If you could show your clients how to access free cash, wouldn’t that be fantastic?
Grants are generally totally free, even if they may be linked to specific reporting requirements or they may have certain criteria for the business to commit to matching funds to finance the full cost of the project.
For smaller grants, the process can be straightforward and the management team could be capable of making that application themselves. Accountants who can provide this information to their clients and support them to accelerate their plans for growth, without the business having to pay any interest or dilute any of their equity, will surely be seen as an indispensable part of the advisory team.
You may decide that you would like to acquire a subscription to a specialist database of grant funding opportunities, but if you only want to explore the potential of this market without committing to such an investment, you can also find a wide range of grants on the following websites:
- LocalEnterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Growth Hubs in England - find your local LEP here. Sign up for updates and follow their social media channels to be notified when new schemes are announced. Many of these grant funds will require the business to protect or create employment opportunities and demonstrate growth, often with some element of matched investment into assets or innovation.
- Local Authorities have been responsible for administering the lockdown grants based on rateable values and the discretionary grant schemes for other affected businesses. The local authorities often work alongside LEPs and Growth Funds on other schemes, so get to know your local development officers, join any Professional Perspective Network they operate or even offer to take a role on their Board.
- Scottish Enterprise, Business Wales and the Enterprise Agencies in Northern Ireland operate similar funds in the devolved administrations.
The National Lottery contributes to various funds to support businesses in the arts, sport, heritage, charity, voluntary, health, education and environmental sectors and their website lists details of the funding opportunities which are open with their various partners.
The government department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy lists 173 funding schemes (at the time of writing) which can be filtered by the business’ location, growth stage, size, sector and type of fund.
The Research and Innovation (UKRI) is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and bringing together the seven Research Councils and Innovate UK. Their Funding Finder search engine currently has, at the time of writing, 71 open or upcoming grants and competitions, which are based around one of the Industrial Strategy’s grand challenge areas - artificial intelligence and data, ageing society, clean growth, future of mobility and any type of innovation or technology project.
The Capitalise Marketplace can help
As part of your role as a capital adviser, you can direct your clients to sources of possible grant funds and now, using the Capitalise Marketplace, you can even go further and introduce them to specialist grant writers and consultants, to progress larger funding applications such as those offered by the Horizon 2020, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) or Innovate UK. Contact your Partnership Manager for more details of how to access this product on the platform, or book a consultation.
By keeping informed of the grants which are available in your local area and signposting clients to possible sources of finance, you can be sure that you will be seen as an adviser who has their finger on the pulse.