Where to go next if you can’t get grant funding
In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the number of organisations that offer professional business support throughout the Leeds City Region, with many providing access to both practical sessions and grant-funding.
While many organisations will access workshops, sessions and speaker events, others have one objective in mind; to secure an investment that will allow them to take their business to the next phase of its journey.
The process to apply for grant funding can be a hurdle to start-ups, with many finding the need to fill in paperwork and to provide evidence of the results they propose to achieve as a challenge too far. However, what many don’t realise, is this is where the practical support and guidance can be invaluable.
Many of the programmes that are delivered have been structured to offer dedicated Business Advisors that will work with companies to create business plans, put strategies in place, provide techniques to help people to focus on what matters most and also to fill in the documents that are required for a funding application.
Despite all of the support, some businesses are simply not eligible for funding as its too soon in their journey or they are unable to meet with the necessary criteria. This doesn’t mean that it is the end of the road, it just means that they need to take a different approach.
Seeing your finances planned out will help prevent problems in the future
Acknowledging that you need help is the first step to making the most from business support but seeing the value in everything that is offered by a programme is the next. There is no point in turning your back on the workshops and sessions just because you have not been successful with the specific grant funding.
The next steps would be to talk to an Advisor and see what else is out there. Although more traditional routes to finance aren’t always suitable for everyone, they are still there for young companies with ambitious targets.
Better still, when approaching a bank, a young business is likely to have the paperwork in place if they have gone through the application for a grant, which will put them in a stronger position than if they hadn’t taken the opportunity to go through this process.
There are also more innovative ways of accessing funds, such as through crowdfunding. This may not be the obvious choice for most small businesses, but it should not be dismissed. In some instances, this could be the difference between having an idea and putting it into practice.
When someone is passionate about their product or service, they will do anything to make it happen and this is when hard work, determination and commitment will pay off.
When young businesses consider grant funding there are a few points that they can use as a check list to determine if it will be the right option for them or not:
- Do you have a robust business plan that provides clear objectives and timescales for success
- Are your targets realistic and what measures do you have in place to monitor performance
- Have you focused on growth including turnover and number of employees
- If necessary, do you have a professional colleague that would act as character witness or guarantor
- Have you used language that will make sense to someone outside of your industry
- Have you set aside the time required to complete the paperwork that will support a grant or funding application
- Do you have a compelling argument for the need for funding now
Once a business has considered these questions and also spoken to a trusted advisor, they should be more confident and able to make an informed decision about how they are going to fund their venture moving forward.
One thing is certain, whether it’s through match-funded grant funding, crowdfunding, equity finance or a traditional bank loan, there is more opportunity than ever before to secure capital that will support a company as it goes from start-up to success story.
Great advice on grant funding from Yorkshire Powerhouse
Now you’ve read our article on Grant Funding thinking – have you any more questions?
Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:
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