nurturing small businesses

How to make yourself eligible for more business funding

Posted by on Jan 24, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

It can be so frustrating when funding opportunities pop up, but you don’t fit the eligibility criteria.

So how can you put yourself in the running when you apparently don’t fit the bill?

My experience has been to find out at whom the funding is targeted, then think how you could be connected to them.

For example, funding may be on offer for environmental businesses to develop their technology, or there may be a tender for a garage owner to take on another site.  If you don’t run an environmental business, or don’t run a garage, you may think I’m crazy in saying don’t write the opportunity off just yet.  Work through the information and see if they would be able to make use of your specialisms.

Reading through the funding offer will help you to uncover more details about what this pot of money can be spent on by the successful applicant.  You may find that there are limitations on what they can use the money on, for example.  Suddenly you may find that the training courses you run, the cakes you make, the business consultancy you offer, the cleaning company you run, the marketing and PR services, or the printing of brochures you deliver, will be needed by the grant winner.  You might just be the person to put together a team of mechanics for the new garage.

So you’ve seen the opportunity, what’s next?

You may not know who exactly is interested in applying, so you could:

  • Run through your customer/client list to see if there is anyone to whom the funding might be applicable
  • Investigate your business’ catchment area to find any companies or organisations who might want to apply
  • Search the internet for references to the funding find out if any suitable organisations have declared their interest or have noted links to it

Once you’ve identified who might be eligible for the funding, you can approach them with information about the funding (they might not have heard about it).   Judging their response to the details may help you decide whether you suggest a meeting to discuss how you might develop the application together, or to submit a pitch showing how incorporating support or services from your business may strengthen their application.

This may sound like a lot of effort.  Writing an application for funding in itself is a lot of work.  However, in a climate where maximising your income is becoming an ever tougher job, this approach might just generate some more longer term business contacts as well as more money for the shorter term.


Have you any tips for writing a successful application for funding?

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