If you’re just starting up your business then a business grant may offer you the ideal solution to your funding needs. Business grants are generally set up to help develop and support the needs of start-up companies and are targeted towards small to medium sized businesses. They also tend to be government or charity backed schemes and fall into the three following categories – direct funding, mentoring and regional business grant.

The best known type of business grant is that which provides direct funding to new and upcoming businesses. These grants can range vastly in scale and are often dependent on the individual business plan needs. They are also often offered on your company meeting specific targets and deadlines and can ask you to match the grant amounts with your own business capital. The strength of direct business grants is that they are good sources of additional funding for new businesses and mean you are not tied into a large scale loan amount with high interest rates. Business grants do not need to be paid back but often stipulate specific goals and targets that your business needs to achieve in order to receive the next set of funding payments. For those just starting out in business, such helpful markers are essential to help them find their footing within the business world.

Some business grants do not focus on the financial aspect but, instead, prioritise giving new businesses access to business mentors and tutors who can help entrepreneurs identify and work on the key areas of their companies. Access to such business knowledge is invaluable to new business start-ups and can often mean the difference between new companies surviving or failing in their first year of business.

Regional business grants often identify the clear business needs of a local community. Regional business needs can range from encouraging entrepreneurs to start up new companies to provide additional jobs within an area to targeting specialist company start-ups such as scientific or multi-media companies to create a unique skills sector within a region.

Business grants can be extremely difficult to secure and may seem unachievable to those of you starting out in business for the first time. However, these business grants are set up specifically to meet your needs so it is well worth doing some additional research to find out what kinds of business grants are available within your specific area. If your business meets the requirements of a local regional grant then you should definitely target this grant due to a smaller competition pool. However, you should also target the larger national grant schemes as these can provide you with access to both monetary and a skills knowledge through mentoring and networking groups that will be invaluable to your business in the future. However, as with all things in business, before signing up to your business grant ensure that you have fully understood the terms and conditions to make sure you are not liable for any payments if you are unable to meet the conditions of the grant.