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Grant funding opportunities for small businesses in the UK

UK Grants for small businesses

With Horizon Europe funding opportunities less certain for UK companies in the wake of Brexit, many deserving sustainable technology projects are looking elsewhere for support. Fortunately, there are several grant funding opportunities available for small businesses in the UK, mainly through Innovate UK, the country’s innovation leader and sustainability champion.

Below are some of the most accessible forms of funding available for UK-based projects in need of support:

This grant provides funding for small businesses working on innovative projects in various sectors, including technology, science, and engineering.

A government-backed scheme that provides loans of up to £25,000 to new businesses that have been operational for less than two years.

This programme provides training, mentoring, and funding for young entrepreneurs aged 18-30 who want to start their own business.

This fund provides up to £2 million in funding for innovative projects that aim to improve productivity and business growth.

Another government-backed scheme that provides funding for small businesses to develop innovative solutions to specific challenges faced by public sector organizations.

While these are just a few examples of the funding opportunities available for small businesses in the UK, they are the best options to begin your funding search. It is important to carefully research each opportunity to determine eligibility and application requirements – contact us if you have any questions on these issues.

Innovate UK grant funding service

Innovate UK is the main grant-funding agency in the United Kingdom that supports innovative projects with the potential for commercial success and improved sustainability. The agency provides funding to businesses of all sizes, from startups to large enterprises, to help turn their innovative ideas into commercial reality.

Innovate UK grant awards can cover up to 70% of total project costs, with the remaining 30% is to be covered by the applicant. Funding is awarded to projects that are deemed to have high potential for commercial success and to deliver significant economic and, potentially, environmental impacts for the UK. These grants are competitive, meaning that applications must be submitted outlining the project idea, proposed activities, and expected outcomes. Applications are assessed by a panel of experts who will evaluate the project's potential for success, as well as its alignment with Innovate UK's strategic priorities.

Successful applicants are awarded a grant determinate of funding needs and eligibility, which is paid in instalments over the course of the project. Innovate UK grants are typically awarded for a period of 6 to 36 months, depending on the nature of the project and its expected outcomes.

In addition to the grant funding, Innovate UK also provides support to businesses through its network of Innovation Advisors. These advisors can provide guidance and support throughout the application process, as well as advice on project management and commercialisation.

Innovate UK funding opportunities

Below are some of the funding opportunities currently offered by Innovate UK:

A great opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with game-changing ideas that are commercially viable. This grant provides funding from £25,000 to £2 million for a period of up to three years.

A specialized fund designed to support UK businesses with innovative ideas and projects focused on sustainable economic recovery from COVID-19, with funding up to £175,000 for businesses and up to £500,000 for research organisations.

This challenge aims to accelerate the development of new technologies for the aviation industry, including drones, electric aircraft and urban air mobility vehicles. Innovate UK is investing up to £125 million in this challenge.

Another specialized fund that supports sustainability, specifically projects that help to transform the foundation industries such as metals, glass, ceramics, paper, cement and chemicals. The fund provides up to £5 million in grant funding for individual projects.

A collaborative programme that helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base. The funding covers up to 67% of the project costs and is available for a period of 12 to 36 months.

This funding programme aims is to stimulate research and development in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, while accelerating equity investment into those companies so that they can grow more rapidly through innovation. The overall budget for this programme is £80 million over three years and focuses on the following themes:

  • net zero

  • health and wellbeing

  • next generation digital technologies

  • technology families

How Linq Consulting helps with Innovate UK grant proposals

Based in the UK, Linq Consulting specializes in all areas of creating and managing successful proposals and projects for Innovate UK grants, as well as other UK-based awards (and Horizon Europe projects, if eligible). Our team of expert researchers, writers, and project managers can help with all aspects of creating a grant proposal and seeing it through to completion.

For more information on how we can help, get in touch with us at

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @linq-consulting and connect with us on LinkedIn as well.

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