Business Grants in Wales - Complete Guide

Caroline Wire

If you’re hoping to tap into Welsh government grants to start a business, or looking for business grants in Wales to help your existing company level up, this guide is for you. We’ll explore what business grants are available in Wales, how to register, and some top tips to make your application stand out.

Read on as we touch on some of the very best business grants in Wales, and also introduce Wise Business for easy, low cost ways to manage your company finances so you can concentrate on growth1.

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Table of contents

Introducing business grants

Before we get into what grants are available in Wales, let’s explore what a business grant is and why you might want one.

A business grant is a sum of money given to an entrepreneur or company which does not need to be paid back2. Usually, business grants are set up to be used for a specific stated aim - like starting to export your products overseas, or investing in new equipment so you can expand, for example.

A range of business grants are available in Wales for different business sectors and for varying types of businesses at different stages of growth. They can be local, regional, national or issued by industry or sector. While business grants can be competitive, they’re a valuable resource for anyone looking to boost their business - making it worth spending a bit of time researching your options and seeing if any of the business grants available in Wales may suit your specific needs.

How to find a business grant in Wales

You may be able to find a business grant in Wales through the Welsh government, the UK government, your local authority or through industry organisations and charities. As well as business grants, the Investment Fund for Wales3 offers practical help, loans and financing across all Welsh business types, including rural, urban and coastal locations.

The best place to start looking for a business grant in Wales is online. There’s a smart tool provided by the Welsh government4 which helps you search for business finance based on your needs and business type, and also a UK wide option which can help you connect with UK level support5. Plus, we’ve got a few specific ideas and resources coming up in this guide to get you started.

What types of grant are available for small businesses in Wales

Business grants are available on both a national and regional level within Wales. You’ll often find that grants are linked to specific business sectors or employment creation, or to the location in which your business is based.

Business Wales6 has grants and funding across creative industries, innovation, community organisations, and more, which are well worth a look. There are also other grants and funding options which are issued by sector level organisations or charities, which may be linked to your company location, but more commonly are split up by the field in which you’re working.

What do the Welsh Government take into account when awarding small business grants in Wales?

To get a Welsh government business grant you’ll need to meet certain eligibility criteria, and submit an application for assessment. Different grants have their own eligibility criteria, which can be pretty varied. You’ll find the criteria set out in the grant information, which might cover terms such as:

  • The size of your business - often grants are targeted to smaller businesses to help support growth
  • The industry and type of business - grants are issued with specific aims in mind, such as supporting environmentally conscious businesses or improving employment in a local area
  • Where your business is registered - grants are frequently issued by city councils or similar local bodies, to promote growth in a particular area
  • How long your business has been operating - you’ll often find grants which are for start up businesses particularly

Start up grants in Wales for young people

Young entrepreneurs in Wales can access specific support, grants and help both from organisations like the Development Bank of Wales7 and private organisations like Prince’s Trust. It’s worth checking out Big Ideas Wales8 which can get you access to a business advisor - and also the Young Person’s Start Up Grant if you’re under 25. This grant is for up to 2,000 GBP, and can be used for business start up costs, training, marketing and similar activities, to get your company off the ground.

Prince’s Trust9 has a slightly larger eligible age range - up to the age of 30 - and can offer grants to support things like training for budding entrepreneurs.

Innovation grants for small businesses in Wales

Business Wales has support for innovative businesses, particularly for companies looking to invest in research and development10. You can also get practical help for things like registering your intellectual property or to access the facilities you need to pursue your innovative use of techniques and technologies.

Regional support for small businesses in Wales

Many cities and districts in Wales offer some sort of business funding or grants which can be helpful to all business types.

For example, Newport Council offers grants of up to 75,000 GBP for capital investment, as well as smaller grants for startups to help cover the costs of founding a business locally11. Swansea has a similar scheme, with grants for business costs or for building a website, as well as funding options for businesses transitioning to a more environmentally friendly way of working12.

Other city councils have their own regional business grants, financing options and practical support on hand - check out the details for your area to access some valuable funding for your Welsh business.

Training grants for small businesses in Wales

If you need training for yourself or for team members, you may also be able to apply for a training grant in Wales to cover some of the associated costs. Training grants might be issued locally, or based on your industry type or sector - the search tools on the UK and Welsh government websites are great places to start to find the help you need.

What to consider before applying for a business grant in Wales

Business grants can often be competitive - and putting together an application will take up time. That means it’s essential to plan carefully to give you the best chance of success when you apply. Here are a few tips:

  • Read the eligibility criteria very carefully and cover how you fulfil the requirements as part of your application
  • Explain how you will use the grant if successful, showing the impact the money will have on your company
  • Be prepared to explain how match funding will be raised - it’s common to be asked to provide the same amount of money as the grant
  • Review and refresh your business plan, including the grant information, to show how succeeding in your application is an integrated part of your overall strategy for growth
  • Don’t wait until the deadline to submit your business grant application

Manage your business finances with Wise Business

A Welsh business grant can be just the thing you need to take your business to the next level. Get even more ahead of the game, with a Wise Business account you can use now and as your company grows, including low cost ways to pay and get paid in pounds and 40+ other currencies.

Wise Business accounts have no ongoing fees to pay and no minimum balance requirement, making them ideal for startups, new businesses and entrepreneurs. You can hold, exchange, send, spend and receive a broad range of major currencies, giving you great ways to connect with customers at home and abroad, including options to get paid through PSPs like Stripe, and marketplaces like Amazon if you sell online. On top of all this, you can also get linked debit or expense cards for yourself and your team, multi-user access, batch payments, and cloud accounting integrations - to help you save time as well as money.

Check out how one business is making the most of Wise Business in this Open Collective case study.

Ready to learn more about how to open a Wise business account in the UK? Here’s a quick overview:

  1. Download the Wise app or head to the Wise desktop site
  2. Tap Register and follow the prompts to apply for a business account
  3. Add your personal and contact information
  4. Upload the documents needed which are detailed online and in this Wise Business account requirements guide
  5. Pay the one time fee to register your account and get a linked payment card if you need one
  6. Once your account is verified you can start transacting - your account will be live in the Wise app, your physical card will be posted to you, and you can get a digital card right away for mobile spending

While finding the perfect business grant in Wales will take a bit of research, you’ve got lots of options and some great resources at your fingertips. Use this guide to get you started, and take a look at Wise Business to manage your business finances with low costs and no hassle, even when trading internationally.

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Sources used in this article

  1. Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information
  2. British Business Bank - what are business grants?
  3. Investment fund for Wales
  4. Welsh government - finance finder tool
  5. UK government - business finance search tool
  6. Business Wales
  7. Development Bank Wales - where can young entrepreneurs in Wales get support?
  8. Big Ideas - Wales
  9. Prince’s Trust
  10. Business Wales - innovation
  11. Newport Council - grants
  12. Swansea - grants

Sources last checked Apr 9, 2024

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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