Grants for Women’s Business in the UK | 2023 Requirements

Looking for funding for your business? Women entrepreneurs are a growing force in the UK, but they can still get started. 

Thankfully, there are several grants for women’s businesses in the UK to help them along the way. With the introduction of new grants in 2023, there are now more opportunities than ever for UK female entrepreneurs to receive financial support. 

This article will discuss the new grants for women-owned businesses in the UK and the requirements to apply for them. We’ll cover the types of grants available, the eligibility criteria, and the application process. 

Whether you’re just starting out or already running a business, there are plenty of funding options to explore. Read on to learn more!

What are the Grants for Women’s Businesses in the UK?

The UK government offers a range of grants specifically designed to help female entrepreneurs and business owners start, expand, and develop their businesses.

These grants provide financial support to help women build successful and sustainable enterprises. Some of the most popular grants for women’s businesses include:

1. Enterprise Allowance Scheme

The Enterprise Allowance Scheme grants for women’s businesses in the UK provides a start-up capital of £3,000 and access to a mentor to provide guidance and support. It is available to women starting a new business in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. 

The scheme helps people who are unemployed and want to become self-employed. To be eligible, you must be on a state benefit and have a viable business plan to become self-employed. 

You must also commit to working at least 16 hours weekly in your business. This scheme provides a great opportunity for women to access grants to start their businesses.

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2. Start-Up Loans

Starting a business can be an expensive venture, and for women in the UK, several grants are available to help them get their businesses off the ground. Start-Up Loans provide loans of up to £25,000 to help businesses with their initial costs and support those in the early stages of setting up a business. 

The loan is repayable over five years at a fixed interest rate of 6%. Start-Up Loans are available to both men and women. However, there is an emphasis on supporting female-led businesses and entrepreneurs. As part of the scheme, loan recipients receive 12 months of free mentoring and guidance from a Start Up Loans mentor. This support can help individuals navigate the start-up process, build their business plans, and develop their ideas. 

To apply for a Start Up Loan, individuals must be aged 18 or over, be UK residents, and have been refused a loan from other sources. Grants for women’s businesses are available through Start Up Loans, offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to secure the funds they need to begin their business journey.

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3. The Female Founders Fund

The Female Founders Fund (FundFund) is dedicated to helping female entrepreneurs and owners secure grants for women’s businesses. FundFund works to provide resources, advice, and support to entrepreneurs who are starting up, scaling up, and in need of additional funding. 

The organization offers a range of grants specifically designed to help fund women’s business initiatives. Grants are awarded based on criteria such as the nature of the business, its potential for growth, and the ability of the applicant to contribute to the local economy. The amount of funding available varies depending on the individual grant program, with some providing up to £50,000 in seed funding and mentorship support.

In addition to providing grants for business development, FundFund offers an array of services to help women entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground. These services include business planning advice, marketing support, financial guidance, legal advice, and networking opportunities.

At FundFund, all women should have the same opportunities and resources as their male counterparts. We strive to create a more equitable and inclusive world for female entrepreneurs by providing them with grants for women’s businesses and support when they need it most.

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4. Women in Innovation Awards

The Women in Innovation Awards are an annual program established in 2018 by Innovate UK to recognize and reward women pioneering new technologies and driving innovation in the UK. The awards provide grants for women’s businesses through financial, mentoring, and networking support. The awards are open to individuals or teams of female innovators over 16 working in any field, from health and life sciences to engineering and digital technology. 

Winners of the Women in Innovation Awards can receive up to £50,000 in funding and access to a wide range of support, including expert advice and mentoring. Applications are assessed based on the applicant’s track record, potential to innovate, and passion and enthusiasm for their chosen field. The awards also offer recognition for those whose innovative ideas are helping to shape the future. 

So if you’re a female innovator looking for grants for your business, check out the Women in Innovation Awards. The deadline for applications is typically in late August each year.

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5. HATCH support programs

HATCH is an organization based in the UK that provides support and grants for women’s businesses. They have a range of programs to help start-up businesses get off the ground and offer advice and assistance. Their flagship program is HATCH Together, which offers grants of up to £50,000 for eligible women-led businesses. 

Eligibility criteria include having been in business for less than two years and having a turnover of less than £100,000. The program also provides mentoring, networking opportunities, and access to workshops to help business owners develop their skills. 

For more established businesses, HATCH also offers the HATCH Lab program. This provides grants of up to £100,000 for growth capital and business development. It also provides mentoring and support to help businesses scale up and reach their potential. 

HATCH also runs events and workshops, including its signature Women in Business Festival. This event brings together inspiring speakers, mentors, and entrepreneurs to share ideas and experiences and guide you on making the most of your business. 

Finally, HATCH provides support through its community of founders, where entrepreneurs can share their stories, challenges, and successes with like-minded people. The platform also features a range of resources, such as webinars and articles, providing support and information on running a successful business. 

By providing access to grants and other forms of support, HATCH helps women achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions. If you’re looking for grants for women’s businesses in the UK, HATCH is worth exploring.

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6. Astia

Astia provides grants for women’s businesses and mentorship and funding opportunities to female entrepreneurs in the UK. Their investment programs can provide up to £100,000 for a single venture. They offer grant rounds for various industries and sectors and work with female-led companies from idea to exit. 

Additionally, Astia works with existing female-led companies interested in scaling their businesses. The organization also provides access to its extensive network of industry contacts, which can be invaluable for start-ups and established businesses. 

By working with Astia, female entrepreneurs can gain much-needed resources, expertise, and support to help launch their businesses.

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7. Abie Awards

The Abie Awards is an annual event that recognizes and rewards the innovation of women-led businesses in the UK. The award is open to female-led teams and start-ups in technology, healthcare, energy, education, and more. The winners of the Abie Awards receive grants for their businesses, as well as mentorship and support.

To be eligible for the awards, applicants must have a minimum annual revenue of £500k or have received funding of at least £500k within the last 12 months. Applicants must also demonstrate that they have at least one woman in a leadership role on their team.

The Abie Awards provides a great opportunity for female-led businesses in the UK to get recognition and grants for their business. Not only does this provide financial assistance, but it can also be a great way to get exposure for your business and find mentors who can help you grow.

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8. Anita Borg Institute For Women And Technology

The Anita Borg Institute For Women and Technology (ABI) is an organization dedicated to providing grants for women’s business initiatives in the UK. Through innovative technologies, ABI provides support and resources to help women entrepreneurs build successful companies and create opportunities for themselves and their communities.

One of the most important programs offered by ABI is its annual grants program. This program helps to provide essential funding to women entrepreneurs to help them build their businesses and pursue their professional goals.

Most importantly, grants range from $2,500 to $10,000, and you can use them for anything from purchasing equipment and software to covering conference travel expenses. The program also includes mentorship, coaching, and access to a network of experienced professionals.

In addition to offering grants, ABI also provides several other services, including workshops and seminars, research grants, and access to resources such as databases and digital archives. They design these services to help support women entrepreneurs in their pursuit of success and provide them with the tools they need to succeed.

Suppose you are a woman entrepreneur in the UK looking for financial assistance for your business. In that case, the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology can provide you with the necessary resources and support to succeed. By taking advantage of ABI’s grants and other services, you can start your business on the right track.

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9. The Visa Everywhere Initiative

Visa launched the Visa Everywhere Initiative in 2021 to help empower female founders and business owners. The program provides grants for women’s businesses around the world, with an emphasis on countries with underrepresented populations. In the UK, Visa’s initiative offers funding up to £25,000 to eligible female-led businesses.

The grant helps entrepreneurs access working capital, expert networks, mentorship, and support for developing their businesses. Additionally, Visa partners with organizations such as the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE) to help connect female entrepreneurs with mentors, networks, and investors. 

To qualify for the grant, applicants must have a fully formed business concept and the required skills and resources to run their business. In addition, applicants must have an active Visa payment product account and be able to demonstrate that their business will have a positive social impact on their local community. 

Overall, the Visa Everywhere Initiative is an excellent opportunity for female founders to access much-needed funding and resources to develop and grow their businesses. By providing grants for women’s businesses, Visa is helping to support female entrepreneurs in the UK and beyond.

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10. British Association Of Women Entrepreneurs

The British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE) is dedicated to helping female entrepreneurs access grants for women’s businesses. Also, the organization provides support, mentorship, and funding opportunities to women looking to take the leap and start their businesses.

The organization offers several grant options for women interested in starting a business and provides business advice and support.

For example, BAWE offers grant programs such as the Start-up Loans Scheme, which provides up to £25,000 of interest-free finance to new businesses; the Female Founders Fund, which provides up to £50,000 of seed funding for female founders; the FundFund, which offers up to £100,000 of seed funding; and the Women in Innovation Awards, which provides awards of up to £20,000 to female entrepreneurs. 

In addition to these grant programs, BAWE offers a range of support services and events, including HATCH support programs, AstiaAstia start-up mentoring, Abie Awards, and the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. Furthermore, the organization is an official partner of the Visa Everywhere Initiative, a global initiative aiming to unlock financial access and create economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs. 

With its comprehensive range of services and resources, the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs provides invaluable assistance for aspiring female entrepreneurs. By offering access to grants for women’s businesses and providing valuable mentorship and support programs, BAWE makes it easier for women to transition into self-employment and follow their dreams of becoming successful business owners.

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How to apply for grants for women’s businesses in the UK

Applying for grants for women’s businesses in the UK can be a great way to help your business grow. To get started, you will need to research the various grants available and decide which is best suited to your business. You can also search online, ask other business owners, or visit your local government office. Once you have chosen a grant that you are eligible for, you will need to complete an application form and submit it with the required documentation.

The first step when applying for grants is ensuring you meet the eligibility criteria. This will vary depending on the grant, but typically you will need to demonstrate a commitment to developing your business, be based in the UK, and provide evidence of financial need. Additionally, many grants are only available to women, so it is important to ensure you meet this criterion. 

Once your application has been submitted, you may need to attend an interview or presentation to discuss your plans for the grant money. This is a great opportunity to show potential funders why your business is worth investing in and how you plan to use the grant funds. 

When it comes to the paperwork, it is important to ensure that all documents are accurately filled out and that you have provided all necessary information. It is also advisable to double-check any figures, as errors can lead to rejection. Finally, submit your application before the deadline, as late applications cannot be considered.

With careful research and preparation, applying for grants for women’s businesses in the UK can be straightforward.

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What are the Requirements for Grants for Women’s Businesses in the UK?

Grants for Women’s Businesses in the UK are available to help female entrepreneurs access the capital and resources needed to launch or grow their businesses. To be eligible for a grant, applicants must meet certain criteria. This includes:

  • Being based in the UK
  • Being a majority female-owned business
  • Having a viable business plan
  • Showing proof of relevant experience
  • Having a strong financial track record
  • Demonstrating potential growth opportunities
  • Being able to demonstrate the long-term sustainability of the business.

There are also specific requirements related to the type of grant being applied for. For example, grants to encourage social enterprise must have a clear social or environmental mission and show how they will help vulnerable communities. Additionally, grants to support innovation must show evidence of a novel product or process.

It is important to note that there are different deadlines for different types of grants, so it is important to familiarise yourself with them and make sure your application is submitted on time. Furthermore, applications may require submitting various documents such as a business plan, financials, and other evidence. 

Finally, it is important to note that many grants are competitive, and therefore selection panels will look closely at applications to determine which ones are most deserving of funding. As such, it is important to ensure your application is well-prepared and clearly outlines why your project should be chosen for funding.

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Grants for women’s businesses in the UK are an invaluable opportunity for female entrepreneurs to fund their businesses and reach their potential. The application process and requirements can be daunting, but with the right guidance, any woman can make a successful application and take advantage of the grants available. 

It is essential to do your research thoroughly, have all the documents ready before applying, and understand the terms and conditions of the grant. By taking the time to do this, you can maximize your chances of receiving one of these grants and make your business dreams a reality.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What grants are available for women’s businesses?

Various grants and financial support programs are available to help women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. These include Start Up Loans, the Female Founders Fund, FundFund, Women in Innovation Awards, HATCH support programs, Astia, Abie Awards, Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, The Visa Everywhere Initiative, and the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs. 

How do I apply for grants for women’s businesses?

To apply for grants for women’s businesses, you need to research the various available grant and funding opportunities. You will then need to read through the guidelines and criteria for each grant and determine if you meet the requirements to apply. Once you have determined which grants you are eligible for, you must fill out the application and submit it with any necessary supporting documentation. 

What type of grants are offered for women’s businesses?

Grants for women’s businesses can cover various expenses such as training costs, marketing expenses, legal fees, purchase of equipment and materials, etc. The funds may be provided as a lump sum or an ongoing monthly allowance depending on the specific grant. 

Are grants for women’s businesses limited to UK businesses?

While some of the grants mentioned above are specifically available to UK businesses, many other grants and financial support programs are open to businesses worldwide. It is best to research the various options available to find out which ones apply to you.

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