When the recession hit many Government backed financial support for business growth initiatives simply disappeared. Although Government support for the SME market remains far from perfect at least some financial support initiatives to support businesses intent on growth have re-appeared.
This post covers some of the support packages currently available. The list is not exhaustive and includes only those offering modest sums to smaller SME and start-ups in the North East of England. The following excludes finance and grants for working capital and asset finance.
The Growth Accelerator program is available to UK registered businesses employing less than 250 people and with a turnover less than £40m that are intent on growth. Many businesses entering the program are looking to exploit new markets, new opportunities and / or new products or innovations.
Funding is targeted at overcoming obstacles to growth (marketing and / or financial) and on developing the leadership and management skills of senior employees. Funding must be matched to a level depending on the company size. The nominal value of the support available is £3,500 to which a micro business (1-4 employee) would contribute £600 + VAT (@£700)
More details are available at www.growthaccelerator.com, the twitter feed @growthaccel is also worth a follow for latest information. In the North East region both WinningPitch and RTCNorth are involved in the Growth Accelerator project.
North East Business Support Fund
The business support fund is available to North East based businesses in B2B markets that have less than 250 employees. The fund (to a maximum of £1,400) does not cover capital purchase or printing or advertising costs but does cover a wide range of (new) projects including financial planning, process development, marketing, HR strategy and product development. Up to 40% of the full project budget may be funded (capped at £1,400)
The project is managed by NBSL. More details are available at www.nbsl.org.uk
With the economic outlook improving the above funding covers some of the costs and eliminates some of the risks associated with new business development but as both funds are time limited (Growth Accelerator closes mid 2015) then it is important to start the application procedure as soon as practical.