Thinking creatively about grants

App Development
Feb 09, 2024
3 minute read

It’s no secret that the grant funding landscape for start-ups is currently looking pretty sparse, With opportunities few far between, coupled with overwhelming application rates, it is not surprising that many emerging businesses are struggling to get a leg-up to a growth trajectory.

At Bad Dino, a huge number of our clients rely on full or partial grant funding to begin developing their digital product, and so helping signposting them to funds they could be eligible for is a big part of our service. The large, well advertised grant funding bodies are easy to pinpoint (think Innovate UK, Scottish Edge, EIC Accelerator, etc) , but sometimes it is really worth thinking outside the box and leveraging some of the more exclusive elements of your business to unearth less obvious funding you could be eligible for. For example:


Does your business operate from a rural location?

Organisations such as GrowBiz support and help secure funding for start-ups and scale-ups in rural Scotland. It’s also worth noting that the Highlands & Islands usually receive a larger chunk of funding for the equivalent in the central belt and the rest of Scotland. If you are operating outside of an urban environment, it’s really worth looking at what you can access locally to boost your business. 


Are you, or any of your founders female?

Specific grants to fund women in tech are well worth investigating. There is a lot of mentorship and support to develop women in innovation and  female founders in Scotland, the UK and beyond - and grants for women-led businesses go live regularly, you just need to stay plugged into the right networks. Our advice is to sign up to every newsletter possible (your spam filter won’t thank you but it’s worth it we promise!), and make sure you follow funding bodies and women in business organisations on Twitter and LinkedIn. This is usually where you’ll find out about a new grant first and will give you time to prepare. 


Are you a young entrepreneur?

The Princes Trust offers support and regular grants and start-up loans to young people to launch their business. There is also less obvious support in the form of competitions from various foundations and accelerator programmes. There is a lot of local funding available too across councils and city funds.


Are you a social enterprise?

The National Lottery is really worth investigating, they help to fund community development initiatives all over the UK and have a wide range of organizations they will support. CivTech Scotland is another really valuable competition, awarding grants and contracts to businesses which can solve public-sector problems with innovative solutions. 


Is your local council feeling generous?

The Levelling Up whitepaper gave way to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPR) - giving councils the power to boost local enterprise by offering grants of varying amounts for spending on digital service or creating digital solutions for business owners. These funds are very much a postcode lottery depending on the amount you can apply for and what you can spend it on, but with some grants on offer of £100k+, it’s definitely worth researching if you’re eligible. 


What next?

When it comes to grant funding (or any funding for that matter), you’re going to need to know how much you need to apply for, and provide evidence of this. If you want to get the ball rolling and start a conversation with our team about the costs involved in building your digital product, then drop Rosie a line, rosie@baddinosaur.co.uk, for a friendly and informal chat. 


Photo by Braňo on Unsplash

3 minute read
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