Manchester boasts a thriving start-up scene, with many tech businesses choosing to flock to the city that offers a growing business community, networking opportunities and support.

With so many benefits to businesses, it’s no surprise that Mancchester has attracted so many business owners. However, despite being a growing hub for entrepreneurs,

Manchester faces challenges when it comes to business funding. Still in its early stages, a limited number of investors, business accelerators and financial options are available.

With that being said, as this metropolis continues to position itself as a UK startup hub leader, access to business finance is seeing improvements. If you own a start-up and are in search of funding, look no further. The following funding solutions are available to help your new venture grow…

Greater Manchester Business Investment Fund

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) offers businesses loans and equity funding up to £5 million. As long as your new business is a registered supporter of the Good Employment Charter and offers job creation opportunities within Greater Manchester, then you are eligible to apply for funding.

When making an application, be sure to provide a detailed growth strategy for your business, as well as financial forecasts and a link to how your business will provide job growth.

Start-up loans and finance

In years gone by, start-ups have faced difficulties accessing funding from traditional lenders. Banks tend to be reluctant to lend to startups, because of the high risk they pose. Luckily, a lot more options are now available to new UK ventures.

Start-ups in Manchester can access business loans up to £25,000 that are backed by the UK government. New businesses that need to borrow more than this can seek funding from alternative finance providers.

For businesses in their first couple of years of trading, unsecured business loans tend to be the more viable option. These loans are not secured against any of your valuable business assets, which means your business stands no risk of losing equipment or machinery if it defaults on loan repayments.

Start-up business loans provide crucial access for businesses that need an initial financial boost. When applying for a start-up loan, it’s important to provide a business plan that will show lenders exactly what the borrowed money is planned to be spent on.

Grant funding for new businesses

If you don’t want to borrow money to get your business off the ground, you might want to consider grants for new businesses. Grants are sums of money that are provided to start-ups and in most cases, they don’t have to be repaid. There are grant options available to businesses in Manchester, but it’s important to note that these solutions are highly competitive.

Whilst you won’t encounter repayment terms, do expect to be faced with qualifying criteria that your business will need to meet to be eligible.

Business incubators and accelerators

Manchester offers a number of incubators that provide start-ups and early stage businesses with vital resources. Specifically designed to help start-ups grow, incubators make it easier for entrepreneurs to succeed.

Innospace is a Manchester-based incubator that provides start-up support and specialist facilities. Businesses can benefit from high value equipment without having to provide significant upfront capital. For businesses and bustling start-ups in the science and technology sectors, Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) offers incubation, laboratories and meeting spaces.

Similarly, business accelerators support start-ups through investment, training and mentoring. Manchester is home to a number of accelerators dedicated to helping start-ups flourish:

– Elevate Investment Fund: equity investment and accelerator programme for UK high growth early stage companies

– Accelerate ME: student run accelerator programme from Manchester Entrepreneurs

– Dotforge: accelerator for tech businesses based in Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds

Find funding and support for your business

If you are planning to start up a business in Manchester, then you’re in luck. Not only will you benefit from being surrounded by an entrepreneurial network of like-minded individuals, but you will also be able to make the most of improvements in access to business funding.

Starting a business is not an easy endeavor, but if you take steps to seek the right advice and support then your business is bound to be a success!


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