Finance, grants & funding
Finance, grants & funding

Options for funding your business

Every business needs finance, but that doesn’t mean every business has the same finance needs.

Opportunity Peterborough recognises that the range of business finance options available can seem daunting. That’s why we’re committed to pointing you in the right direction and making introductions to relevant funding providers.

Whether its grants, loans or equity investment you’re looking for, Opportunity Peterborough can provide independent and impartial guidance.

The options available – and suitable – for your business may fall outside of more traditional forms of funding like bank loans, overdrafts and credit cards.


A grant is financial assistance given by an organisation, such as a local authority or central government, to an eligible business or individual. While not readily available for all types of business or at every stage of a company’s growth, grants can be a really useful form of funding.

Grants come in two main varieties: 100% funding for costs such as one-off projects (a large capital purchase or hiring a business strategy consultant, for example) or as part of match-funding where the grant can provide a percentage of the associated costs.

Grants are often provided to encourage businesses to take up more sustainable equipment or practices and manage resources more effectively, or to encourage innovation in certain sectors and stimulate the growth of SMEs.

While the availability of grant funding is limited, Opportunity Peterborough can offer you the best route to finding available schemes and put you in touch with relevant funding bodies.

Debt funding

While we’re all familiar with bank-based overdrafts and loans, debt funding refers to far more than you might think.

From start-up loans and revenue based funding, to asset-backed finance and hire purchase, there are a wealth of options available to fund specific projects and equipment, help with cash-flow or to expand and grow your business.

Equity funding

Instead of taking on debt, you could look to an investor to help fund your business growth.

Unlike debt, equity finance can give your business the cash injection it needs without the burden of regular repayments, although that’s not to say it’s without risk or commitment.

Whether it’s an early stage angel investor you’re after, or more established venture capital and private equity, Opportunity Peterborough will help to point you in the right direction.


Whilst still a relatively new concept, crowdfunding is gaining in popularity – particularly with small businesses and start-up ventures where getting the initial funding to help a business or idea grow can be tricky.

Crowdfunding works by accessing small amounts of money from a lot of individual investors which, when added together, equates to a large funding pool.

This type of funding is usually accessed via an online portal which allows people to pitch their business idea and attract investment.

Like other forms of finance, crowdfunding can be in the form of equity or debt, but it can also take the form of donation or reward funding where the investor donates to a cause or business they believe in, or where they receive a reward for the investment – which is typically related to the product or service the company is offering.

There are many well established crowdfunding platforms available, contact us for more information.

Contact us

  • Fredericks Foundation

    Fredericks is a Responsible Finance Provider (RFP) and a charity 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.

    For start-up businesses we offer up to a maximum of £10,000, though our average loan is less than £5,000. For established businesses with a financial track record of at least 3 years the maximum loan is £20,000.

    read more
  • Foundation East

    We are a membership organisation that lends money to business owners across the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and neighbouring areas, offering loans up to £100,000 to social enterprises and growing businesses. We provide help and support with completing the application forms and business plan templates.

    read more
  • Finance East

    The FSE Group invests in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have the potential for significant growth. We understand the funding challenges facing emerging and mid-sized companies looking to expand, and we provide funds and support, including mentors where appropriate, to help bridge the funding gap.

    read more
  • Innovation Bridge

    Innovation Bridge is a new three-year £3.896 million economic development project, running until summer 2019, offering free support to help your business innovate and grow, access to specialist university expertise and grants with University of Bedfordshire, Anglia Ruskin University and University of Suffolk and a grant programme to support the implementation of a growth plan

    read more
  • KEEP+

    KEEP+ is a £9.3m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supported programme, offering match funded grants for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to harness specialist graduate and academic talent, to grow your business and unlock potential future innovation opportunities. This flexible programme is open to businesses looking to develop new products and services, (subject to EU eligibility) and is a partnership of seven institutions across the East of England, led by Anglia Ruskin University.

    read more
  • Get Set for Growth

    GetSet for Growth is a specialist service designed for businesses with the ambition and potential to grow.

    Our approach focuses on addressing the two biggest barriers to growth – access to customers and access to finance. We offer a mixed programme of support, delivered by a team of commercial finance and marketing experts, many of whom have had experience running their own business. GetSet is proven to deliver quantifiable and tangible benefits to the businesses we support, including improved strategic and management skills, enhanced business growth planning and capacity, finance raised, increased turnover from new and existing customers, better profitability and greater competitiveness.

    read more
  • Innovate 2 Succeed

    Innovate2Succeed is a fully-funded programme designed to support ambitious SMEs that recognise innovation plays an integral role in their growth plans. It offers up to 7 days tailored support from an Innovation Adviser and can support your senior team to address important areas of innovation management.

    read more
  • East Cambridgeshire Apprenticeship Sponsorship Grant

    (East Cambridgeshire District Council) – East Cambridgeshire businesses can apply to take advantage of the Apprenticeship Sponsorship Grant. Click HERE for more.

    read more
  • Innovate UK

    You can apply for R&D funding in specific priority areas as well as non-themed ‘always open’ competitions such as Smart. Click HERE for more.

    read more
  • The Eurostars Programme

    Eurostars is a transactional programme, where projects have partners from two or more Eurostars countries. Thanks to this international collaboration, SMEs can more easily gain access to new markets. The Eurostars programme is publically financed with a total budget of 1.14 billion euro and is currently supported by 33 EUREKA countries in the EU. Click HERE for more.

    read more
  • Start Up Loans

    A Start Up Loan is a personal loan for business purposes, it aims to help individuals starting a new venture which is either still in the planning stages or has been trading for up to 12 months, although in certain circumstances this may be extended to 24 months.

    read more
  • Agri-Tech

    The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative is run by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with support from New Anglia LEP, Norfolk County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, and the local authorities covering this area.

    Grants are available to organisations looking to invest in specialist equipment, new market and supply chain development, ways to improve productivity and efficiency, and the application and commercialisation of Research and Development.

    read more

    The LEADER programme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

    Opportunity Peterborough and Rutland County Council have secured over £1 million in LEADER funding to support farmers, growers, foresters and other local rural businesses and community organisations to help create jobs, develop rural business and support the rural economy.

    read more
  • Business Energy Efficiency Cambridge & Peterborough

    The Business Energy Efficiency Cambridge & Peterborough programme (BEECP) aims to provide support and grants to small businesses to help catalyse investment in energy efficiency initiatives, to reduce carbon emissions and realise the associated business benefits including; reduced operating costs, increased competitiveness, business growth and resilience.


    read more