Business Grants and Funding


There are a range of grants and funding streams available that can assist with the financial implications of starting up a business, growing a business idea, financial help for existing businesses and funding for research and development work. These include:

Kent and Medway Business Fund

Kent County Council is offering 0% loans between £50,000 and £500,000 to small and medium sized businesses in Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge and Malling, and Tunbridge Wells. If you are a company or non-for-profit business, located in Kent or Medway, with fewer than 250 employees, working in particular key sectors you may be eligible for this fund.

The Kent and Medway Business Fund will be open to new pre-applications from 25 June 2019.

For more information about eligibility, availability and to apply please visit the Kent County Council website.

South East Business Boost

Growth grants of £1,000 to a maximum of £10,000 for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Kent. The programme can fund up to 30% of the costs of qualifying projects, with the remaining 70% being met by the business. Available to new and existing SMEs (including start-ups) in all sectors who are looking to access in-depth, specialist business support and grant funding.

This scheme is part-funded by the EU and is locally administered by the Kent and Medway Growth Hub on behalf of Kent County Council so please contact the Growth Hub to enquire about this fund’s availability.

For more information about eligibility, availability and to apply please visit the Kent County Council website.

StartUp Loans

A StartUp Loan is a government-backed personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK. In addition to finance, successful applicants receive 12-months of free mentoring and exclusive business offers to help them succeed. The loan is unsecured, so there’s no need to put forward any assets or guarantors to support an application. All owners or partners in a business can individually apply for up to £25,000 each, with a maximum of £100,000 available per business. The loan is available on 1 – 5 year repayment terms and has a fixed interest rate of 6%pa.

To find out more and register your interest please visit the StartUp Loans Company website.

Other grants and specialist funding or support

Ashford Borough Council works closely with our partner organisations who will be able to advise on further funding opportunities as well as more specialist funds or business support.

The Kent and Medway Growth Hub dedicated Grants and Finance webpages will help identify any available grant funding or help you work through financing options for your business.

To discuss your options in more detail please visit the Kent and Medway Growth Hub website or use the “Ask Phil” chat box in the bottom right of this website.

Kent County Council also provides information about grant funding for businesses in the county as well as a comprehensive list of EU funded projects and available funding.

To find out more visit the KCC Business loans and funding webpage.

Funding and support from other companies or organisations

The Let’s Do Business Group has become a leading provider of business advice, training, access to finance and business events in the South East. If you are finding it difficult to raise finance through a Bank or Building Society then Let's Do Business Support might be able to help. If you are at least 18 years old with a business located in Kent and have been declined finance from a mainstream lender you may eligible for loans up to £10,000 or £30,000 as well as dedicated advice.

For more information visit the Let’s Do Business website or call 0845 601 8326.

The Prince’s Trust also provides support for business start-ups across the UK. If you are between 18 and 30 years old and have a start-up idea, The Prince’s Trust could help with a low interest loan up to £4,000 or £5,000, a grant of up to £1,500 in special circumstances, a test marketing grant of up to £250, business mentor advice and other services including a free legal helpline.

To find out more and check what you could be eligible for visit The Prince’s Trust website or call 0800 842 842.

The Kent Community Foundation provides funding and support in order to improve the lives of local people and communities. The Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund (KSELF) is a social lending programme, aiming to bridge the increasing funding gap for new and existing social enterprises in Kent and Medway, by offering unsecured loans of between £10,000 and £100,000. The financial package will include an element of up to 30% grant of the loan amount.

The aim of the fund is to spread the culture of social enterprise, break down the barriers which prevent enterprising social businesses from accessing finance and encourage a more enterprising approach to achieving positive change in our communities. Once finance is repaid, it will be re-loaned and re-invested back in the community.

To find out more please visit the Kent Community Foundation website or call 01303 814 500.

The Fredericks Foundation is a Responsible Finance Provider that provides loans to people who want to set up a new business or maintain or expand an existing business. Fredericks is open to anyone who has a viable business proposition, but cannot obtain mainstream finance. They have provided over 1,300 investments with funding in excess of £5m and created or safeguarded over 3,000 jobs in the UK. The support continues even after the applicant has been successful in the form of mentoring, practical business advice, networking and links within the local community that can help support and grow new and expanding businesses.

To find out more please visit the Fredericks Foundation website or call 01276 472 722.