the UK Research and Innovation. Grants are available to any UK-based business or research organisation.
BEIS expects to invest around £100 million in low carbon industrial innovation and has several funding streams.
The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund are offering energy opportunity assessments to SMEs to help them identify energy saving opportunities within their business.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is a three-way partnership between a business, UK university or college and a recently qualified graduate. The KTP part-fund the cost of the project, including the graduate, who help your business gain the knowledge and capability it needs to innovate and grow.
The Small Business Grants initiative from SmallBusiness.co.uk is a free-to-enter monthly competition that gives small businesses a chance to win a £5,000 grant to invest in their company’s growth. This is a private business grant.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available between 2014 to 2020. While Brexit plans remain unclear funding agreements will be honoured in full until the end date of Horizon 2020.