Financial Support

Find out about grants and other alternative funding options available via Harborough District Council, Central government and via our business support partners across Leicestershire and nationally.

Can’t find what you are looking for? The Economic Development Team have access to Grant Finder so we can search for suitable grants. Email your requirements to business@harborough.gov.uk

Business Start- Up Grants

Thinking about starting or have recently set up your own business? Find out below about some of the funding support available for start-ups across Leicestershire.

The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity – Business Loan

Eligible candidates may borrow up to £20,000 interest free for 9 years to establish themselves in their chosen career/business. It can be used for new business ideas and established businesses needing investment.

To be eligible for consideration for a personal loan for business purposes you must be:

  • over 18 and under 45 years of age;
  • resident in Leicestershire or Rutland and wanting to start a business or require additional funds for growth / expansion;
  • going to base or are already running the business in Leicestershire or Rutland;
  • have liquid assets of less than £40,000;

Visit their website for the full criteria.

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Exploring Enterprise

This fully funded support aims to encourage young entrepreneurs between 18 – 30 yrs. to turn their ideas into reality through the Prince’s Trust. As well as funding for market testing and low interest start up loans, the program also includes workshops and one-to-one support.

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Start Up Loan

Apply for the government-backed Start Up Loan of £500 to £25,000 to start or grow your business.

You’ll get free support and guidance to help write your business plan, and successful applicants get up to 12 months of free mentoring.

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Growth funding for Businesses

If you have an established business and are looking to invest in a new project, upscale with some new technologies, expand into a new premises or even make some environmentally concious investments, there might be funding available to you through the following schemes

The Midlands Investment

The Midlands Investment, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, provides commercially focussed finance through Small Business Loans, Debt Finance, Proof of concept and Equity Finance funds. The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) aims to transform the finance landscape for smaller businesses in the Midlands and to realise the region’s potential to achieve economic growth through enterprise. MEIF is a collaboration between the British Business Bank and ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the West Midlands and East and South Midlands.

MEIF provides over £250m of investment to boost small and medium business (SME) growth in the Midlands.

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Business Gateway Grant Scheme – Deadline: Wednesday 30 November 2022

£2,000 to £25,000 grant funding providing 35% of total project costs for capital or revenue projects.

The Business Gateway Grant Scheme has been created to support the growth and development of existing small and medium-sized businesses. These are examples of how you might use the grant:

  • New innovative technology products or services that improve your business performance
  • Premises improvement or expansion related business development
  • New products or services
  • Upgrading capital equipment to enable a more technical or automated approach, or to create low carbon emissions.
  • Marketing or promotional activity or other revenue costs to help the business grow or create jobs.
  • Software development

You need to be:

  • An SME in Leicester or Leicestershire with fewer than 250 employees
  • Looking to grow, introduce new products, processes or innovate
  • Trading for a minimum of 12 months
  • Trading business to business
  • Looking to create or safeguard jobs
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Energy for Business

Funding is available through the Energy for Business scheme, with grants of up to £10k on offer to successful applicants. The capital grant, delivered by the Energy Innovation and Collaboration team through ‘Energy for Business’, is for businesses who wish to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions or who are implementing sustainable energy technologies.

The next closing dates for applications are: Friday 27 January 2023.

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Invest to Grow

The University of Derby’s Invest to Grow programme provides grants and loans of between £15,000 and £250,000 to support private-sector businesses across the East Midlands to innovate, grow and create jobs.

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The iNet – Loughborough University

The iNet team at Loughborough University can support external capital and revenue costs associated with product development, innovation and growth projects.

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The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity – Business Loan

Eligible candidates may borrow up to £20,000 interest free for 9 years to establish themselves in their chosen career/business.

To be eligible for consideration for a personal loan for business purposes you must be:

  • over 18 and under 45 years of age;
  • resident in Leicestershire or Rutland and wanting to start a business or require additional funds for growth / expansion;
  • going to base or are already running the business in Leicestershire or Rutland;
  • have liquid assets of less than £40,000;

Visit their website for the full criteria.

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The Harry James Riddleston Charity – Business Loan

The Harry James Riddleston Charity offers loans of up to £10,000 interest free for between 5 and 10 years to start or expand their own business, or for vocational advancement. To be eligible for consideration you must be over 18 and under 45 years of age.

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Digital Upscaler – Digital Growth Programme

If you’re a high growth business looking to invest in technologies, the Digital Upscaler project could help you.

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Leicester Innovation Hub

Qualifying Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based in Leicester and Leicestershire interested in developing new products, services and processes with the University can potentially access free or heavily-subsidised innovation support. Funding includes Innovation Vouchers of up to £4,000, redeemable only within the University of Leicester.

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Innovate UK

Innovate UK aims to accelerate growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Grant funding competitions are open which can help you develop an idea and make it successful.

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SHIRE Environment Grant

This grant, run by Leicestershire County Council, is designed to support innovative projects that minimize household waste, reduce carbon emissions and improve biodiversity

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