If you're thinking about starting a business, one of the toughest challenges you'll face is securing funding for the project.
National Government www.bis.gov.uk
Other alternatives include national government grants, but they tend to have quite strict eligibility criteria. The best place for small businesses to find out what grants are available is the Business Link website's finance and grants pages.
Banks offer a small business start-up service and advice, so they're a handy port of call. Before applying for any grant, you should prepare a business plan, working out how much money you need to start and whether there is a market for what you are doing.
Chamber of Commerce www.thamesvalleychamber.co.uk
The Buckinghamshire Chamber of Commerce (part of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group) has re-launched the Business Advice Service in Aylesbury town centre, with the support of Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking. The Business Advice Service has been set up to help pre-start and trading businesses in the region through free one-to-one advice sessions with qualified, volunteer counsellors.
Pre- and start-up businesses interested in this re-launched service, who would like an appointment with an advisor, should contact Customer Services on 01753 870 500, or email email@example.com.
Community Development Finance Association www.cdfa.org.uk
The CDFA represents the Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFI) who provide
loans and support to people who find it difficult to access finance from the commercial
banks. The CDFI’s lend money to businesses, social enterprises and individuals. They help deprived communities by offering loans and support at an affordable rate to people who cannot access credit elsewhere.
Business Angels are individuals who invest in high-growth business in return for equity. AVDC has helped to establish an Angels4Bucks network of Angels.
The Prince’s Trust www.princes-trust.org.uk
The Prince’s Trust is open to 18 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed or working fewer than 16 hours a week. In addition to business training schemes, the programme provides funding of up to £4,000 (or £5,000 for partnerships), along with support for your business idea.
European funding www.enterpriseeurope-se.eu
There's a range of funding schemes available from the EU, but it's best to consult an expert in EU funding to navigate the various schemes and determine the relevance for your business.
European Investment Bank funding www.eib.org
The EIB provides funding to SME’s through the Banking sector and is aimed at UK businesses businesses across a range of sectors. The loan term is for a minimum of 2 years and is subject to a maximum single loan value of £12.5m.