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Worcestershire start-ups urged to apply for grant funding before deadline

17 January 2023
The Business Magazine article image for: Worcestershire start-ups urged to apply for grant funding before deadline

Eligible start-up businesses in Worcestershire are being urged to apply for grant funding to help with early-stage investments before a fund closes early next year.

Funding can be used for a variety of early-stage investments such as the purchase of new equipment, marketing, machinery, website development and consultancy advice.

The Enterprising Worcestershire project, run by Worcestershire County Council, offers match-funded grants from £1,000 up to a maximum of £15,000 to early-stage businesses that meet the eligibility criteria.

The deadline for grant applications is 31 January 2023 and all grant-funded projects MUST be completed and claimed by 31 March 2023.

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills said, “With finance playing a huge part in starting a business, this match funding could make such a massive difference and ease some of the challenges early-stage businesses face. With the deadline fast approaching, I would urge those eligible to apply now and not miss out on this fantastic opportunity.”

One business to benefit from the Enterprising Worcestershire Start-up Grant was Bromsgrove business, Trainer Armour. The Andy Chancellor, its founder, has invented the Big Toe Hole Preventer – a reinforced self-adhesive patch and applicator system that prevents a wearer's big toe wearing a hole in your expensive trainers. Since receiving grant funding, the business has experienced a rise in sales, has grown its workforce, and is now following up on distribution leads in mainland Europe, Australia, and America.

Andy said: “Some business owners might find the process a bit daunting, especially whilst also trying to run your business, however the long-term potential gain from the grant funding makes it all worthwhile. I would recommend it to anyone.”

Redditch start-up, Smile Box, also benefited from the grant funding. The programme helped fund its marketing project to launch its products and funded essential equipment like laptops, desks, and storage for the warehouse. Smile Boxes contain a mixture of home, food, lifestyle and mindfulness gifts with a focus on wellbeing.  It sources ethically and sustainably where possible and include vegan, cruelty free and natural products.

Donna Fisher, the Business Owner of Smile Box said, “The support from the Start-up Grant has had a massive impact on my business. I wouldn’t have been able to afford some of these expenses without funding. I have been able to recruit staff and provide essential equipment like laptops, desks, and storage for our warehouse area. It has also allowed me to promote our services, to help maximise sales.”

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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