Schemes to help start-ups

The Government has devised a number of policies and schemes that are designed to help start-ups grow while learning about how to do business in the UK effectively.

For example, many councils offer small business grant schemes which are aimed at helping entrepreneurs to form new enterprises and young firms to grow. These grants often run into tens of thousands of pounds and can be a lifeline at the start of a business.

The Government also offers a number of state-backed grants, such as the Grant for Business Investment (GBI) and the Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) Scheme.

The GBI is awarded through Regional Development Agencies (RDA) and is usually given to projects that help bring prosperity to deprived areas. Meanwhile, the ECGD Scheme helps start-ups to take part in exhibitions outside the UK.

In addition, new businesses can take advantage of the Small Loans for Business Scheme, which provided start-ups with borrowings of up to £25,000 at a six per cent rate of interest. The Scheme also offers easy payment terms over one to five years and 12 months of free mentoring.

Meanwhile, for start-ups that have been turned down for loans because of a lack of collateral, there is the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, which effectively puts up the security for the new business, after proper due diligence has taken place.

Start-ups that invest in making new products, services and processes or improving old ones can benefit from research and development (R&D) tax credits, which can mean firms can claim back up to 33p on £1 if they are a loss-making business. Contrary to popular opinion, R&D tax credits are not only aimed at technology firms but are open to businesses in almost any industry.

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