Whether you are starting out in business, or attempting to enhance an existing project, everyone needs extra cash flow to get things moving in the right direction and maximising the idea’s potential.
Whether you’re starting an online shopping venture or looking to upgrade your community choir, here are some ways to purse a financial boost
Giving your project a kick-start
Crowdfunding has never been a more popular way of helping get a project off the ground or keeping it afloat. Asking many people to contribute a small amount each to a single project rather than targeting a handful of large investors was unheard of a decade ago, but now it’s the most popular way to fund your dreams online. The most high-profile of these crowdfunding agencies is Kickstarter. An estimated £350m was pledged through the site in 2014, helping to boost projects as diverse as children’s learning tools to videogames and a gadget which monitors sleep patterns. A good place to start is having a look at the UK Crowdfunding site which features a handy FAQ.
If your project is not just about making money for yourself, key shareholders and investors, but has an element of benefitting the wider community, then you’ve entered the realm of social enterprise. Should your project increase people’s chances in life or tackle societal problems or improve the environment, then who knows, you might have the next Big Issue or Eden Project on your hands. Potential finance for social enterprises ranges from grants to social investment. Socialenterprise.org.uk is the place to go for further details.
It’s a lottery
When we think of a national lottery, balls spinning around massive see-through containers might spring to mind. But lottery funding doesn’t have to involve queuing for a ticket with your ‘lucky’ numbers on it. The Heritage Lottery Fund can help finance projects which ‘make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities’ while the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards For All can boost small, community-based projects across the UK with an estimated £6b having been distributed across the country since 2004.
Feeding your creative side
Should your project be of a specifically arts and culture nature, then you can apply for an arts grant. Central funding is devolved around the country so the Arts Councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as Creative Scotland are the bodies which might help your project, while other bodies are set up to act on behalf of a particular genre.
Have you been successful in securing funding for your business or project?