Access to finance

How do I find and secure funding to develop my Sandwell business?

Getting finance to take your Sandwell business forward can feel like a daunting task. Complicated application processes for grants (funding you don’t pay back) and loans (funding you do pay back) leave many people feeling confused and worried about getting the money they need to achieve their business plans. Don’t stress! We’ve rounded up lots of ways to help.

Ask us here at Think Sandwell!

We’re from Sandwell Council’s Business Growth Team. Over the years we have helped secure finance for a huge number of Sandwell-based businesses, with money that ranges from small grants to significant capital assistance from the European Regional Development Fund.

Our aim is to help businesses in Sandwell to thrive and grow, creating job security, training opportunities and wealth for our local economy. As everyone knows, most businesses need finance in order to succeed.

We work closely with private-sector organisations to signpost Sandwell businesses to the most appropriate funding sources. Our experienced business advisers offer free advice. They will help you assess your current position to determine what type of finance is appropriate for you. They can help you apply. Contact us for accessing finance advice today!

Aim For Gold
Think Sandwell’s Business Growth Team delivers the Aim for Gold business growth programme, which provides support to SMEs by helping you identify areas for business growth.

On joining this business support programme you will receive:
* One-to-one support from a member of the Business Growth Team to complete a business review and action plan
* Support to equip you with the skills to produce and implement your growth plans
* Access to grant funding, if appropriate.

Grant funding support, subject to eligibility, can contribute to a wide range of projects, including:
* Buying capital equipment
* Reconfiguring a factory floor layout
* Modifying production processes
* Digitalising
* Marketing campaigns
* Tech projects.

Grants of up to £20,000* can be used for capital purchases and grants of up to £10,000* for revenue purchases aimed at building and producing stability, with an option for growth in the medium to long term.
Grants cannot be used for capital or revenue spend that has already been made. (The amount of grant is variable and subject to change.)

Aim for Gold is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme is specifically designed to help support local SMEs and social enterprises who have been trading for at least twelve months to achieve their full potential. At least 80 per cent of your trade should be business to business (B2B) and you must be in an eligible sector (although the list below is not exhaustive):
* Advanced manufacturing
* Building technologies
* Business services
* Environmental technologies
* Transport technologies.

To find out more or register your interest in for Aim for Gold, contact us.

Has your business been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic? Please see our page about the grants and finance available to help you bounce back.

Use these tools to look for available funding

Black Country Chamber of Commerce
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Country Chamber launched a Chamber Finance Finder to help you discover the right funding solutions across loans, equity and grants.

Black Country Growth Hub
Black Country Growth Hub has a Business Finance Finder page, giving you easy access to a wide range of products and a comprehensive list of currently available finance. The Black Country Growth Hub also has dedicated Access to Finance team with whom you can get in touch.

Explore these other funding streams

BCRS Business Loans
Through BCRS Business Loans, loan finance is available for between £10,000 and £150,000 for new and established businesses, with loan repayments spread over a period of up to five years.

British Business Bank
British Business Bank is a government-owned ‘business development bank’ whose services come under three streams – ‘Start up’, ‘Scale up’ and ‘Stay ahead’ – to help you access finance that suits your needs.

Capify has over 20 years’ experience in offering business finance across the globe. In April 2021, it launched a Small Business Fund, specifically aimed at SMEs. Find out more about Capify

Funding Circle
Funding Circle is a peer-to-peer lending facility where SMEs can access loan finance by borrowing directly from a community of investors. Loans are available from £5,000 up to £1m, repayable over up to five years.

Offering individual investments of between £2m and £10m, the Richardson Enterprise Fund is a West Midlands-targeted programme is aimed at established businesses in all sectors requiring capital for growth. It offers a flexible approach, structuring each investment in a way that best suits the economic interests of all parties.

ThinCats is an online marketplace for secured business loans from individual and corporate investors, with loans ranging from £100,000 up to £3m, repayable over a period of six months to five years or more.

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This page was last updated in December 2021.