Grants and loans for new businesses

There are many ways that new businesses can apply for financial support, from government sources as well as the private sector.

We also publish information on grants and loans for existing businesses.

We do not have our own business grants scheme, but we do signpost to organisations where you may be able to get financial help for your new business.

Many grant schemes are only open to new applicants for a limited period. Business grant schemes may also be specific to:

  • certain types of business
  • specific types of investment
  • businesses within a specific location.  

Government grants and financial support for start-up businesses are available. On the GOV.UK website, you can search for these using the Government Grant and Finance search tool.

The search will return the details of funding via Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

New Forest is served by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership. This was formed after the Government offered local areas the opportunity to take control of their future economic development. It is a locally owned partnership between businesses and local authorities. 

Visit the Solent LEP website for information on the Solent Prosperity Fund for High Growth Start-Ups.

Government-backed start-up loans of £500 to £25,000 are available to start or grow your business. Unlike a business loan, this is an unsecured personal loan. You'll get free support and guidance to help write your business plan, as well as up to 12 months of free mentoring.

Visit the GOV.UK website to apply for a start-up loan for your business.

Business South act as a referral partner to Virgin Start Up Loans, subject to applicants meeting the application criteria. Every loan comes with one-to-one support from a business advisor and a mentor. Find out more about funding and start-up loans.

If you have been unemployed for 26 weeks or more, you may qualify for the New Enterprise Allowance to set up a business. This scheme also provides support from business mentors in the early months of trading.

Ask your local Jobcentre Plus Adviser for further details, or visit the GOV.UK website to find out about help with moving from benefits to work.

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