With rapidly changing times in the UK, Wales is crying out the inspiration of entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the economy and climate of the country. Right now, there’s a need for forward-thinking people to take the reins and create jobs and wealth for those around them.
It is possible to get funding for a new business in Wales; you have to know where to look and put together a convincing application; being lucky is always advantageous. Here are some down-to-earth tips to get you started.
Let’s look at the basics first and move on to the application for funding.
What is the definition of a grant?
A grant is money provided to an individual or a company for a particular project or goal. A grant typically only covers a portion of the overall costs.
Grants may be allied to the creation of jobs, company activity, or a particular industry sector. Some subsidies are tied to specific geographic areas, such as those in need of economic revival. According to the BBC, unemployment has risen recently and sits at 4.8% of the population.
Interestingly this is 1% lower than the rest of the UK. Unsurprisingly young people have been hard hit by unemployment and the grants available often reflect those who are suffering at any one time.
The procedure for applying for a grant
Before applying for a grant, make sure you’ve done the following:
Always read the requirements for any grant scheme thoroughly and make sure you comply with the scheme’s requirements or guidelines.
Be transparent about why you need the money and for what specific purpose. State if you are willing to put up some of your cash or secure a private sector funding match
Don’t start the project until you have received approval from the financing body/provider.
When you’ve found the correct grant program for your needs, you’ll need to give the following information:
- A complete project description, including an explanation of the project’s potential advantages,
- A detailed work plan with full costings and details of your and other vital managers’ relevant expertise
Before the application forms have been completed it’s worth looking at the advantages and disadvantages of your business and the grant application.
Advantages and disadvantages
Advantage: The majority of grants do not require repayment and are not recorded as debt on your balance sheet.
Disadvantage: The application process can be time-consuming; there is a lot of competition; you may need to demonstrate project progress to the grant body; you may need to match funds, as grants rarely cover the entire cost of a project; you may need to check funds, as grants rarely cover the whole cost of a project.
Common grant application mistakes
If any of the following apply to your application, then the application may be denied:
- Your field of study/work is unrelated to the organisation providing the funding, and you haven’t explained how your business will implement your research ideas.
- Your proposal or application makes claims that aren’t supported by evidence.
- Your research strategy is unfocused and unclear.
- You haven’t adequately explained the work’s influence on the broader community and industry.
- You haven’t clarified the importance of the money to the project’s success or failure, and the information you supplied in the application is out of date.
- You can’t show that you have matched funds if matched funds are the requirements of the original application.
- You haven’t demonstrated a need for grant funding.
If your business is denied a grant, you can inquire about the reasons for the rejection so that you can improve your future applications.
Sources of funding
The following are the major grant-making organisations:
- The Welsh Government
- Local Councils
- The European Union
- The United Kingdom
- Some non-profit organizations or charities
The likelihood of a successful grant application will almost always rely on the specific need or shortage of industry in a particular sector in a specific place – in this case, Wales.
According to businesswales.gov, there are 86 available grants to any new business that employ 50 people in the food and accommodation industry in the Merthyr Tydfil area working with young people in the education, employment and training sectors.
Similarly, there are 106 grants available to anyone starting a cooperative with ten people in Neath Port Talbot in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry to look after the environment.
The website has a grant calculator and will give your business an indication of what grants are available. Use the grant calculator to find out what is available in your business niche, and good luck because no matter how good your idea is, luck needs to be on your side.