When you start a business, there’ll usually be a period when you’re investing lots of time, effort and money before you start making a profit. Before you do this, it’s important to research your market to make sure your customers will really pay for your product or service.
Once you’re confident they will, explore sources of funding to help with the costs of starting up your business.
Use the links in Related Content to find how what help is available.
In addition, if you are an existing business wishing to grow and/or relocate to a rural area, the following grant programmes are currently available:-
The South East Business Boost
BEST Growth Hub are pleased to administer the South East Business Boost programme.
Access up to £2,000 worth of business growth support in Essex - available through our team of professional business advisers, workshops and courses. Support available: full business assessment and health check, 1:1 growth advice, 1:1 start-up advice and business support workshops and training. To find out further information email BEST at:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE)
The LoCASE grant funding has now been exhausted with all £6M committed to SME projects within the region.
Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE) is an EU funded project set up to help businesses tackle and adapt to climate change. To help achieve this goal, grants of up to £20,000 were available to small and medium sized businesses in the South East. They are currently looking to get approval on an exciting new programme with similar ideals later in 2019.
Advice and training
Established in 1982, Nwes is one of the largest not-for-profit enterprise agencies in the UK. Providing total business support, boosting self-employment and encouraging enterprise, Nwes offers free start-up and growth workshops, networking and business focused events as well as the opportunity to meet a local business advisor to discuss ideas on a 1-2-1 basis.
Nwes is an official delivery partner of The Start Up Loans Company, a Government-backed initiative delivering start-up loans across the East of England, London and East Midlands. A Start Up Loan is a personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK. With a fixed interest rate of just 6% per annum and the ability to borrow up to £25,000, this scheme offers an affordable source of finance to help new and early stage business owners bring their plans to life. In addition to finance, all Start Up Loan recipients are offered mentoring support.
Start and Grow Platform
The only online business resources platform in the UK that supports the business journey from pre-start to start-up, and on through stages of growth. Providing bitesize course modules, live forums, stories and blogs, this interactive platform can help you master the essentials of starting and growing your business.
Get Exporting 2
Get Exporting 2 is a tailored programme of advice and assistance, both financial and 1-2-1, to enable companies to begin selling overseas or to expand internationally thereby increasing profitability and employment in a sustainable way. It is backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which has enabled the Department for International Trade (DiT) to provide services additional to their normal operations and grants of up to £3000. For further information, please see the Get Exporting 2 leaflet in the Related Content section.
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is responsible for management of the EU funding which is dedicated to regional development and funds all of the above grant programmes, with the exception of Essex Rivers.
Growing Places Fund
Expressions of interest are now being invited for projects to access this loan finance. Full details can be found here: https://www.southeastlep.com/opportunities/growing-places-fund-open-call-for-projects/. Closing date for applications is 1st November 2019, but it would be worth discussing eligibility of projects with a member of the Economic Development and Regeneration Team at Rochford before completing the form.