What government and charity grants are available for small businesses?

start up finance

You’ve got an idea and the drive to make your seed of a business a success, but you’re lacking one vital ingredient; start up finance. Sometimes, having a solid business plan is just not enough. You need funds to make your plan a reality. There are lots of funding options available for budding entrepreneurs but few are better than a grant.

Through there are hundreds of government and charitable grants available, it isn’t always obvious where to look to find them and they can be competitively fought over. So where are the best places to find grants? And how can you make the most of the opportunities on offer?  But first of all, what is a grant and what makes them such a great way to fund a start up?

WHAT ARE GRANTS?

Grants are awards of money or discounted rates set aside to help fund new businesses or to give existing businesses a boost. Government and charitable grants are usually designed to address a particular need or shortage in society, and are often targeted at a certain sector or group, such as those who are unemployed, or young entrepreneurs. Crucially, grants are sums of money that do not ever need to be repaid. If you are successful in receiving a one, it is one of the best ways to raise capital for your new venture. They can help you save money, lower your start up costs, and help grow your business.

So where can you look for these magical pots of money? Here are a few of the grants currently available for new business owners. Each comes with their own set of eligibility criteria and targeted groups so be sure to check the information carefully before making an application.

Prince’s Trust Grants

The Prince’s Trust has a distinguished history dating back to 1976. Set up by the Prince of Wales with the aim of providing start up finance and support to young entrepreneurs in the UK, it has been the starting point of many of the nation’s most successful business owners. Aside from the provision of grants, it also has an exclusive enterprise program which provides mentorship for young entrepreneurs.

At Prince’s, it is believed that grants are not the only solution. Entrepreneurs must have a sense of direction, and a way to implement the plans they have. However, they also recognise that without start up finance, there might not be a business at all, so their grants, which have so far helped 86,000 young people launch their venture, are available for anyone who is 18 to 30 years old and has a big idea.

You can find more information and an application form here. The grants are competitively fought over however so to stand a chance of being shortlisted and getting called in for an interview, do your research and take advantage of the pre-application help the trust provides.

There are two categories for which the grants are provided. The first category is as an individual which can see you awarded up to £1500. The second category is as a business group. You can get up to £3000 for the start of your business this way. A sum of £250 can also be awarded to individuals to assist them in measuring the market value of their products.

Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)

Just as the name implies, the SBRI initiative is directed towards small businesses and is meant to aid the research, and development of new products and services for the public sector. This initiative focuses on innovations and creative business models that can bring a difference to the things that already exist. Entirely new ideas are also welcomed.

The reward comes in the form of contracts or grants. Any business is entitled to apply for this grant, provided they are trying to solve a specific problem in the public sector or improve public services. Initially, you can be given a sum of anywhere between £50,000 to £100,000, and if your idea is promising enough, you may get up to £1,000,000 to build and finalise your project.

Innovation vouchers

These are similar to the SBRI in terms of support for innovation. But they are smaller amounts in comparison to those offered by the SBRI. The innovation voucher initiative is not like other regular grants. You do not get the grant paid to you. Rather, you get the grant in the form of experts, or professional input into your business idea. Once you have an idea or a product, the government provides you with the necessary technical human resources to help bring the product to reality. With this initiative, the government will give you up to £5,000 to be paid to consultants, experts or professionals who will help your business grow.

The innovation vouchers are a part of the Innovate UK program. The program is geared towards helping UK-businesses, entrepreneurs, and research organisations compete for government-based grants. The proceeds from the grant can then be used for research, product and service development, testing of innovation, and partnership with other established organisations.

Innovate UK under this scheme will provide you with experts from FE colleges, Technology and Research Institutes, IP advisers, advisers on design, universities, and consultancy centres. All will be product-specific and will offer you the expertise needed to bring your business to a firm start.

Regional Growth Fund (RGF)

This grant is for businesses in need of more sizeizdable grants. If you have a business that needs an investment that is just short of a million euros, then the RGF provides you with the avenue to obtain such grants. To get these grants, you do not need to go directly to the government. There are local and national organisations that have been accredited, and given specific amounts of funds to provide to the grant seekers.

To qualify for this loan, you must have a business based in England. You must also have a business and growth plan, clearly stating the way forward. You must also be able to create job opportunities, or at least protect the ones you have created.

The RGF started in 2011, and between then and now, has supported over 10,000 small and medium-sized businesses. You can find many different types of grants depending on what you are looking for. There are niche specific grants; there are grants for bad credit, grants for training, and a whole lot more. It is a great way to help new and struggling businesses find their feet.

The grants highlighted in this article are just a few of the many hundreds available. For a comprehensive list of where to find others, search the government’s online finance finder tool.

Booking a Meeting Room? Evaluate These Things before Booking

An empty meeting room

Gaining a competitive advantage in the market can be tough, and that’s why businesses need an array of strategies to make their mark in the industry. This means they have to spend a considerable amount of time in meetings and to ensure the best experience, it’s important that they book meeting rooms in London.

Before opting for meeting room rentals, businesses need to consider a few factors that can make their professional meetings a success.

· Ambiance

The ambiance of the meeting room can set the right tone for a successful session. It’s important to opt for a meeting room that complements the main purpose of the meeting. It’s important to go for a room that oozes professionalism if the session is about meeting potential clients. It’ll help impress them and a meeting space that implies competence is the safest bet. For more casual events or internal meetings, a lively meeting space is better suited. A theme that defines the nature of the meeting is essential as it can help companies accomplish a successful session.

· Facilities

Businesses looking to book meeting rooms in London should make sure that the premises provide the basic, reliable facilities to ensure a successful meeting session. The technology and equipment required for the specific session must be included in the package so that the session can go as planned. Technical support is also a must in case the equipment encounters any problems mid-session. Efficient on-site catering service is an added benefit that’ll help businesses choose the best option.

· Convenience

The best practice is to opt for a meeting space that’s conveniently located. It allows all the attendees to travel without issues and reach on time. The host company should make sure it’s centrally located and is easily accessible. Nearby public transport is an additional advantage that makes commute hassle-free.

Meeting rooms that encompass all these factors should definitely be on the top of the list. Searching for a place that ticks all the boxes might have been difficult in the past, but with the right technology, it’s possible. What businesses need is an efficient meeting reservation system that provides a diverse range of meeting room rental options.

Kiva Solutions is the highly recommended UK meeting room booking engine that allows businesses to book that perfect venue online.

Four Valid Tips on How to Relocate Your Small Business

So, you are planning to relocate your small business. Well, that’s a great news. With the massive business growth, you need more space, and this is the most common reasons why businessmen, like, you think about relocation. The task of relocating your business may seem to you as overwhelming at the beginning. But in reality, it is not so simple as you are thinking. You need to plan everything properly, so that, you can handle the entire job in an efficient manner, spending less time.

In the following write up, I have given some useful tips on how to make the transition in as stress free and fast as possible. Have a close look at the below section now.

  1. Conducting Thorough Research

Before proceeding further, you should conduct thorough research on almost every part of your office. This will provide you with an opportunity for deciding what you need to move to the new location. Certain things, like, the infrequently used furniture and several other things should be moved sooner. Make a list of the necessary items that you need to move first. You should inform your employees beforehand, so that they can prepare themselves properly.

  1. Hiring Professional Movers And Cleaners

Planning ahead is necessary so that the transition from the old place to the new place will happen in a hassle-free manner. For the best result, you can hire professional movers and cleaners. The movers know all the techniques of packing and moving almost all sorts of goods in the best way. They have the proper equipment to pack and move.

On the other hand, the cleaners can clear all the rubbish from the new place so that you can get a healthy working environment. They have all the equipment to clean the space. Choose the one who offers eco-friendly solutions. You can rely on storage solution facility providers to store your unwanted goods in the public storage in Chicago or your preferred location. Your valuable goods will be safe under them.

  1. Informing Your Customers

When you decide to move your small business in a new location, you should inform your customers beforehand. If you have a business website, you may leave a notice on your site. The notice should contain all the relevant information, regarding the new location. You should take some time in order to update your online profile, business cards and website with the address of your new office.

  1. Decorating The New Office

After moving all your goods to the new office, you should decorate the place in your own way. While decorating the place, you may take the help of the professional interior designer who has years of experience and vast knowledge. Try to decorate the place in such a way so that your office space reflects your personal choice. Make sure that your employees feel comfortable while working in the new office.

Hope, you will remember what I have said in the above section. You can follow the given tips properly while moving your office in a new place. These tips will help you to handle the job in an efficient manner.

The Benefits Of Correct Waste Disposal

electronics recycling

Given the rapid advancements in technology over the last few decades, obsolescence has become a significant problem which has generated a large amount of electronic waste that must be disposed of correctly. Indeed, given the rapid developments of modern technology, the problem of electronic waste could be solved by the appropriate use of recycling methods. Furthermore, electronic waste has become a significant issue for human society, especially the industry of waste disposal, as a result of the toxic nature of the various materials that are used in numerous electronic items. Therefore, given the large number of electronic items which rapidly become obsolete, the emergence of e-waste recycling has proved to be the best solution for people to use which will reduce pollution while also stop the need to extract more rare materials from the ground that are used in a variety of electronic devices.

Recycle as much as possible

If you are a business or homeowner, then you may feel that electronic waste disposal is not something that you would want to participate in, especially given the legal regulations as well as the extra fees involved in participating in this particular process. This means that for most people around the world, it is difficult to dispose of their old e waste in Taunton through normal waste disposal processes. As a result of this, society has come to think that recycling electronic waste is not usually an available option for a vast majority of people.

Toxic materials

However, it should also be noted that this particular attitude towards disposing of electronic waste using traditional methods can create a number of problems. Indeed, in some cases it is illegal to use traditional waste disposal methods to dispose of electronic waste while this particular problem can also create significant health issues as the majority of electronic waste items can contain a variety of toxic materials which can be dangerous, especially if thrown away in landfill sites.

Know the law

Legal regulations stipulate that it is illegal to dispose of a number of electronic items through traditional waste disposal methods. However, this does not stop a large number of people from throwing their electronic waste into the dustbin. Indeed, if this attitude is prevalent throughout society, then toxic waste materials can disperse into the environment. By incorrectly disposing of such items, they could end up in landfill sites and could have seriously negative impacts on ground water and subsequently on the health of people in the local area.

Recycle correctly

If you have a variety of electronic waste items including computer monitors, mobile telephones or any other electronic equipment that contains a circuit board, then you must consider a variety of safe waste disposal methods. Indeed, legal regulations prevent people from throwing away mobile phones as they contain a variety of hazardous materials. If you want to prevent such toxic materials from entering the ground water system after being disposed of in landfill sites, you should always recycle your electronic waste correctly.

Therefore, in conclusion, make sure you understand the dangers of throwing your electronic waste into the dustbin while you should also understand how to recycle your e-waste correctly to prevent any serious health issues for human society in the future.

New phone user in the house Get an add-on connection

Instead of buying a brand new postpaid plan for a family member, why not get an Airtel postpaid family plan and include them with an add-on connection?

Families are endless source of joy and laughter all our lives. The morning rush in the house as each person readies to go to college or work, the swapping of anecdotes about what happened during each person’s day, watching TV together or arguing over something – these are moments that delight and bind you to your loved ones.

Another factor that binds you to your loved ones? Paying each person’s phone bill. Not only do you track each person’s bill payment dates, you have to stay on top of every family member’s billing cycle so that they don’t get penalised for late payment. But paying all the bills and keeping track of the bill dates can become quite a hassle.

Simplify your life – get the Airtel postpaid family plan.

Why take the Airtel family plan?

There are no postpaid family plans being offered by any other mobile service providers apart from Airtel. The Airtel postpaid family plan is the definite plan that makes the entire family part of one postpaid plan – this makes account management a breeze. Bill payment for multiple Airtel subscribers within the same family has never been easier!

Consider how the Airtel postpaid family plan works:

In a nutshell, consider the simplicity of this postpaid family plan:

* You can add a family member or more for just Rs 199 per month. You can even take an add-on connection on your new Airtel postpaid individual plan (except the Rs 399 and Rs 499 plans).

* This is one of the most economical postpaid family plans – you can share the Internet with the entire family, the add-on cost is just Rs 199 per family member and all participating family members can enjoy unlimited calling facility. What’s more, it has the potential to save up to 20% on the overall bill, as compared to paying individual bills for each family member.

* Even prepaid Airtel users can be added to the Airtel postpaid family plan.

* This postpaid family plan helps you track the data consumption of each individual member, and also set limits on data usage of each member basis their requirements.

* The best feature of the Airtel family plan is that it generates a single bill per month, and you have to make a single payment against it – instead of separate payments for each member.

This sounds great! How can I get it?

Enrolling for the Airtel postpaid family plan is really easy. Just follow the steps outlined in the illustration below:

Step 1: Start by downloading the myAirtel app on your smartphone. Once the app is installed, open it and look for the ‘Family Banner’ on the screen.

Step 2: After clicking the Family Banner, you can start adding the respective family members and their 10-digit Airtel phone numbers to the plan.

Step 3: Each listed family member (that you included in the previous step) will now receive an SMS from Airtel. Ask them to verify themselves for the postpaid family plan via SMS, as directed. Once verified, they are included in the Airtel family plan.

Is a Foster Carer Role the Right Responsibility for You

If you are interested in caring for foster children, you may be wondering if you have the needed qualifications. Any individual can apply for this role as long as he or she has the skills or temperament needed to care for children who have been separated from their families. Plus, no upper age limit is required. However, you do have to be at least 21 years old. In addition, you will need to show that you have a spare bedroom available in your home.

A Demanding Yet Worthwhile Role

Children in foster care come from various backgrounds. Therefore, foster care providers need foster carers who come from a wide array of lifestyles, cultures, and locations across the UK. Applicants also need to realise that a fostering role can be rather demanding. Therefore, foster carers also need to be reasonably fit, both mentally and physically. That is because they need to be emotionally available to the children in their care so they can respond to their varying needs.

Therefore, when a foster provider seeks applicants, the organisation places a special emphasis on carers who are friendly, robust, and warm and can provide an inviting, stable, and loving home environment. Misconceptions, however, exist in fostering, many of which cause people not to apply. That is why you need to investigate the role thoroughly online, especially if you have a caring and nurturing nature. Learn how to become a foster carer by conducting a little research first.

Many Foster Carers Are Single

Again, you must be at last 21 years old to apply as a foster carer. Any concerns about your lifestyle or age can be addressed when you apply to a fostering role. For example, many people who are foster carers are single.

Therefore, you can work in a fostering programme if you are not married. You can also work at a job if you become a foster carer. You just need to be sure that you can get your foster child to school and collect him or her afterwards. You should also be available to care for your child when he or she is sick. If you can remain flexible in this respect whilst fitting in your work commitments into a child’s care, you can be a foster carer.

Should you assume the role of a foster carer, you will get paid a weekly stipend for each child who is placed in your home. If you work with the right fostering charity, you should receive the same fee each week, regardless of the child’s age. Therefore, you can be unemployed and offer fostering care as well. Your qualifications for fostering centre on the care you can give to a child who is in need of a permanent and loving home.

Reasons to Hire a Professional Handyman for Your Business

Handymen play a key role in the success of any business. Generally, a business can only thrive when taken good care of. Besides the running of the business, there are other maintenance services that should be factored in for normal operations. These maintenance services are not limited to plumbing, gardening, and electrical repairs.  These services can only be handled by a professional handyman as you concentrate on your business. For the best maintenance results, consider hiring regional services. A regional handyman will always be able to offer fast and emergency repair services. Here are more benefits of hiring a professional handyman for your office.

You will do minimal work

Worrying about repair and maintenance services can consume most of your time and energy. This is effort you should direct into upgrading or expanding your business to new heights. The best thing about a handyman is that you will have little or no worries about your business maintenance needs. All you need to do is specify the areas you need to be maintained. The handyman will handle everything from shopping for repair equipment to replacement of broken tools.

Your business will always look great

A well maintained and good looking business attracts customers. Professional handymen are skilled and well equipped to ensure that your business is always appealing. They will know when to repair a broken tap, repaint your walls, replace broken tiles and maintain your garden.

Cost-effectiveness

It is much cheaper to hire a full-time handyman to maintain your business than hiring a one-time contractor. Contractors generally charge more for emergency repair services. One-time service providers take advantage of such situations to charge more. By hiring a regular handyman, you are assured of a fast and reliable response to emergencies but without paying extortionate rates. Most companies will offer monthly, semi-annual or annual maintenance services.

No need to hire several contractors

A handyman company possesses different skills. A professional handyman will fix electrical problems, unclog toilets, install fixtures, maintain gutters, paint and even clean. A professional handyman company will handle everything you need to keep your business well maintained. This eliminates any need to hire individual plumbers, technicians, and painters. If you choose the right provider, you will have access to all kinds of professional services from the best handymen.

You get reliable, immediate and responsive service

Finding a reliable handyman when in need of emergency services can be challenging. The best thing about hiring commercial handymen services is their regular maintenance services. They are in a position to detect any leakage or breakage early.

How to find a reliable and professional commercial handyman company

There are several companies claiming to offer the best commercial handymen services. However, you need to find the best handymen company in your region. Among the things you need to consider before hiring are their experience, reliability, reputation, and affordability. It is advisable to compare several companies to settle on the best handyman company. It is also recommended that you discuss your scope of work for the best quote.

Different Career Paths in Shipping

Shipping

Do you want to take up an interesting career path? The Shipping Industry is an interestingly diversified one that offers exciting and rewarding career paths. Prima-facie, it may seem that the career in shipping means you are always sailing on the water. But, due to the diversification of the industry, there are as many land-based opportunities in the sector as there are sea-based options. And, the broad reach of this global sector, allows candidates with almost any discipline and level of educational degree to enter and make their career in the industry.

Here we are giving an overview of the sea and land-based career opportunities in the shipping industry. Before choosing any of the levels, be sure to do the self-evaluation of your interest, knowledge, and qualification. There are also specialist recruiters like http://www.erikjuhler.com  that helps you settle at the right position as per your qualification and personality. You can submit your CV with them to explore the diversified job opportunities in the shipping industry.

The Sea-based Job categories in the Shipping Industry

  • General Crew – The general crew consists of the persons responsible for the tasks related to deck areas and the cargo. Their job profiles include works like ship maintenance, servicing of the vessel, deck machines and other utilities in addition to the cargo operations and navigations.
  • Marine Engineer – This is the category of various kinds of qualified personnel in different disciplines of marine engineering. These are the persons responsible for designing, developing and maintaining the mechanical structure of the vessels.
  • Deck Officer – The major task of the deck personnel is to navigate the vessel safely at the ship. The design and implement the plan for passage route and monitor the position of the sea as per the plan. Once on land, they need to ensure the orderly flow of cargo to the dock.
  • Marine Cook – Be it land or the sea, cooks are always responsible for preparing sumptuous dishes. In addition to the cooking, the marine cooks are also responsible budgeting, ordering and doing all other things required to maintain the food stock at the vessel.
  • Steward – Equipped with medical training certificate these staffs are responsible for accommodating the crew and helping the marine cook.

The Land-based Job Categories in the Shipping Industry

  • Shipbuilding and Repair –As the name suggests this unit is responsible for designing and building new vessels and repair the existing ones when needed.
  • Port Operations – These are basically responsible for the safety and security of the port. They make sure port regulation rules are followed by persons getting in and out of the port. They also need to make sure the cargo being imported and exported from the port are not violating any rules.
  • Crossover Positions – The personnel posted on the crossover positions do neither sail on the sea nor work on the port. They are based in corporate offices from where they manage various tasks related to the shipping industry. They include public relation specialists, maritime lawyers, human resource manager, marine biologists, accountants, and clerks.

Digital Marketing – The Undeniable Power of Film

video production

Since we first discovered moving pictures, the advertising world had made very effective use of film, and with the rapid pace of hardware and software development and a broadband global network in the form of the World Wide Web, video production is a very powerful tool for any business. Until a few short years ago, we didn’t have the technology to deliver moving pictures to a mobile device, but with smartphones that run quad core processors and tons of video ram, you can actually deliver rich and dynamic content to a range of platforms and devices. This ability to get your message across to so many users makes video the top draw for serious marketers, and with the right video production company and a great concept, the film will do what it set out to.

Digital Video Production

This is the key to a quality end result, and while it might not be cheap, the best never is, and when marketing with video, you simply cannot afford anything other than the very best. If you would like to explore the possibility of producing a promotional video, a Google search will bring up a list of companies, and if you are thinking of corporate video production in Brisbane, for example, there happens to be a market leader on your very doorstep. An impressive list of well-known names makes up their client list, and with the industry firmly performance based, sourcing the best is not an issue.

The Production Process

There are many stages to the production process, and once you have made contact with the right company, they would spend some time at your business premises, and with many questions answered, they would begin to get a sense of what your company is all about, and more importantly, what you are trying to project with this particular production. Ideas would be thrown around, and of course, the client plays an integral role in the early design stages, and after a while, a concept would be decided on and a story board put together. This is the time when tweaks and amendments would happen, and with a professional team who organise the shoot, the raw data will be transformed into the finished product by the team’s video production expert.

The initial story board would then be explored a little further, and if it is generally agreed that the concept works, the next step would be to arrange the necessary props and services, and if people are to be in the production, the agencies would provide a huge selection of actors and actresses who can be ready to roll.

Once everything is in place the filming can begin and when the shoot is over and all the raw data collated, the video production team can do what they do best, which happens in the editing room. There might a few variations and the client would choose the final cut from possibly 3 or 4, and with everything together, the finished product would be exported in a range of formats, making it ideal for every digital platform.

How to Hire a Waste Management Services Provider

If you are running a clinic or a healthcare institute, you will want to consider hiring a reputable waste management services provider. The clinical waste released from such institutes is quite harmful and cannot be disposed of in the conventional manner. Instead, it is the responsibility of the clinic or the healthcare institute to hire a waste management services provider to get rid of all the produced waste. Here’s how they do the work:

  • The waste is packed in specialised containers and bags
  • The waste is transported in lorries and trucks with hazard warnings and security measures
  • It is disposed of in specialised incinerators and areas designed for hazardous waste disposal

Here are a few tips to help you in hiring a company that offers qualified waste management services in Tunbridge Wells.

Visit Their Website

In order to attract customers, many websites now provide details about the waste disposal measures taken by companies and the different services that they offer. You can get a comprehensive idea about the standard of waste disposal services maintained by the company along with the kind of waste that they deal with. You should look for a company that specialises in dealing with clinical waste.

Negotiate a Long-Term Deal

You should also consider negotiating a long-term deal with the waste management services provider and find out how much it’s going to cost you. Ask for bids from two or three companies in your region that deal in clinical waste management before making your choice.