Do you have a winning idea for a business? Or have you already taken the first step into becoming an entrepreneur but are stopping short of success due to the lack of funds? Any business, regardless of whether it is a start-up or an established firm, needs money to function. The first step towards becoming a successful businessperson involves planning your finances, which includes getting loans or grants. If you are someone who wants to know about the best governmental grants for your business, this blog should help you discover all about the grants available to you.
Let’s begin by understanding a little about government grants for wales.
What are Grants?
A grant is a sum of money given as a monetary gift to businesses, individuals or organisations. Unlike grants that need not be repaid, loans have to be paid back to the bank or the financial institution, along with a steep interest.
Applying for a grant is highly competitive specially for small businesses. There are certain ways to use government grants, and the grant proposal is usually approved only if you are deemed eligible and are willing to comply with the specific rules.
Who Awards Grants to Businesses?
Generally, grants are awarded by governments, organisations, trusts, and foundations. In Wales, in particular, grants are awarded by the Welsh government, the UK government, local authorities, charitable trusts and the EU.
Startup and Small Business Grants in Wales
In Wales, business grants given to startups and small businesses have been increasing in number over the years. However, recently there has been a shift regarding the allocation of grants, with major grants being provided to research and development work. Having said that, there is also a major impetus being given to small businesses and startups to help them bring their business to success.
Some of the most lucrative small business and startup grants are provided in Wales.
Carmarthenshire County Council – Business Growth and Recovery
The Carmarthenshire County Council offers business support in the form of grants to new and existing local businesses to expand, and further their operations. The minimum amount provided is £1000 and the maximum is £10,000 based on eligibility.
The main aim of the Carmarthenshire County grant is to increase local employment and economic development activities by providing financial impetus to existing local businesses. The grant can be used by businesses to expand their operations by spending on equipment, fittings, software training, specialist training, and fixtures.
The Business Growth and Recovery grant is offered by Carmarthenshire County Council.
- The business must be located in Carmarthenshire, and the business must have been started and in operation.
- The business should be able to safeguard at least one existing job or create one new job.
- The business should not fall under these industries: forestry, agriculture, aquaculture, statutory services such as health and education, or fisheries.
How to Apply?
Information on how to apply and more can be obtained from the County Website, or contact the Economic Development Team at the Carmarthenshire County Council.
Special Regeneration Fund – Bridgend County Borough Council
The Special Regeneration Fund is provided to startups and existing small-to-medium-sized businesses located in Bridgend County providing ‘business-to-business’ services.
The purpose of the grant is to fund business projects that have a strong customer focus in areas, such as marketing, digital design, software specialisation, and web design development. The funding can be used for capital equipment purchasing, premise improvements and website development services. About 40% of the funding will be released for approved projects – minimum £1000 and up to £5000.
The SRF grant is provided by the Bridgend County Borough Council.
You must have been running a small to medium-sized business based in Bridgend or willing to relocate to the county.
How to Apply?
To apply, you need to submit an application form along with the business plan, cash-flow statement of the last 12 months and profit and loss forecasts. You can contact the Bridgend County Borough Council to apply.
Barriers to Startups Grant
The Barriers to Startup is a business grant launched to provide financial support to individuals above 25 to start a business in Wales.
The purpose of the Barriers to Startup is to get the unemployed and economically inactive youth (25 years and older) to start a business in Wales. The main focus of this grant is to provide incentives to unemployed youth to commence startups and move ahead in the employment market.
The grant will be provided to about 400 individuals who have encountered stiff barriers to starting their business and to 100 entrepreneurs eager to begin their business operations.
The Barriers to Startup grant is funded by the Welsh Government.
Once the Expression of Interest (EOI) application is filled and submitted, it is thoroughly scrutinised to ensure eligibility criteria. The selected individuals will be encouraged to undergo confidence-building webinars, guidance and advice on seeking further support.
How to Apply?
The filled-in EOI application should be sent to Barriers2SUG@BusienssWales.Org. For further details about the grant, we suggest you peruse this document.
Swansea Business Fund
Swansea Council is welcoming fund applications from self-employed or startups to further their business endeavours.
The Swansea Council’s grant value is a maximum of £1000, and businesses can claim the expenditure that has not yet been incurred. The costs could include startup equipment costs, website development costs, and training and marketing costs. The grant is provided to businesses based in Swansea. However, it does not apply to an individual with multiple businesses.
This grant is provided by the Swansea Council for startups and existing businesses located within the Swansea Council area.
The grant is available only for those businesses in operation for a maximum of 2 years and based in the Swansea council area. When applying, it is important to provide a detailed business plan, and cash flow statement for the last twelve months of trading.
How to Apply?
To apply, you have to submit a completed application form along with all the necessary documents to the Swansea council. For further information, you can access the guidelines.
Enterprise Support Investment Fund
The Enterprise Investment Fund is a grant offered to boost sustainable economic development in Rhondda Cynon Taf by providing financial assistance to SMEs, including existing firms and Startups.
The main purpose of the Enterprise Investment fund is to provide financial assistance to small businesses to boost their growth plans and improve long-term profitability. A minimum of £500 and a maximum of £1500 is provided for home-based premises. A minimum of £1500 to a maximum of £10000 is provided for commercial purposes.
It is provided by the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council on a discretionary basis.
To be eligible for this grant,
- You should be an SME with less than 250 employees.
- Annual turnover not exceeding €43 million.
- The organisation should operate within the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough area.
How to Apply?
To apply, you are required to complete the Expression of Interest form and submit it to the Regeneration team. Moreover, for further details, we suggest you peruse the guidance document.
Young Person’s Start-Up Grant
The Young Person’s Start-Up Grant is provided by the Welsh government to young people who are unemployed, partly educated, or partly trained and are in the early stages of their entrepreneurial careers.
The purpose of the grant is to support 1200 young people to become self-employed and foster a cultural change in entrepreneurship. The fund helps young persons become more self-reliant and have the finances, business knowledge, and confidence needed to build a successful business venture.
It is provided by the Welsh Government as a part of its commitment to helping young entrepreneurs succeed in their business ventures.
The maximum value of the grant provided is £2000. The business plan and its growth possibilities need to be properly demonstrated for eligibility. The eligible candidate is either living or returning to Wales and is below the age of 25.
How to Apply?
The expression of interest application form has to be submitted to the Big Ideas Wales Website.
Caerphilly Business Start-up Grant
The Caerphilly Business Start-up grant is awarded to help Caerphilly residents, with the lack of funding, set up new businesses.
The purpose of the business is to help residents of Caerphilly develop and grow businesses with ease. Business startups from all industries can apply for this grant, and it can be used for multiple business purposes, such as the purchase of ICT equipment, capital expenditure, website development, training, marketing, and infrastructure development. This grant is discretionary funding, provided to start-ups, and it can meet up to half of the eligible project costs amounting to a maximum of £500.
The grant is delivered by the Caerphilly County Borough Council with the partnership of UK Steel Enterprises.
You should be a resident of Caerphilly County Borough, and should not have started an earlier application for approval.
How to Apply?
The applicant has to submit their business plan along with a projected cash flow and profit and loss statement. At least one of the applicants has to be a full-time employee of the firm.
Dacey Limited, a family-owned South Wales-based company, specialises in designing and developing custom orthotic products for the correction of limbs.
Thanks to the support and funding received from the Welsh Government, Dacey Limited was able to generate employment for 10 persons, acquire new premises, and boost its manufacturing capacity.
The company identified a bottleneck in its production process, and after an investigation into the problem, it recognized the need for a better and more automated cutting process. With the support and funding from the Welsh Government, the company was able to invest in innovative and cutting-edge computerised cutting equipment that improved their manufacturing processes.
With the funding, the company has since expanded its reach to global customers, improved its competitiveness, provided jobs to new employees and also won other lucrative commercial contracts.
Leader Optec, with the help and support from the Welsh Government, was able to transform itself from a small business to a multi-million-pound firm.
In 1993, when Paul Desmond and his former colleague lost their job, they began their entrepreneurial journey with the establishment of a fibre optic termination business.
Although Leader Optic initially started with borrowed equipment, it now has a bespoke manufacturing firm that develops bespoke fibre-optic assemblies that are tailored for enhanced performance, size, colour, and labelling.
With the support and funding from the Welsh government, Leader Optic was able to invest in the latest manufacturing equipment. The company also began a unit in Wales that manufactures a state-of-the-art housing and rack solution.
The support and the funding from the Welsh Government went a long way in establishing Leader Optics as a formidable force in the industry.
Now that you have learned about the business grants available in Wales, it is time to make the journey towards business success. With the support and funding available to you from the Welsh Government, you can start, expand, scale and succeed in your business endeavours.
Additionally, you can also seek the government’s support for growth ideas, technical support and business development solutions. Whichever stage you are at in your business plan, there is an ideal grant and funding available to you that can turn your startup into a success story.