Support for businesses

General funding for Business and Community Groups

Royal Docks Good Growth Fund

The Royal Docks Good Growth Fund is a new £13 million programme that will support a broad range of projects that can help to transform the Royal Docks. The fund will support inclusive, innovative projects and tackle some of the challenges facing the Royal Docks. It will also seek to support local economic activity, create new jobs and workplaces, and ensure these opportunities are accessible to the whole community.

This programme has potential capital grants of up to £3 million to deliver place shaping and development projects.

Applicants are required to provide at least 50% match funding.

Applicants must either be based in the Royal Docks or their activity must demonstrably benefit the Royal Docks area.

More details and an application form can be found on royaldocks.london.

ReLondon Circular Economy Grant

The Mayor's Green New Deal fund offers grants of £10,000 or £15,000 to London-based SMEs. This help kickstarts a new circular economy pilot as part of the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Successful applicants may be selected to receive 12 hours of support from a ReLondon business adviser.

For more information see here.

Internationalisation Fund

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched its new Internationalisation Fund for eligible businesses. Match-funded grants between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available for future activity (subject to eligibility and availability), including:

  • market research
  • intellectual property advice
  • translation services
  • international social media/search engine optimisation
  • trade fairs (where no Tradeshow Access Programme funding is available)
  • independent market visits
  • consultancy and other international commercial services.

For more information, see here

The Royal Docks Local Programme Seed-Fund

The Royal Docks Team is launching a seed-fund to support organisations that are interested in supporting evening and night-time activities, particularly those focused on entertainment with a mainstream appeal to local people

The Royal Docks team will underwrite the initial or set-up costs, providing a 'risk-free' opportunity for venues to build audience with the objective of working without funding in the longer term.

Organisations can apply for a maximum of £4,000 for activities happening across a maximum of six months. £2,000 will be made available on successful application, with the remaining £2,000 released following a halfway point ‘check-in’.

More information on the Royal Docks Local Programme Seed-Fund and how to apply

Free business services 

Queen Mary University of London's qNomics Programme offers free business services ranging from advice and training on business finance to planning, market research and expansion.

This free advice and support is delivered by students from Queen Mary's School of Economics and Finance under the supervision of expert practitioners who volunteer their services as part of their commitment to pro bono work.

More information on Free business services and how to to apply

Start-Up Loans programme expands

On 26 September the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced the expansion of the British Business Bank's Start-Up Loans programme, with eligible firms only needing to have traded for three years instead of two.

In addition, businesses can now apply for a second loan – but they need to have been trading for at least five years.

Since the Start-Up Loans programme began in June 2012, more than 95,000 loans worth over £900 million have been issued. 

One such recipient of these loans is Ocushield, which sells screen protectors. Founder Dhruvin Patel took out a loan of £500 in 2015 to start the business while he was studying optometry and working at an optician. He used the loan to start a website, supported by the Start-Up Loans programme’s mentoring scheme. In Ocushield's first year turnover was £55,000.

For more information click here.