Funding & Advice

The funding landscape changes constantly, businesses are advised to do their own research for most relevant options. We endeavour to keep the list updated as and when we are made aware of, however the list below is, by no means, a full one. We are not responsible for the running of each scheme therefore information here should be read in conjunction with funder's websites.

UK Export Finance

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is a ministerial department. They advance prosperity by ensuring no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance, doing that sustainably and at no net cost to the taxpayer.

Their products include UK General Export Facility, overseas Buyer Credit, and Medium term debt support for large corporations. For the full list of the financial options and their respective criteria please visit UKEF website.  

Backing Essex Business

Fully-funded by Essex County Council and delivered by Let’s Do Business Group, Backing Essex Business (Formerly Back to Business Essex) is here to support business growth across the county, promoting economic growth and creating jobs.

The Backing Essex Business service is delivered by the team at Let’s Do Business Group, which originated more than 20 years ago as a local Enterprise Agency in Hastings in East Sussex. Today, Let’s Do Business Finance provide fast, affordable finance in the forms of Business Loans, Start Up Loans and Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).

University of Essex

Our expertise can help innovate your business. The University of Essex has a successful track record of delivering innovative and disruptive projects with industry. From award-winning Knowledge Transfer.

Partnerships to consultancy and contract research, we're sharing our expertise and innovating business. You don't need a detailed brief when you approach us - simply bring us the issues you're facing and we'll pinpoint the expertise you need, cost the project, and help you find the right solution. We're in the top 25 for research quality in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and our KTP team is ranked as the third best support team in the UK. 

Get funding

Up to £10k for projects in any field. Innovation vouchers can provide your small or medium-sized business with funding to engage with our university expertise, with the opportunity to foster a long-term partnership. Funds pay for our academic experts to provide you with tailored consultancy.

Innovation for Business Funding

Get up to £100,000 per project through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.  Innovate UK are looking for ambitious businesses who want to make a clear strategic step and address a significant challenge. Our KTP programme can give your business a competitive advantage. 

University innovation vouchers

SMEs can get University of Essex innovation vouchers (.pdf) worth up to £10,000 to start working with us. This could go towards scoping and developing a new product, staff training, or stimulating growth. Contact us and we'll guide you through the application process. Your application will be reviewed by our business panel, and if accepted, you can reclaim costs of up to £10,000 once your project is complete. We assess applications based on the scope and value of the project, and on the potential of you working with us in the future.

Data analytics innovation vouchers

These vouchers can help if your business needs academic expertise to help you understand your data, and if you have fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £25.9 million. You may have a specific data project you want to tackle, or you may want to up-skill your analysts. We'll guide you through the application process when you contact us. You can get up to two data analytics vouchers a year, for a maximum of three years. These vouchers are funded by the ESRC, through our ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre. Our Institute for Data Analytics and Data Science also supports businesses by helping to understand and analyse data.

UK Government Start Up Loan

Apply for a government-backed Start Up Loan of £500 to £25,000 to start or grow your business. Unlike a business loan, this is an unsecured personal loan. You’ll get free support and guidance to help write your business plan, and successful applicants get up to 12 months of free mentoring.

Before you start:

To apply for the loan all of the following must apply:

Fees and repayment

Start Up Loans are government-backed and charge a fixed interest rate of 6% per year.You can repay the loan over a period of 1 to 5 years. There’s no application fee and no early repayment fee. 

Amazon Small Business Accelerator

Amazon Small Business Accelerator is a free, online educational programme for anyone who wants to start a new online business or grow an existing one.

The online learning is tailored to your experience level, with a comprehensive curriculum covering website building, selling online, social media, marketing, managing cashflow, selling on Amazon, and identifying growth opportunities. Not only is the training free, but by taking part you can access events and offers from partners, and join an intensive bootcamp experience.