Apply for a share of up to £3M for agri-tech and food chain innovation projects

There is up to £3 million of funding available from the Department for International Development (DFID).

Funding is available for early-stage feasibility studies, mid stage industrial research and late-stage experimental development projects that work on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.

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Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Full fibre broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available, and the government is committed to a vision of a full fibre Britain. As part of this commitment, in March 2018 the £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme was announced.

Vouchers can be used by small businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a capable connection. One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit you and your business into the future. Full fibre also supports symmetrical connections – meaning your upload and download speeds can be the same.

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British Business Bank – Start Up Loan

When you’re trying to start a business, finance can be the key to getting your idea off the ground. But often it can be difficult to find, with lenders sometimes reluctant to serve riskier, early-stage ventures. For those without personal savings or contributions from friends, families or associates to draw on, the result is at best a slow and unsteady start, and at worst no start at all.

That’s why the British Business Bank, through its partner the Start Up Loan company is funding loans of up to £25,000 – available to entrepreneurs, in addition to mentoring and advice, to ensure budding businesses get the best start in life.

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Need extra funding for your growing business in Kent?

Kent and Medway Business Fund will be offering 0% loans between £50,000 and £500,000 to small and medium sized businesses that are looking to grow or locate within the county.

If you’re looking to develop new products, services or processes to accelerate your business growth then this scheme could be for you.

The Kent and Medway Business Fund is now open for new pre-applications.

For more details and advice on financial incentives please contact Locate in Kent on 01732 520700 or by email.

Kent and Medway Business Fund opening to new pre-applications

The Kent and Medway Business Fund (KMBF) will be opening to new pre-applications from the 1 September 2018.

KMBF is financed by recycled loan repayments from the former Regional Growth Fund schemes (Expansion East Kent, Tiger and Escalate) and aims to offer funding to businesses across Kent and Medway.

The scheme primarily offers 0% loans between £50,000 and £500,000 to small and medium sized businesses with the potential to create new jobs and growth within the Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells local authority areas.

Loans can be used to develop new or expand existing products, services or processes, where these will lead to new jobs, deliver business growth and improve productivity.

Those interested in applying can currently register their interest in anticipation of the pre-applications opening in September:

Click Here

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Pre Applications Open – Innovation Investment Loan Fund (i3)

The Innovation Investment Loan (i3) is supported by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.

The scheme primarily offers 0% loans between £250,000 and £999,999 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, deliver innovation and business growth.

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KEEP+ Capital Grants & Revenue Funding for 3rd Party Consultancy Services

KEEP+ Capital Grants, Consultancy and Innovation Internships

In addition to providing funding for SMEs to collaborate with academic institutions, also on offer are stand-alone grants for equipment purchases, consultancy costs and internship placements.

Offer:

  • KEEPs (Knowledge Exchange and Embed Partnerships)
    (shorter – Knowledge Transfer Partnerships)
  • KEEP R & I Collaboration
  • Innovation Internships
  • 50% match-funded Capital Grants for Equipment purchases (max £12,499)
  • Grants to pay for consultancy and business support services (50% of cost of supply)

End date: December 2019
Contact: Linda Hyder l.hyder@gre.ac.uk

To find out more about how the programme can help your business, contact the team or your local delivery partner.

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Rural LEADER Funding

Are you a rural business owner or have a land based enterprise in Kent seeking to develop a new project that will strengthen and grow your business?

Then you’ll be pleased to know that you may be eligible for funding under The LEADER Development Program for England. This is a great opportunity for you to obtain funding to help you realise your growth plans benefiting not only your business and yourself, but also the wider rural area in which you live.

Funding is available to rural businesses, farmers, foresters, growers and landowners to develop projects that will assist, strengthen and develop their businesses and the local area.

Funding is available in the following 3 geographical locations:

  1. East Kent Leader will cover the rural areas of Thanet, Canterbury, Dover, Swale (East of and including Faversham) and Shepway (north of the Romney marshes).
  2. Kent Downs and Marshes Leader will cover the rural areas of Ashford, Maidstone, Medway, Swale (west of Faversham), and the Romney Marshes.
  3. West Kent Leader covers the rural areas of Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, and part of rural Gravesham.

These areas have been defined by economic coherence and existing partnerships rather than administrative boundaries.

If you’re about to embark on a growth project that fits the Rural LEADER Funding criteria and you would like to find out if you are eligible for funding then you can contact the Rural Leader Program Manager in your area as follows:

West Kent Leader: caroline.lingham@sevenoaks.gov.uk  – 01732 227282

Kent Downs and Marshes Leader: huw.jarvis@kent.gov.uk – 03000 417104

East Kent Leader: huw.jarvis@kent.gov.uk – 03000 417104

The absolute deadline for all funding applications is October 2018.

Read about some of the local people, businesses and projects that have received funding in the past: Jane Bowyer, owner of Canterbury Cheesemakers Nick Waldron, master craftsman, carpenter and joiner and Mike Gillman, owner of the Log Barn.

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Fredericks Foundation – Royal Rubber Case Study

Fredericks has had a busy start to the new year with lots of new loans going to motivated individuals stimulated by the launch of our Women’s Loan Fund, the ‘New Year, New You’ campaign, and the launch of New Products which mean they can now lend up to £35,000 to people looking to start their own business. Below is one of many success stories from Fredericks Foundation.

Royal Rubber Case Study

Having run businesses in Germany and the UAE for decades, Nick returned to the UK to set up his unique poured rubber flooring business and found that the British banks would not lend to him as he had no domestic credit history.

Nick’s big idea was to offer to stables, kennels and sports studios a totally sealed, hygienic rubber flooring that is unbreakable and dries in seconds. Even better, it comes in any colour you like – recent orders included a milk parlour in yellow, red and blue to mark out different areas of activity; and a lady in Luton who glammed up her stables with some stripes and glitter!

“It’s very difficult for young companies to get started – the banks tell you to come back in three years,” says Nick who used the Frederick’s loan along with his own savings to buy specialist equipment for the rubber flooring product he has developed himself.

It’s paying off, Royal Rubber has a brimming order book with enquiries coming in from abroad. But it’s hard work as a small business growing organically. Nick invented the product and lays the floors, but he simply couldn’t manage if it wasn’t for his wife Jasmine who does the books and orders the materials. “I’m always being complimented on the efficiency of my back office,” says Nick who is looking forward to the day when he can afford to hire some employees to help with the load.

For more information, please visit www.royal-rubber.com

Read more success stories from Fredericks Foundation here

The Kent and Medway Business Fund (KMBF) Now Open

The Kent and Medway Business Fund (KMBF) is now open!

This scheme is funded by recycled loan repayments from the former Regional Growth Fund schemes (Expansion East Kent, Tiger and Escalate) and aims to deliver investment to businesses across Kent and Medway.

The scheme primarily offers 0% loans between £50,000 and £500,000 to small and medium sized businesses with the potential to create new jobs and growth within the Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Shepway, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells local authority areas.

You can apply for the 0% loan if you:

  • Are a sole trader, partnership, limited company or a not-for-profit business
  • Are located or seeking to locate in Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Shepway, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge and Malling, and Tunbridge Wells
  • Are seeking a loan between £50,000 and £500,000
  • Are creating or safeguarding jobs
  • Currently have fewer than 250 employees
  • Are developing or expanding products, services, or processes that will lead to new jobs, deliver business growth and improve productivity
  • Can provide security or personal guarantees as required – when security is required it will need to be provided for at least a value equal to the loan capital and administrative charges over the term of the loan

If you have any questions, please contact us at the Kent and Medway Growth Hub at business@kentandmedwaygrowthhub.org.uk or telephone 01233 225447.

For more details and information click here