So what are grant providers looking for when they pick up your application? Well, firstly they will check to see if you meet their eligibility criteria, next they want to check the viability of your business and then whether your project aligns with the objectives they want to achieve with the grant scheme.
Simply follow the checklist below to maximise your chances of successfully getting a grant.
1. Tell them about your Business
Provide them with complete business details
Grant providers will ask for details such as your company registration number, VAT registration number, sector and SIC code, date business was established through to the number of full time and part time employees. The more details you provide the easier it will be for them to process your application.
Make it clear who owns the business
You may not be eligible for SME grants if more than 25% of your business is owned by another company or a group of companies, if that doesn’t apply to you then you’ll have passed one of the key eligibility criteria.
Explain what your business does
Telling grant providers about what your business does, who your main customers are and how you market to your customer base gives them confidence that you understand your market and how to penetrate it.
List the aid received within the last 3 years
De minimis aid rules allow for a maximum of €200,000 to be given to a business over three consecutive years. Grant providers will want to know if you have already received grant funding within the past three years as it may affect how much you can get in your current application.
2. Tell them about the Project and the Financials
Write a proposal that justifies your project
By stating the productivity benefits your project will bring, you will be able to justify the need for your project to the grant provider.
Align your project outcomes to the grant’s objectives
Grant providers aim to achieve specific economic objectives (e.g. create new jobs) with the grant funds they manage, and by clearly stating how your project objectives align with theirs you increase your chances of your application being accepted.
List your project costs
Grant providers will want to know how you propose to spend the grant money and will request that you list the items and state the reasons they are needed for the project.
Prepare a robust business plan with financial forecasts
They are looking to invest grant funds into projects run by businesses they think will have the best chance of success, so provide them with a robust business plan and financial forecasts.
Include a project risks plan if applicable
You need to assess the project risks and create a plan of how to manage them to demonstrate to the grant provider that your project has the best chance of success.
3. Follow Best Practice for Grant Success
Apply as early as possible
The best time to apply is at the start when there are funds available so make sure you get your application in as soon as possible.
Contact the Grant provider before applying
Speaking to the grant provider about your project before you apply enables you to quickly check if they fund projects like yours and to establish a contact for future follow up of your application.
Don’t start your project before applying for your grant
Grants are funds of last resort so starting your project before you get funding means you didn’t need it in the first place.
4. Providing Additional Information (varies by Grant Scheme)
Prepare management accounts
If your most recent accounts are more than 6 months old or you are a newly trading start up business then management accounts up to the present day may be requested.
Get written quotations
A minimum of three written quotations will need to be obtained for each item over a certain amount (which is determined by the grant provider) or for multiple items from the same provider.
Provide evidence of matched funding
If your project is investment ready and can be completed within specified timeframes then it has a higher chance of being accepted by grant providers than projects that aren’t. Grant providers will request that you provide evidence that you have the additional funding available.
This checklist will help improve your chances of a successful grant application. But if you need further assistance with your grant selection or application, you can get additional support from Xsortal.
Visit Xsortal today and find out how we support your Grant Application