Could you be a Grant champion in 2024?

Whether you are still finalising your 2024 business plans or they are a constantly evolving and dynamic process, being creative is always a valuable trait to possess. Assuming they contain an element of ambition, ask yourself how many great business ideas never come to fruition because of a perceived lack of funding? Growth can be really difficult to achieve organically so the most obvious route to speed up product development, product launch or just plain old growth is funding. Whether it’s your own funds, an investor or a business loan, they all come with strings attached or costs. They also require you to put in some effort into completing an application for a loan or putting together a presentation for potential funders or simply thinking through an explanation and justification of what you are looking to do to a friend or relative.

That effort can be turned towards applying for grant funding. Finding a suitable grant is now a much simpler task thanks to and the process of applying can be supported through the network of grant consultants and there is no shortage of supporting guidance available out there. AI can also be added to the mix and will make things even more interesting in the coming year! Looking at the range of grant funding purposes, amounts and the sheer volume of schemes (over 3000) and scale of amounts out there (over £3bn) the likelihood of there being a grant that supports your ambitions is pretty high. Also, if you find a grant that looks suitable, there are likely to be others as well so keep looking ( makes this easier).

One barrier to greater adoption of grant funding is awareness. The sheer weight of advertising and noise around commercial loans can drown out other options. Grant consultants are active in approaching businesses they see as having strong potential for grants, but they won’t have the scale and reach to approach all those who are suitable. Greater effort should be made to publicise the availability of grants by a variety of bodies – from local and national government to trade and industry bodies. Another barrier is the perception of likelihood of success. Both the effort required to make an application and the legitimate concern that said effort will be wasted is another limiting factor for many business owners. Success criteria are usually available for each grant but the active promotion of awards, high profile advice (well known and respected entrepreneurs championing grants) and also stories outlining how those grants have made the difference to growth can all increase confidence.

We will be upping our promotional efforts over the coming months but a more coordinated effort is required to increase awareness and shift perceptions.