Find start-up funding
There are different funding options to consider for your business, depending on your circumstances. Here are some suggestions to help you find out more about what support you can access and what might be right for you.
You can search for available grants using the following websites:
- Grants Online
- Grant Nav
- Grant Finder
- Funds Online
- Business Finance Support - GOV.UK
- NatWest Swoopfunding
Enterprising Ashfield programme - HeadStart
This business support programme is designed to help entrepreneurs, living in or working in Kirkby in Ashfield and Sutton in Ashfield, to acquire the skills and information they need to start and grow a business. Participants may also be eligible to receive a £1000 grant at the end of the programme to help establish their new venture.
- closes: March 2026
- email: email@example.com
- email: Richard Ladipo, enterprise advisor: firstname.lastname@example.org
- website: Enterprising Ashfield programme - HeadStart
If you’re a tech entrepreneur, be it aspiring, scaling, or late stage, then Tech Nation may be able to help you through its specialised programmes. They offer peer-to-peer learning, access to world-class scale-up coaches, and connections that will help you solve your technology business challenges. You will also gain added exposure for your brand. They are very selective when choosing who they accept into each programme run, but it’s completely free and they can even help you find tech investors.
- email: Naomi Nash, Midlands scale-up engagement manager - email@example.com
- website: Tech Nation – Programmes for Entrepreneurs
The British Bank can provide loans between £500 to £25,000 to help start or grow your business. This is an unsecured personal loan not linked to your business. You can also get free support and guidance to help write your business plan, and successful applicants can get up to 12 months of free mentoring.
Eligible businesses also include those that have been trading up to 3 years, and second start-up loans are now available to eligible businesses that have been trading for up to 5 years.
High street banks
You can check the latest loan facilities with high street banks such as:
- NatWest Banking - business loans and finance
- email: Mark Taft, local enterprise manager – Mark.Taft@natwest.com
- Co-operative Bank - business lending
- Santander - business borrowing and finance
- Royal Bank of Scotland - small business loans
- Lloyds Bank - business loans
First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans
First Enterprise offer a range of funding opportunities for businesses with finance between £500 and £250,000 for start-up and existing businesses looking to grow. These funds are all designed to plug gaps in high street lending and are backed by the Government to help businesses and individuals who might not otherwise be able to access business finance.
First Enterprise also provide small business loans from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF). They are a delivery partner for Big Society Capital’s Community Investment Enterprise Facility fund, which is aimed at providing finance to those businesses in communities which need it most.
- email: Victoria Dixon, administrator - firstname.lastname@example.org
- telephone: 0345 602 7355
- website: First Enterprise
This is the practice of funding a project or new venture by raising small amounts of money from many people, typically via the internet. They offer services for you to showcase your project/idea/business to potential investors.
Some platforms specialise in certain markets and industries; however, the most popular ones are:
- Crowdcube - the UK's most rated crowdfunding platform
- Seedrs - great for start-ups, minimum investments £10
- Kickstarter - ideal for creative industries, food, music, film, technology
- Indiegogo - the world’s biggest crowdfunding platform
- Funding Circle - investments from £60,000 to £1 million
- Unbound - great for publishing projects and books
- RateSetter - you agree the interest on a loan directly with an investor
- gofundme - great for charities and social enterprises needing support
- Crowdfunder – they don’t always charge a fee for using this platform as it depends on the project.
The Minerva Business Angel Network
This network was established by the University of Warwick’s Science Park in 1994 as part of an access to finance programme aimed at stimulating the growth of innovation-led businesses in any commercial sector. They have a large database of over 150 investors and operate 5 specific investor groups who meet every month in Coventry, Wolverhampton, and Malvern Science Parks.
You can get help with sourcing funding, introductions to funders, and help with your business presentations.
UK Business Angels Association
This is a national trade association for angel and early-stage investments, representing 650 members that collectively deploy more than £2 billion per year. Members include angel groups, individual investors, early stage venture capital companies, investment platforms, universities, and accelerators.
You can subscribe or become a member to access the full investors list.
- website: UK Business Angels Association
Angel Investment Network
This is a platform that connects businesses looking for investment and investors with the capital, contacts, and knowledge to help them succeed. They claim to have 274,000 registered investors interested in new projects.
- website: Angel Investment Network
Form is a new early stage venture fund investing in start-ups disrupting regulated markets or building in new markets that will face regulation. It is backed by the British Bank and the Form II fund will invest between £200,000 and £1 million in pre-seed and seed staged start-ups, typically delivering its focused support as a co-investor rather than leading rounds.
Page last updated: 7 February 2024