Grant Application forms are a black art to some people. A world of bureaucracy, frustrating and time consuming with sometimes little return for the effort put in.
However, grant money is a great way to support micro and small companies get through to “adulthood” and once you get into the rhythm of what is needed it can become easier and more successful.
The first thing to do is to understand where you actually want your company to grow and develop over the next 3 years or so. Then identify what activities that are already in your plan can be naturally shaped into projects that have the potential for grant funding. If you are stretching the definitions to make it fit, then it is unlikely to be successful.
Grants are there to support
- increased revenues, especially export revenues
- new job roles and to safeguard existing employees
- bring in additional revenues to government through business rates
- innovation and the creation of new IP.
And increasingly to allow companies to transition to Net Zero, Zero Waste, Circular Economy and to meet Sustainable Development goals.
They do this through part-support of projects that enable expansion of premises, access to new equipment, support of staff wages whilst innovation for new products takes place and investigations of new market sectors and relationship /network building.
Don’t forget the need to make short videos and create pitch decks – those presentation skills are increasingly part of the initial assessment. Communication is KEY for success.
The forms require you to set out the vision for your company, to justify why the grant is needed and to check that you have the finance to make the project happen. After all, they need to risk assess the situation themselves whilst also being mindful that they are there to support business when investors won’t do it alone or at all.
SSC have worked in the grant sector in various ways. Members of our team have at times been part of local development agencies like Scottish Enterprise supporting companies through the grant applications process. We have colleagues that work as assessors for grants at multiple levels including EU EIC Innovation grants. We have also been at the coal-face creating applications from scratch for various agencies and even for business competitions and had solid levels of success across the whole grant spectrum from R2B grants from Business Finland to SMART innovation grants in Scotland/UK.