Grants from a range of providers can provide an excellent source of funding to support companies with the development and commercialisation of innovative products and services, but it is important that you understand the full costs and benefits of applying for such support.
Hints and Tips
Understand the full range of non-dilutive funding options open to you
Grants are an important part of the funding landscape and are accessible by companies at all stages of development, from start up to scaling businesses. In addition to grants, there are other sources of finance which can be accessed without giving away any ownership of the business – non-dilutive – so it is worth exploring all the options.
Consider the pros and cons of grant funding options
Grant funding sources are generally appropriate for high-risk – high reward projects that create new products or services, and they can be a great quality indicator if seeking other finance. However, there is a time cost to applying for grants which are rarely 100% funded and tend to be retrospectively paid, leading to a cash-flow demand on the business. Grants can also divert a business from its core focus, potentially becoming a costly distraction.
Ensure applications have good fit
Grant funding applications are most likely to be successful when there is a clear alignment between your core business plans and goals and the strategic priorities of the funder, so be sure to understand the motivations of the funding source.
Get the right partners
You may be able to strengthen your application by including partners in your project. These could be other businesses or a knowledge partner such as a University who can add valuable skills, knowledge or resources, and who can benefit from the outcomes of the project.