Funding and grants

Growing your business

Growing your business

Securing investment is a major milestone for companies like yours wanting to grow to the next stage. But, remember it’s not just about the money. Support and advice can go a long way.

What is a grant?

Grants are normally available to do specific things, for example to develop a new product. You'll need to apply for a grant before your project has started.

Grants should only be used as an additional source of funding – not to fund an entire project.

The grants available to help your idea or business will depend on:

  • The kind of idea or business you have – sometimes called your business 'sector'
  • The potential of your idea or size of your business
  • What you intend to spend the grant on
  • Where your business is based
Kate Forbes, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, announces Scottish Enterprise R&D funding for fintech 'disruptor' company Soar
Office interior

How grants are paid?

Most grants are paid 'retrospectively'. This means you'll need to pay out money upfront and reclaim the grant money later.

Some grants might pay you a percentage of the money up front and others will have terms you'll be expected to meet, for example a job creation target or deadline.

Applying for a grant

Each grant will have a different application process, although there will be common things you'll need to show, like how the grant will cover shortfall in funding and what other efforts you've made to raise funding.

The main grant funding available in Scotland is to help ideas or businesses that:

  • Will bring social or economic benefits, for example creating jobs
  • Are collaborative projects leading to new technology or ideas
  • Are involved in research and development

Our most popular grants

RSA grants

Available to help projects that will create or protect jobs in Scotland.

R&D grants

Available to help projects that will lead to innovative new products, processes and services.


Available to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help you prove your idea, product or service will work.

European funding

We support Scottish companies to find partners and apply for European funding through Enterprise Europe Network Scotland.

By Design grants

Available to help you improve design in your business.

Make it to Market grants

Available to help you get your products or services ready to be exported to international markets.

Innovate UK

We support Scottish companies through Enterprise Europe Network Scotland to apply for Innovate UK funding. 

Workplace Innovation Fund

Available to help you introduce new and innovative workplace practices.

Collaborative Innovation Fund

Available to SMEs innovating in the Scottish food and drink industry.

Contact our team to learn more

Our team are on hand to answer your questions and explain the support we can offer to help your business succeed.