More grants available…

I think I was pleased (and certainly surprised given the government cutbacks and layoffs) to hear that there are new sources of money appearing for entrepreneurs. I heard about two in the last two weeks so I’ve done a little background research into them:

  • The Angel Co-investment fund. Capital for Enterprise (CfEL) is administrating a fund of £50 million from the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF). This fund will invest alongside Syndicates who are making their first investment in a qualifying SME of between £50,000 and £1 million. A Syndicate is defined by the BBAA as a group of three or more investors in an unstructured group (that pays them a registration fee of about £95pa per member). The fund will pay the Syndicate Manager 2.5% on successful investment in return for monitoring information and rights to invest in further rounds.
  • Carbon Trust Entrepreneur Fast Track Programme. As announced on the website: “We provide a customised package of expert commercial advice, networking opportunities and grant funding to small enterprises that are developing low carbon technologies in the UK”. Applications can be made to the Carbon Trust for development grants up to £500,000 and expert commercial advice up to £70,000 from their new £3 million fund.

Sounds great… I’m always pleased to see help provided to entrepreneurs but I’m concerned by the bureaucracy that comes with such money – perhaps this should be a subject of another blog? I continued researching the Carbon Trust’s offering and discovered that all the grants have already gone (except in Wales on a case-by-case basis) and the email was only 2 days old!

One out of two is good news…  so

Businesses: find your syndicates!

Business angels: find some friends!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Brian, I head up the Entrepreneurs Fast Track service in Carbon Trust. This has been running for over a year and builds upon previous programmes we have offered for almost ten years. In that time, we’ve supported over 300 start-ups, who have subsequently leveraged over £130m in private investment, and which represents a 13:1 ratio of private-led Green Growth money to taxpayers’ spend. It is also a popular service -in the past year, we have had over 1000 applicants. So, it is not new!

    As a former entrepreneur myself, I also designed the service to keep bureaucracy to a minimum: we do reject many applicants but we do so quickly, and mostly by telephone, without them having to set pen to paper with any form of application form. Those that ‘make it’ will have had to fill out an application form, but it is not onerous. It is therefore not bureaucratic.

    Finally, we have offered grants across the UK but budgets available from our funders for this do vary. You are correct that right now all the other Entrepreneurs Fast Track services are available in Great Britain, but that grants are only available in Wales. As budgets change, we will continue to update our website to reflect this.

  2. Brian
    As ever your blogs are very informative and topical. Do you know whether an MBO team would qualify under the Angel Co – Investment fund?

    Just to save my time ploughing through the detailed rules!

    Many Thanks

    Saffery Champness

  3. Hi David,
    I don’t have a definitive answer. However I would expect that if there were two outside investors (who could become members of the BBAA and therefore be a syndicate) then their investment may be matched by the fund. I think that at least one of the investors would need to have some “experience” demonstrable in the BA world though and some connection to the industry of the company they are investing in.
    I hope this helps,

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