Gaining a Business Grant – the process

Author: Carolyn Clayton

The definition of a grant can be summed up as funds given to tax exempt organisations which are made to fund a specific project. Other grants can be given to individuals i.e. victims of natural disasters and individuals who seek to open a small business.

It if a grant is approved and granted it will mean you will have to report back with how the specific project etc is going. This is a small gesture considering the money granted doesn’t require the need to be paid back and you don’t have to give up a share of your business to the investor; as long as you stick to the conditions of the grant.

As previously mentioned a grant is a sum of money that is awarded for a specific job or purpose meaning the money must be spent on the specific aspect and this specific aspect alone. If it is found that you are using the money awarded in a grant for any other purpose other than the one you were awarded the grant for you will be made to pay the money back in full and may also be charged.

The sum of money that is awarded in a grant only covers part of the total costs involved in the specific project. It is your responsibility to come up with the rest of the cash. There are three aspects that you need to ensure before you go ahead and put a claim in for a business grant. These aspects are:

• Need to have money to cover your part of the costs
• Need to have a specific reason for needing the grant and a full description of how the grant will help and how you will use it
• Make sure the specific project etc hasn’t already been started

Business grants exist to help businesses develop and are available from a variety of sources such as; Government, European Union, Regional Development Agencies and Local Authorities as well as some charitable organisations. The success of an application may be linked to business activity or specific geographical areas such as those in need of economic regeneration.

When it comes to actually making your business grant proposal there are certain aspects that you will need to provide such as:

• A detailed project description
• An explanation of the potential benefits of the project
• A detailed work plan with full costs
• Details of your own relevant experience and that of other key managers
• Completed application forms where stipulated
• Possibly a business plan

It should be noted that you remember to submit your application before the deadline where relevant; any late applications are rarely considered. You should also be prepared to wait anything from a few weeks to a year for a decision; however local applications are typically processed more quickly.

Your proposal will be considered by analysing the following aspects:

• Significance
• Approach
• Innovation
• Their assessment of your expertise
• Need for the grant

No comments: