Small business and scale up grant funding

1st March 2021

Grant funding is vital to many businesses in the region, and here we highlight some of the programmes and competitions currently open to ambitious tech firms.

Funding for innovation and innovative companies


UK registered businesses and research organisations can apply for a share of up to £7 million for industrial research to address the farming challenges of productivity, sustainability, and net-zero emissions.


The aim of this competition is to support the development of novel innovations to develop and support a productive, resilient, and sustainable agricultural sector. This funding is delivered through the ISCF Transforming Food Production programme, in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). This development is achieved through the investment of up to £7 million in industrial research in the agricultural sector.  Your project must address one or more high priority areas in at least one of these four industry subsectors:

  • Livestock.
  • Plant.
  • Novel food production systems.
  • Bioeconomy and agroforestry.

Your proposal must engage with farmers, growers or producers to develop farm-focused solutions. These solutions must solve the short to long-term challenges of productivity, sustainability, and net-zero emissions.

This competition is split into 2 strands:

Funding Type: Grant

Project size:  Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £250,000 and £750,000.

Competition closes:  28.01.2021  11:00am

Apply here

Energy Entrepreneurs Fund (EEF)


The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund (EEF) is a competitive funding scheme to support the development of technologies, products and processes in energy efficiency, power generation and storage.


The UK’s budding energy entrepreneurs are being urged to bid for the latest £11 million government funding, which will support between 15 and 20 projects, with each successful bidder receiving up to £1 million.

Successful projects could create hundreds of green jobs and kickstart millions-of-pounds-worth of private sector investment across the UK, helping the country to build back greener as we host the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow this November.

Previous projects include tech to anchor floating offshore wind turbines, using ash waste in glassmaking and new solar heating systems, benefiting from grants of £72 million in total since 2012.

This funding call is a great opportunity for this region’s businesses to drive forward new clean technologies across all sectors of industry, supporting the UK to eliminate its contribution to climate change by 2050.


Previous recipients of funding include CCm Technologies in Swindon that is working with Walkers Crisps to implement carbon capture innovations in its factory processes, and Leeds-based C-Capture, which has developed processes to capture harmful greenhouse gases, including an innovative deployment of its technology at the Drax power station in North Yorkshire.   Energy Transitions Ltd, Cardiff received £160,793 to develop the Steel Zero system, which combines innovative stainless steel cladding panels with solar energy technology so a building’s entire façade can produce clean and efficient heat for the spaces within.

Key dates

Register your interest by midday on 26 February 2021.

Submit your application by midday on 30 March 2021.


For more details, click here


SHAKE Climate Change fund

This fund offers startup grants of up to £140K and innovation support to entrepreneurs + start-ups combating climate change in agriculture and food production.

SHAKE was set up by a consortium of leading scientific research and academic institutions last year in the wake of the climate emergency, with financial backing from the UK-based charitable arm of a major European bank.

The consortium funds and trains entrepreneurs and start-ups who have innovative solutions to tackle climate change linked to the agri-food sector, which contributes more than a quarter of global emissions.

Previous recipients of SHAKE funding and 2 years of dedicated mentoring and support include: EcoNomad Solutions (London) help small farms to improve resource management sustainability and agricultural waste recycling. Glaia Ltd (Bristol) develop nanotechnology-based solutions for sustainable agriculture.  PheroSyn Ltd (Herts) whose mission is to scale up the production of and make available pest insect pheromones that can be deployed to protect crops and reduce the use of pesticides.

Apply here

The scheme is now open for applications for Cohort 3

Closing date:  apply before midnight, 3rd May 2021

R&D funding competition for organisations active in the UK niche and low carbon vehicle technology sector


The Niche Vehicle Network promotes and supports collaborative innovation for low carbon R&D projects focused on the niche vehicle manufacturing sector.

This competition will provide funding to SMEs active in the UK niche vehicle, low carbon vehicle technology sector (e.g. niche vehicle manufacturers, design & engineering companies, system suppliers, technology and research organisations etc.) for innovative, collaborative R&D activities. The program, therefore, focuses on technologies applicable to low-volume UK production.

Registration for the online competition launch and briefing event on Monday 15th March 2021 is now open and you can register here

BEE Anglia

Grants up to £20,000 (up to 40% of total cost) for projects which reduce the carbon footprint of a business; could help businesses trying to reduce their regular costs in the light of Covid-19.

Key Points:

  • Grants pay up to 40% of costs (typically 30%. See below for details)
  • Minimum project spend, including the grant & private contributions: £2,000
  • Eligibility criteria apply (see here for details)
  • Applications must be endorsed by a BEE Anglia advisor
  • Grants will not support projects already committed to (e.g. where payment has been made, orders have been placed, work has started, etc.)

Register your interest here, call 01473 350 370 or email for further information.



The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.


The £500 million Future Fund has been designed to ensure high-growth companies across the UK receive the investment they need to continue during the crisis.

Delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank, the fund will provide UK-based companies with between £125,000 and £5 million from the government, with private investors at least matching the government commitment. These loans will automatically convert into equity on the company’s next qualifying funding round, or at the end of the loan if they are not repaid.

To be eligible, a business must be an unlisted UK registered company that has previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third party investors in the last five years.

The government is committing an initial £250 million in funding towards the scheme, which will initially be open until the end of September. The scale of the fund will be kept under review.

These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

For more details click here

COVID-19 business support grants for Tech Corridor based businesses


The Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme delivered by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (New Anglia), will provide support to businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk that have been affected by the Covid-19 Coronavirus and are looking at ways to recover and strengthen their business performance.

There is a limited pot of funding available to support companies across the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk, so we’re looking for companies to bring forward investment projects that will have a significant impact on their business, and grant applications will be considered on “first-come, first-served” basis.

What will the scheme pay for?
> 50% grant towards capital costs involved in initial resilience and future recovery of businesses, up to £50k;

The scheme is operated across all districts and boroughs in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Funding Available
The Business Resilience and Recovery Grant Scheme commences with an initial allocation of £3.5m from the New Anglia LEP Growth Deal.

Maximum grant intervention through the programme will be 50% of eligible capital costs

More details here

A number of new COVID-19 business support schemes are being delivered directly through local authorities to support businesses through the challenging period of the COVID19 pandemic.

To read about the business grants being offered through your local authority, click here or contact the New Anglia Growth Hub on 0300 333 6536

For non Tech specific funds & grants including the Fisheries Response Fund, The LEAP small emergency fund loan programme for food businesses as well as Funding opportunities for charities, click here