There has never been more avenues to secure grant funding from regional and national state bodies. Yet they are not simple to get.
Your startup business might be entitled to apply for a grant if it carries out eligible projects or operates in a particular area (for example R&D funding, market development, job creation). So how do you identify a scheme and successfully apply for grant funding.
Obtaining grant support is challenging and will take up a lot of time. If you feel you could do with some assistance then get in touch today and we’ll see if we can make the task easier.
1. Contact sources of information on grants you might qualify for sooner rather than later. Do your research. Do not make assumptions. Attend information sessions where possible. Make sure you have funds available to invest in the project as grants typically only cover 25%–50% of the costs of any project. So make sure you have a handle on your finances and you can provide any upfront cash you might need.
Just because your idea is great, do not assume that grant funding is right for your business. And, do not force your project into an application.
2. For large projects and grants, consider using a consultant to advise you or even take on the responsibility of securing the grant support. However, negotiate their responsibilities and fees carefully and consider how this may look to the granting body.
3. Where possible, contact the administrator of appropriate schemes for guidance on the funds available, whether you might qualify and how to apply. Ask about any scoring system or weighting they may use to score your application.
4. Always carefully assess whether it is worth applying. Consider your chances of success, the time and effort of the application, and when you might get the grant. But always keep positive about your application. Check whether undertaking any preliminary work on the project will affect your chances of receiving a grant – or even being eligible to apply in the first place. Most grants are for projects that have not commenced.
5. Understand the timescales involved. Check the closing deadlines for applications and if applicable when the next round of applications will be open.
6. Make sure you sell your project. Do not expect the application assessor to know anything about your business, even if you have met them. Typically applications are assessed by a panel of markers, and they very likely not be able to take into account any information they have about you or your project when making an assessment. So make sure you look at the questions being asked in the application – and answer them.
If you have to make a presentation or submit an online video presentation make sure you practice. And repeat, practice again and put sufficient effort into this aspect. It is very likely that this part of the application is part of the overall marking scheme. If it is, find out how much of the overall scoring it will attract.
7.If you are awarded grant funding, at the time, make sure the funding is still the right thing of your business. If you accept funding, and it turns out to be a poor fit, it can have a detrimental effect on you and your business.
8. If you are unsuccessful in obtaining grant funding ask for feedback, take it on board and see if it is still relevant to your business in the future. Always keep a positive relationship with the granting body and remember it’s never personal, it’s business. It’s easy to say, but there will be further opportunities to get support – learn from it.
We have years of experience in assisting companies apply for grant support. Get in touch and see if we can help.