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Start a Business

How to help fund your Startup Idea

One of the first things you have to think about when considering setting up your own business is of course the finances – where and how are you going to get the money to turn that dream into a reality.
 The media are always telling us that the banks aren’t lending any more, there are no grants that there have been cutbacks in grant funding and that for anybody starting out it can be an extremely difficult task. Whilst there is no denying that some of this is true, there are still a lot of initiatives out there which although they may not set you up for life, can certainly go part of the way towards getting your idea off the ground.

So, if you have an idea and are wondering how to get some extra cash to help bring it to life as a viable business, then check out these resources – they may just give you the helping hand you’ve been looking for:

Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation and Intuit have an excellent initiative called Fund 101. Basically, you simply register your business idea on the site and stipulate how much funding you are looking for. You can apply for between £50 – £500. You then need to set about encouraging as many people as possible to vote for you. The number of votes you need to secure the funding equates to the amount of funding you apply for e.g. if you apply for £500 , you will need to get 500 votes.
The money doesn’t have to be paid back – you simply put it to use on your idea.
For more details of the scheme, click here

o2 ThinkBig

This initiative is aimed at young people aged between 13 and 25 who have ideas for projects which can help their local communities. As well as grants of up to £300, a comprehensive training and support programme is also offered to any successful applicants. After the initial grant, applicants have the chance to apply for an additional £2500 to boost their project further.
Click here for more information on how to apply.

Shell Livewire

The £1000 Shell Livewire Grand Ideas Awards are open to anyone in the UK , aged between 16-30 who needs funding to get their business off the ground. Every month up to 5 x £1000 prizes are given away for the most innovative idea submitted by startup and early trading businesses ( i.e. who have been trading under 12 months.) Details on how to apply as well as information on previous winners can be found by clicking here.

Nominet Trust £250k Challenge

Internet charity, The Nominet Trust has recently launched a £250,000 fund aimed at Digital Entrepreneurs over the age of 55. All applicants must put forward a viable idea for an internet startup which deals with social problems affecting senior citizens and which helps older people access the internet. Projects will be assessed on an individual case by case basis although apparently some could potentially receive up to £100,000. For more details of the scheme, click here.


Teenbiz is a brand new initiative that has been launched just this week aimed at promoting entrepreneurship amongst teenagers – aged between 13-18. From January 1st 2012, 2 studentswill receive up to £500 startup funding as well as the support of a business mentor. One of the students who wins each month must be a social entrepreneur.
For more details of the scheme, check out their website .

For details of some other schemes and projects that could help you create your own startup, check out one of our previous posts .


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