The Innovation Investment Loan Fund (i3) 2017/18

The Innovation Investment Loan Fund (i3) will be open to receive pre-applications from Friday 25th August 2017 (closing at 12 noon on 11 September 2017). The loan is supported by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.

The scheme primarily offers 0% loans between £100,000 and £500,000 to small and medium sized businesses with the potential for high growth, ability to create new jobs and demonstrate innovation within their sector/business. Businesses from the Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Shepway, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells local authority areas are invited to apply.

Loans can be used to develop new or expand existing innovative products, services or processes, will lead to new jobs and business growth.

Further information, the applicant’s Guidance Notes and access to the on-line Pre-Application can be found using the following link:



HSBC £10 billion lending fund

HSBC believe the best way to help British businesses to grow is to give them better access to finance. That’s why they have decided to launch a £10 billion loan fund to support small businesses in the UK. In 2016 they approved 91% of business lending (up to £30k) for start-ups and businesses switching to them.

The £10 billion fund is available to both HSBC and non-HSBC customers. It’s being allocated in 43 local tranches nationwide, signalling their firm commitment to helping smaller companies right across the country.

In addition to the lending, their package of SME support includes:

  • 18 months of fee-free* business banking for start-ups
  • 12 months of fee-free* banking for existing SMEs who switch their banking to HSBC
  • Interactive business tools and a wealth of resources in our Knowledge Centre for small businesses with ambitions to grow at www.knowledge.hsbc.co.uk/tools-and-resources. The site offers inspirational profiles, expert insights and more, backed up by a comprehensive range of briefings, checklists and other resources to help launch, run and develop your business.

* Free Banking means that they will not charge you an account maintenance fee or for payments into your account covered by their standard account charges.

Find Out More

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Fredericks Foundation

Fredericks Foundation are a responsible finance provider with a bias towards helping those who have been turned down by high street banks and are struggling to find finance elsewhere to support their start up business.

They lend up to £10,000 for start-up businesses and £20,000 for growth opportunities and they also provide FREE post loan mentoring for all our customers.

They have funds to lend throughout the UK but currently have a special focus on Bath, Bristol, Hants, Mendip, South Gloucestershire, Surrey, Kent, Cornwall, Northampton, Cambridge and Lincolnshire.

Applications should be made via their web site, visit the Fredericks Foundation here: www.fredericksfoundation.org

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Free guides to help your start up

There is so much to consider when starting a business so we thought we would help out with our free downloadable guides.

They’re packed full of practical tips, examples and ‘how-to’ information and, best of all, you can read them on your device or print them out. Whether it’s advice on conducting market research, analysing your strengths and weaknesses or optimising your website to find more customers online, we’ve got it covered. See our full menu below to find the right guide for your needs. Our 3 free guides are:

Start Up Toolkit 2017

  • A month-by-month guide to important business deadlines
  • Advice on self assessment and tax payments
  • Start up events and shows across the UK
  • Time management and planning techniques for the year ahead
  • Tips for reducing Corporation Tax liability

Marketing Toolkit

  • How to research your target market and test your business idea
  • Creating a marketing plan and setting goals effectively
  • Building a business website and attracting online customers
  • Low-cost options for on and offline advertising, affiliate marketing and PR.
  • Free and cheap ways to market your business on a shoestring budget

SEO Toolkit

  • Discovering keywords and how to use them
  • Content creation and how it can boost your website
  • How to structure your site with search engines in mind
  • Backlinks and how to get them
  • Registering with Google

Click here to find out more and get your free guides now!

The Start Up Loans Company was established in September 2012, with a mission to help new and early stage UK businesses access affordable finance and mentoring support.


Let’s Do Business Start Up

Looking for a start up loan…?

Let’s Do Business Start Up, part of the Let’s Do Business Group, has a proven track record in successfully delivering start-up loans and business mentoring to people ready to take their first steps in the business world.

Taking advantage of the wealth of experience they have at their disposal, they are on a mission to supply the people of Sussex, Brighton & Hove, Kent,Surrey and Hampshire with the finance, guidance and mentoring they need to get their businesses off the ground.

They’re also working in other areas such as Gloucestershire, Devon, Cornwall, Bristol and North Somerset delivering start up loans with local partners – call them to get contact details of a partner in your area.

If you need help, one of their team will talk you through the application process, making sure you’ve got all the help you need to turn your idea into reality.

For more information please click HERE

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Small Business Boost

The Small Business Boost economic growth fund covers the Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet areas. It is funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund scheme and managed by Kent County Council working in partnership other public and private sector partners. The scheme is part of the Expansion East Kent initiative.

The Small Business Boost scheme offers 0% interest loans between £2,000 and £50,000 to help start-ups, small businesses and social enterprises in the eligible areas, who are seeking to develop new or expand existing products or services, where these will lead to sustained employment.


You can apply for investment support from Small Business Boost if you meet the following criteria:

  • New business: Have you been in existence for less than 6 years?
  • Type: Are you a sole trader, partnership, limited company or a not-for-profit business located or seeking to locate in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway or Thanet ?
  • Amount: Are you seeking a loan between £2,000 and £50,000?
  • Size: Do you currently have fewer than 50 employees?
  • Location: Are you seeking to provide employment – either by creating or safeguarding jobs in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway or Thanet?
  • Dividends: Your business has not yet paid out a dividend.

Further details and how to apply


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Business Banking Insight

Helping businesses make better decisions

This site shows results from a survey of thousands of UK small and medium sized businesses, who were asked about their experience of the banks they use. It is free to use and you don’t need to sign up for anything. The site is independent of any bank and you won’t be sold anything as a result of visiting. The site will be updated with new survey data every six months.

For more information visit:


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Alternative Business Funding

For more information visit: http://alternativebusinessfunding.co.uk/

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Finance and support for your business

Find government-backed support and finance for business, including:


– Grants

– Finance and loans

– Business support eg mentoring, consultancy

– Funding for small and medium-sized businesses and start-ups

– Customise your search by location, size and activity.


For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support-finder