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finance Information

Big Potential, a BIG Lottery Fund grant fund, will deliver approximately £20m of grant funding over 3 years to eligible VCSE organisations with the aim of improving the sustainability, capacity and scale of VCSE organisations in order that they may deliver greater social impact.

The programme aims to raise awareness of the social investment market and support VCSEs who want to prepare themselves for social investment or winning contracts.

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The Business Growth Programme is a Liverpool City Region business support project that aims to build both the capacity and confidence within SMEs who are reluctant to engage with existing business support providers for either lack of knowledge, understanding or simply because they are reluctant to pay for existing commercial provision.

The Project will provide participating SMEs with direct advice, guidance and information that will provide a clear route to growth and sustainability. Dedicated face to face interaction coupled with a range of complementary support, will help businesses to begin the journey to growth. Advice will not be prescriptive and will cover core business functions such as finance, business planning, creating sales & marketing, operational review, HR, etc; this will be drawn out within the diagnostic process.

Participating Liverpool City Region (LCR) Local Authorities (LAs) and Chambers of Commerce (CCs)   will work together to deliver a consistent and quantifiable business support programme for eligible LCR SMEs. The project will be delivered through the LCR Local Growth Hub which is co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Partnership to help bring a more cohesive approach to business support across the city-region.

Contact your Local Growth Hub broker for further infomation

A range of taxes maybe applicable to start-up businesses

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The Carbon Trust's mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy. We are independent experts on carbon reduction and resource efficiency, who reinvest surpluses from group commercial activities into our mission.

Client Services

We are an independent, expert partner of leading organisations around the world, helping them contribute to and benefit from a more sustainable future.


Whether you're a business, government or public sector body, we can support you to develop low carbon strategies and policies to reduce your carbon emissions and become more resource efficient. Our advice will help you cut costs and gain a competitive edge in a challenging economic climate.


We measure and certify the environmental footprint of your organisation, its supply chain and products or services, so you can identify efficiencies and maximise your low carbon credentials.


We help to develop and deploy low carbon technologies by prioritising, designing, and delivering large scale renewable energy programmes for our governmental and corporate clients and by catalysing clean tech venture growth through our incubation support. We help all sizes of organisation to put energy efficient equipment, renewable energy sources and other low carbon solutions into practice, with complementary financing solutions.

Our Investments

We have created and invested in a range of innovative low carbon companies. We are also working with Corporate and Government clients to identify, evaluate and incubate early stage companies.

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The Carbon Trust has launched a new fund providing vital capital for smaller businesses to replace old, power-guzzling equipment, together with expert advice to boost the efficiency and productivity of businesses across England, Scotland and Wales.

The £7m fund has been made available to SMEs on a first come-first served basis, and will offer energy saving training, cost saving assessments, implementation advice, and capital support for the installation of energy efficiency equipment. Eligible companies can apply for a capital contribution of between £750 and £10,000 to cover up to 30% of an energy efficiency project or equipment replacement cost.

The fund can be used to purchase a range of equipment, including energy efficient lighting, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and energy efficiency controls – vital equipment across a range of business sectors, including manufacturing, retail, and hospitality.

Apply now - this support is available for a limited period on a first come, first served basis, aimed at small and medium sized businesses in England, Scotland and Wales.

How to find out more and make an application

To discuss how your business could benefit from the support on offer, or if you have any questions about the Green Business Fund please visit, email or call 020 7832 4773 to speak to an advisor.

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An official receiver manages at least the first stage of bankruptcies and companies wound up by a court.

For example, they:

  • collect and protect assets for creditors after someone’s been made bankrupt
  • find out the reasons for the insolvency
  • act as trustee or liquidator where no private sector insolvency practitioner is appointed
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R&D Relief is a Corporation Tax relief that may reduce your company or organisation’s tax bill.

Alternatively, if your company or organisation is small or medium-sized, you may be able to choose to receive a tax credit instead, by way of a cash sum paid by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

But your company or organisation can only claim R&D Relief if it’s liable for Corporation Tax.

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Late payments can make it difficult for businesses to operate as it affects their cash flow and financial planning.  While there are good business practices that all businesses can follow in order to ensure that they receive the money they are owed, there are also legal steps that can be taken. If a customer is late in paying for goods or services you have provided, you can claim interest and debt recovery costs.

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Debt finance is available in an increasing range and diversity of forms, so it is important to understand which form is appropriate for your type of business, its stage of development and its growth plans.

Obtaining a business loan is no longer simply just making an application to a bank; the wide range of debt finance options beyond standard bank loans includes asset finance, invoice finance and peer-to-peer lending.

The government supports debt finance programmes for businesses who are looking to export through UK Export Finance and innovative technology business through Innovate UK.  Businesses can also apply for support through the Regional Growth Fund.

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The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme is a loan guarantee scheme. It provides the lenders with a government-backed guarantee for 75% of value of each individual loan. (There’s a cap on total claims arising from any one lender.) By providing this guarantee, the EFG helps a loan to be made that might not otherwise have been offered.

The guarantee provides protection to the lender in case the borrower defaults. It is not insurance for the borrower in the event that you are unable to repay the loan.

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Equity finance can be very beneficial in helping your business expand and grow. Investors will be prepared to back your business because it has potential for high growth.

The government works with private sector partners to increase the availability of equity finance through the Angel CoFund and venture capital programmes.

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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.

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A bank loan is not the only way that you can raise money to fund your startup business. For some businesses, particularly new riskier ventures, equity investment – raising capital through the sale of shares in a business – may be most suitable. For equity finance, there is a growing number of business angels prepared to back new businesses. The government provides generous tax relief to investors who want to support new businesses.

For less risky types of businesses, debt finance may be more appropriate. If you are struggling to obtain a loan to start a new business, you may wish to consider applying for a start-up loan. For alternatives to the high street banks for both equity and debt finance you could consider raising funding through alternative finance providers such as peer-to-peer lenders or crowd funding platforms.

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There are many different types of finance available to a company with ambitions to grow.  The Government provides tools such as the My Business Support tool to help you explore all the options.

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It can be costly and time-consuming to research and develop a new product or service. But there are many forms of financial help that aim to support companies as they innovate and generate new ideas. These schemes range from tax reliefs and credits to grants and vouchers.

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Do you run a successful business or social enterprise and are looking to grow?

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education and business support services. 10,000 Small Businesses is funded by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation
The programme provides high-quality, practical education specifically tailored to the needs of UK small business leaders.  Participants will receive 100 hours of teaching designed by leading experts and delivered through online and residential sessions led by Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, together with Aston University, University of Leeds and Manchester Metropolitan University. The programme is fully funded for successful applicants. Participants will benefit from:
•    Specialist workshops
•    Business coaching
•    Networking opportunities 
•    Exposure to a network of professional experts and one-to-one support
•    A network of 10,000 Small Business graduates

Deadline for applications is the 14 May 2018.                                                        

Visit for more information                                                                      

Start your application at

Applications are now open for our 2018 programme. For further information visit

The Tradeshow Access Programme provides funding in the form of grants for eligible businesses to attend overseas trade shows. The funding helps your business gain:

  • market knowledge
  • experience in attending and getting the most from overseas trade shows
  • advice and support from trade experts
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Offers funding, business support and networking platforms to help boost technology and innovation.

Innovate UK is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

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New Enterprise Allowance can provide money and support to help you start your own business if you’re getting certain benefits.


You must be aged 18 or over, have a business idea and get one of the following benefits:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (or your partner does)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (or your partner does)
  • Income Support, if you’re a lone parent or you’re sick

You may also be eligible if you get Universal Credit.

Your Jobcentre Plus work coach can check if you qualify and refer you to the scheme.

You don’t qualify if you’re part of the Work Programme, but you can still get other help setting up a business. 

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You need to register for Self Assessment if you have to send a tax return and didn’t send one last year.

How you do this depends on whether:

  • you’re self-employed
  • you need to send a return for any other reason

You can appoint someone to register and send your tax return for you, eg an accountant, friend or relative.

You register online even if you want to send a paper return.

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The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is designed to help small, early-stage companies raise equity finance by offering tax reliefs to individual investors who purchase new shares in those companies. It complements the existing Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) which offers tax reliefs to investors in higher-risk small companies. SEIS is intended to recognise the particular difficulties which very early stage companies face in attracting investment, by offering tax relief at a higher rate.

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Smarta Start Up Loans is a route to government backed funds that have set aside specifically for people starting and growing their businesses.
They offer anyone who has been trading for less than 12 months the chance to access up to £25,000, mentoring and expansive support to turn a business idea into a huge success.

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A government funded scheme providing advice, loans and mentoring to start up businesses.

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There is a highly favourable environment for businesses and those who invest in them. In addition to the growing diversity of sources of finance, such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, there are schemes and incentives devised to help companies of all sizes secure funding.

If your business meets certain criteria, it may also qualify for help with business rates or tax relief for research and development.

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The Business Finance Guide – a journey from start-up to growth has been devised for businesses and advisers by the British Business Bank and the ICAEW Corporate Finance Faculty, supported by a further 17 major professional, membership and representative organisations.

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A Government agency that provides services to those affected by financial distress or failure.

The Insolvency Service is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

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UK Export Finance are the UK’s export credit agency. They help UK exporters by providing insurance to exporters and guarantees to banks to share the risks of providing export finance. In addition, they can make loans to overseas buyers of goods and services from the UK. UK Export Finance is the operating name of the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD).

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Virgin StartUp is on a mission to change the prospects of start-ups, for good.

Virgin StartUp, with support from the Virgin Group is run on a not for profit basis, so every pound goes towards our commitment to change the prospect of start-ups, for good.

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It can often be difficult to know where to turn for help if you are having problems with your bank, whether they’ve turned down your application for finance or you want to switch banks or find out from other customers what banks are like to work with as a small business.

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