Being a young entrepreneur can be challenging, the immensity of the challenges ahead can be overwhelming when you’re starting a new business. The good news is that in the UK there are lots of grants available to young people, supporting you to get the best out of your business.
Although they are not strictly grants, if you’re running a small or new business in the UK you might also like to look into SEIS and EIS, which are HCMR-run tax relief schemes encouraging investors in businesses.
We’ve collected some of the best grants available to young people in the UK at the moment, so that whether you’re starting a business or looking for a boost, you’re not on your own.
1. Princes Trust Grants
Ages – Between 18-30
Grant amount – from £1,500 to £3,000
Since 1976, Prince’s Trust has supported young entrepreneurs in starting their businesses. As well as grants, the trust offers business advice and mentorship for young entrepreneurs through their Enterprise Program which supports young people to start their own businesses. You can apply for funding from the trust here.
2. Spaces 4 Change
Age – 16-24
Amount – up to £5,000
The Spaces 4 Change program supports young social entrepreneurs to take ownership of vacant or under-utilised spaces in their local community. Once they’ve been repurposed into offices or retail outlets they can then be used to house new social ventures.
You can apply for this grant as a group or an individual. When you apply you need to have a clear project in place and have clear and specific outcomes. For anyone looking to make an impact on the local area, this grant is a great opportunity.
3. Rockstar Youth
Age – 18-30
Amount – Mentorship, Guidance and Support
Rockstar Youth is a part of one of the UK’s largest entrepreneurial mentoring organisations, the Rockstar Group. The Rockstar Youth Programme supports young people through enterprise creation, accelerated growth and investment. With the support of the programme, entrepreneurs can gain valuable experience and confidence, as well as a wide network and sustainable business.
Age – Any
Amount – £500 – £20,000
UnLtd is the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK. While this isn’t strictly a grant for young people, the support offered by UnLtd could be invaluable to a young entrepreneur. The company is the largest network for supporting social enterprise in the world. Every year their core Awards programme resources hundreds of individuals, allowing them to fulfil their plans to support social enterprise across the UK. Alongside investing directly into individuals, UnLtd offers awards of funding, ongoing advice, networking and practical support.
5. HBV Enterprise
Age – under 30
Amount – up to £10,000 (Loan)
In several boroughs across London, HBV is the local provider of the government ‘Start Up Loans’. If you are based in Hackney, Islington, City of London or Tower Hamlets then you can apply for a loan up to £10,000 to get you started, or grow during your first year of trading. For young entrepreneurs, the government’s ‘start-up loans’, offer an incredible opportunity to fund new ventures.
6. Think Big (now Amplifi)
Age – 13-25
Amount – up to £500
Think Big is a programme supporting entrepreneurs aged 13-25, funded and run by Telefonica UK/O2. O2 is offering rounds of funding to help bring the ideas of young people to life. The focus of the program is entrepreneurs looking to use tech for social good and to encourage innovation. Throughout the year, O2 are calling for different applications on a theme or campaign. You can find out more about what’s on offer by visiting the Amplifi website.
Post Covid-19 support
For anyone running a small business in the UK at the moment, the government is offering very generous grants to support and boost small business in the wake of Covid-19 – find out more here.