Business grants in Wales: What do you need to know?
If you run your own small business in Wales, discover what grants and funding could be available to your start-up here
Whether you’re situated in Rhyl, Cardiff, or anywhere in between, if you run a small business in Wales – or are looking to start one – then you could be eligible for a range of grants.
We’ll provide you with the key information you need to know, such as the different types of grants available in Wales, and detailed information about each one. We’ll also look at micro loans and finance available from the Welsh Government. Plus, we’ll share a success story of a small business that received such funding.
In this article, we’ll cover:
What business grants are available in Wales?
In Wales, grants are mainly awarded by the Welsh Government, the UK Government, the EU, local authorities and charities.
Generally, grants and funding options can be split into two categories: those that are available only in specific regions of Wales, and those that are available across the entire country.
There are a range of grant schemes and funders out there, so research where you can find small business grants.
First, we’ll look at regional grants, which are available only in certain regions across Wales. They are offered by the UK Steel Enterprise Ltd and the relevant council for each area.
We’ve created a handy table with all the key points you need to know. If you want more information or to apply, you can contact the applicable local authority/council.
|Where?||Name||How much?||What for?||Who is eligible?|
|Blaenau Gwent||Kick Start Plus||Up to 50% of costs to a maximum of £1,000||Supports new businesses to develop and expand||New businesses (six months to three years old)
Businesses based in, or wanting to be located in, Blaenau Gwent
|Bridgend||Kickstart grant||£250 – £1,000 available for match funding (it’ll provide up to 50% of your project costs)||Project costs and capital (physical, fixed assets, such as equipment) items only||Newly created businesses, including those up to 12 months old, in any sector||Bridgend||Special Regeneration Fund (SRF)||£1,000 – £5,000 for up to 40% of your project costs||Costs for projects with a customer focus, for example software, renovation, marketing and design||Small and medium-sized businesses|
|Caerphilly||Business Start-up Grant||Up to 50% of project costs, to a maximum of £500||A general business grant for development and growth||You must be:
A resident of Caerphilly borough, setting up a full-time business for the first time; and unable to access any other funding sources
|Newport||Startup business grant||Up to 40% of your costs (£250 – £1,500)||General business development: Your first year’s rent, equipment (including ICT), software and websites (plus relevant training)||New businesses and those that are up to 12 months old||Newport||Vacant commercial floor space grant||Up to 50% of your first year’s rent, up to £6,000||Your first year’s rent on certain eligible vacant commercial premises or additional space||Open to individual and independent business owners, as well as franchise owners in Newport city centre or shopping centres in the district|
|Rhondda Cynon Taf||Enterprise Support Programme||Based on 40% of project costs
||For businesses – capital equipment (ICT included) purchases, commercial property improvements, website development, and one-time marketing costs
For social enterprises – developing organisations and projects also
|Start-up businesses within their first 12 months of trading
For grants of up to £5,000, existing private businesses must create at least one full-time equivalent job. For grants of up to £10,000, two full-time equivalent jobs must be created.
All businesses and social enterprises need to be based, or intending to be located, in Rhondda Cynon Taf
|Swansea||Business support grant||Up to 50% of project costs; a minimum of £250 to a maximum of £1,000||Project costs||Open to new businesses (that have either just started or are within their first two years). They must be based within the City and County of Swansea area|
If you’re not working currently, you may also want to consider business grants for the unemployed.
This section focuses on micro loans and finance available across Wales. While these aren’t grants, this type of funding is something to think about in the future as your business develop and grows.
Alternatively, if your business is more than 12 months old and/or isn’t situated in one of the above areas, you could consider this type of funding now.
In this category, the funding is provided by the Welsh Government in two ways:
- Banc – the Development Bank of Wales; offering micro loans and finance scheme
- Wales Business Fund – a fund that offers business loans and equity
What does Banc offer?
Banc has micro loans of up to £50,000 and finance options over £50,000 available.
The funds are to be used for start-up costs such as renting premises, buying equipment and hiring staff, as well as marketing and stock costs. It’s also possible to use the money for cashflow, training staff and developing products or services.
Banc’s funding is available to businesses throughout Wales and across various sectors.
How do you apply for finance from Banc?
You can check if you’re eligible and apply online.
The required documents you’ll require will differ slightly depending on whether you’re applying for a micro loan or finance. But generally, you’ll need to provide:
- Your business plan
- Your past two years’ accounts
- Your cashflow forecast (one year for micro loans; monthly integrated for finance)
- The current management details of your business
- Your past six months of bank statements
- The statements of assets and liability for your business
It’s worth noting that you can start the application without the required documents and save it to complete at a later date. Alternatively, you can submit the application and send the necessary documents after, when you have them.
Wales Business Fund
What does the Wales Business Fund offer?
The Wales Business Fund can provide business loans (with terms generally ranging between five and seven years) and equity between £50,000 and £2m. Note that businesses that receive money from the Wales Business Fund will usually need to match the amount invested with other funds.
How do you apply for the Wales Business Fund?
You can find out more and apply online.
All businesses that apply must have 250 members of staff or fewer. Note that your business can either be based in, or willing to be located in, Wales. The fund prioritises applications from businesses in economically deprived areas of Wales.
What are the next steps?
Now you’ve learned about the different types of funding and grants available across Wales – and read a success story from another small business – it’s time to think about the next steps.
If you haven’t got a business idea, then check out our start-up guides for inspiration. Alternatively, if you’ve already set up your start-up, then think about how you’d like to grow and develop your business.
Whichever stage you’re at, it’s time to get going and send those grant applications in – good luck!