Business funding

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2. Business grants

The following grants relate to particular government campaigns, specified business sectors, or schemes to increase youth job opportunities.  Grants are shown in alphabetical order.

Apprenticeship grant for employers of 16 to 24 year olds (AGE 16 to 24)

The AGE programme is aimed at supporting businesses to grow by employing young people through apprenticeships.

More information: National Apprenticeship Service

Assisted Asset Purchase Scheme

An initiative created by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The fund has been established to support local economies and to encourage investment in the private sector, by safeguarding existing jobs and creating new jobs.  The level of available support (grant) is based upon the size of your business, the level of asset investment required and the number of jobs being created or retained.

HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group all have programmes supported by the Government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

Business Growth Vouchers

Vouchers up to £2,000 are available to micro and small businesses. These vouchers are to be spent (matched with businesses' own funds) on strategic advice from suppliers in the private sector. You can find Growth Voucher approved advisers at The Enterprise Nation Marketplace

Locally, Francis Clark, Haines Watts LLP, Southwestfd Ltd, Thompson Jenner LLP and St James Consultancy are all registered as Approved Suppliers under the Scheme.

Environment Funding Schemes - available to all businesses

There are a number of environmental funding schemes currently available to enable your company to become more environmentally friendly. Money may be available to help your business cut waste, reduce energy bills, improve productivity, buy energy efficient equipment, generate your own electricity, develop innovative new low carbon products and/or meet tough environmental regulations.

Feed-In Tariffs - receive money for generating your own electricity

You can get payments from your energy supplier if you generate your own electricity, eg with solar panels or a wind turbine. This is called a 'Feed-in Tariff' (FIT).  For more information and to use the solar energy calculator go to the Feed-in Tariffs website.

Innovation Vouchers

Businesses and research organisations can apply to funding competitions to help them develop their innovations.

You can apply for funding to test the feasibility of your idea, research and develop it and demonstrate it in a prototype.  All of the current and forthcoming funding competitions run by Innovate UK are published on this website: Innovation Vouchers


SMART Grants for Science, Engineering and Technology

SMART is a Technology Strategy Board scheme offering funding to single UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in research and development projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge. This can provide grant funding for up to 60% of the eligible costs.

For more information go to the SGBA website or email

Support for non-profit organisations or community groups

The National Lottery funds good causes. Grants may be available for certain projects, particularly those that support arts, heritage and conservation, communities and groups, nature or sports and recreation.

The Lottery Funding website gives details of grants available to organisations and community groups that meet the specified criteria.

South West Growth Fund

This scheme is now closed to new applications.

More information:  South West Growth Fund

Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board makes funding available for innovative business projects. More information: Innovate UK

University of Exeter - Internment Subsidies for Employers

An intern can be extremely beneficial to your business as they will have up to date academic knowledge within their subject discipline. 

Internships from the University of Exeter are paid positions.  However, the University of Exeter, together with Santander Universities, are now offering an Employer Subsidy that businesses are able to apply for. This academic year we are able to award £50,000 in £600, £900 or £1500 subsidies to recruit an Exeter student or graduate.

More information: University of Exeter - Internship Subsidies for Employers