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Find start-up funding

There are different funding options to consider for your business, depending on your circumstances. Here are some suggestions to help you find out more about what support you can access and what might be right for you.

Business grants

You can search for available grants using the following websites:

Enterprising Ashfield programme - HeadStart

This business support programme is designed to help entrepreneurs, living in or working in Kirkby in Ashfield and Sutton in Ashfield, to acquire the skills and information they need to start and grow a business. Participants may also be eligible to receive a £1000 grant at the end of the programme to help establish their new venture.

SWEF Programme

If you are aged between 18 to 30 years old, from a low-income household or facing other challenges preventing you from developing your business, and you live and work Nottinghamshire then this programme may help you with grant funding up to £2000. You can be at pre-start, start up or established trading stages as long as you have not been trading for over 2-years. This grant can be used to pay towards:

  • Equipment that will help a business bring in a second revenue stream
  • Equipment that will help a business increase production where there is proven demand
  • Materials/stock for a new product line
  • Prototypes
  • Website/booking system build
  • Training
  • Product development.

Tech Nation

If you’re a tech entrepreneur, be it aspiring, scaling, or late stage, then Tech Nation may be able to help you through its specialised programmes. They offer peer-to-peer learning, access to world-class scale-up coaches, and connections that will help you solve your technology business challenges. You will also gain added exposure for your brand. They are very selective when choosing who they accept into each programme run, but it’s completely free and they can even help you find tech investors.

Business loans

British Bank

The British Bank can provide loans between £500 to £25,000 to help start or grow your business. This is an unsecured personal loan not linked to your business. You can also get free support and guidance to help write your business plan, and successful applicants can get up to 12 months of free mentoring.

Eligible businesses also include those that have been trading up to 3 years, and second start-up loans are now available to eligible businesses that have been trading for up to 5 years.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund II

This provides over £400 million of investment to boost small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) growth in the Midlands and offers commercially-focused finance through local delivery partners.

Finance is available in 4 ways:

  • smaller loans £25,000 to £100,000
  • debt finance from £100,000 to £2 million
  • equity finance funds up to £5 million.

High street banks

You can check the latest loan facilities with high street banks such as:

First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans

First Enterprise offer a range of funding opportunities for businesses with finance between £500 and £250,000 for start-up and existing businesses looking to grow. These funds are all designed to plug gaps in high street lending and are backed by the Government to help businesses and individuals who might not otherwise be able to access business finance.

First Enterprise also provide small business loans from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF). They are a delivery partner for Big Society Capital’s Community Investment Enterprise Facility fund, which is aimed at providing finance to those businesses in communities which need it most.

Business equity


This is the practice of funding a project or new venture by raising small amounts of money from many people, typically via the internet. They offer services for you to showcase your project/idea/business to potential investors.

Some platforms specialise in certain markets and industries; however, the most popular ones are:

  • Crowdcube - the UK's most rated crowdfunding platform
  • Seedrs - great for start-ups, minimum investments £10
  • Kickstarter - ideal for creative industries, food, music, film, technology
  • Indiegogo - the world’s biggest crowdfunding platform
  • Funding Circle - investments from £60,000 to £1 million
  • Unbound - great for publishing projects and books
  • RateSetter - you agree the interest on a loan directly with an investor
  • gofundme - great for charities and social enterprises needing support
  • Crowdfunder – they don’t always charge a fee for using this platform as it depends on the project.

Haatch - D2N2 £8 million early-stage Angel Investment Fund

Haatch are a pre-seed investment company who are working with D2N2 LEP collaborating on an £8 million 'Fund to fuel growth' in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire’s start-up ecosystem. Over the next 2 years, the Haatch D2N2 ESAIF will invest in approximately 13 companies providing a significant step forward in unlocking the potential of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire’s start-up ecosystem and driving sustainable economic growth. The partnership will also see co-investment from British Business Investments, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, who committed £10 million to Haatch in 2022.

If you would like to be considered then you must operate in the D2N2 area, have been trading at least 6 months to 24 months, be generating revenues and looking to add value to net zero/low carbon strategic outcomes, demonstrating credible ESG credentials and create new jobs.

The Minerva Business Angel Network

This network was established by the University of Warwick’s Science Park in 1994 as part of an access to finance programme aimed at stimulating the growth of innovation-led businesses in any commercial sector. They have a large database of over 150 investors and operate 5 specific investor groups who meet every month in Coventry, Wolverhampton, and Malvern Science Parks.

You can get help with sourcing funding, introductions to funders, and help with your business presentations.

UK Business Angels Association

This is a national trade association for angel and early-stage investments, representing 650 members that collectively deploy more than £2 billion per year. Members include angel groups, individual investors, early stage venture capital companies, investment platforms, universities, and accelerators.

You can subscribe or become a member to access the full investors list.

Angel Investment Network

This is a platform that connects businesses looking for investment and investors with the capital, contacts, and knowledge to help them succeed. They claim to have 274,000 registered investors interested in new projects.

Venture capitalists

Form is a new early stage venture fund investing in start-ups disrupting regulated markets or building in new markets that will face regulation. It is backed by the British Bank and the Form II fund will invest between £200,000 and £1 million in pre-seed and seed staged start-ups, typically delivering its focused support as a co-investor rather than leading rounds.

Page last updated: 29 May 2024