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:
Headstart - Enterprise Ashfield
If you live, work, or intend to set up a business in Kirkby in Ashfield or Sutton in Ashfield, you could be eligible for free support through the Enterprising Ashfield project to get you started on your journey. It has been designed to help you with establishing your new business in the early months and so guide you through everything that you need to know to make it a success. You don't need any prior knowledge or experience in running a business to attend this programme, participants will receive plenty of one to one advice, coaching and training on 'how' to set up and run a successful business. In addition to all of this, there's also a £1000 grant available to help you get your new business going. This closes in March 2026.
- telephone: 0115 848 2813
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- website: The Ashfield Enterprise Project
If you’re a tech entrepreneur, be it aspiring, scaling or late stage, then Tech Nation may be able to help you through their 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 will accept into each programme run, however it’s completely free and they can even help you to find tech investors.
- email: Naomi Nash, Midlands Scale-Up Engagement Manager - email@example.com
- website: Tech Nation – Programmes for Entrepreneurs
- website: Tech Nation - List of financial support providers
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 loans from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund Small Business Loans fund. 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 Business Agency
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 - UK's most rated crowdfunding platform
- Seedrs - great for start-ups, minimum investments £10
- Kickstarter - great 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, books etc.
- 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 fees, it depends on what the project is your looking to fund.
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 operates 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, 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: 18 August 2023