5 ways you can fund your startup business
It’s frustrating when you’ve spent ages developing a dynamic business idea that solves a consumer pain point perfectly, but you lack the funds to launch it.
However, there are plenty of avenues you can pursue to secure funding – here are five pro tips that might save the day.
1. Government Startup Loan
The government currently runs a funding scheme for startups where you can apply for a loan of £500 – £25,000.
This unsecured personal loan has a fixed interest rate of 6% per year and can be repaid over a period of one to five years.
It’s also a great option for businesses looking for additional support beyond finance, because you also secure access to 12 months of free mentoring and guidance with your business plan.
2. Business Gateway
If your startup is based in Scotland, your local Business Gateway branch might be able to help you secure funding.
Business Gateway can connect you with funding schemes and help get you ‘lender ready’ and the support doesn’t stop there either– they also offer advice on managing your cash flow and taxes.
Their official website has a wide range of resources relating to finance and all other aspects of running an SME, so it’s a great resource for startup research.
3. Small Business Grants
The Small Business Grants initiative is a free-to-enter monthly competition that gives you the chance to win a £5,000 grant.
Any small business that’s actively trading can enter by completing a grant application form, which is then considered by a panel of independent judges. Judging criteria include turnover, growth, innovation and aspiration.
One of the best things about this initiative is that unsuccessful businesses can re-enter every quarter, so as your business improve and grows, so do your chances of winning.
4. Horizon 2020
Horizon 2020 is an EU research and innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available for businesses that promote the growth of scientific innovation in Europe.
Any EU-based business researching and developing innovative products and services is eligible to apply for a grant under the scheme.
The programme has been running since 2014 and is due to end in 2020, so if your startup meets the criteria, don’t delay in applying.
Online crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter are good options for startups struggling to access traditional business loans and grants.
Crowdfunding campaigns rely on public support and generosity, but if you’ve got a creative business idea that enhances lives in some way, there’s every chance likeminded investors will dig deep to support you.
Another big benefit of crowdfunding is that it enables you to test if there’s genuine market demand for your product or service – potential backers can leave constructive feedback on your page, which helps you hone your offering.
If you’re passionate about your business project, these five funding ideas should help you overcome obstacles and navigate your way to success – get started today.