Business grants, loans and other funding streams

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There are a variety of organisations that can offer help with funding, either through grants or access to loan funding, in order to start or grow your business.

Mercia Fund Managers

Mercia Fund Managers provides a range of finance including loans ranging from £100,000 to £2.0m to established and profitable SMEs for a wide range of purposes.  Mercia can often address a funding gap where banks and other lenders are unable to provide the full requirement.

Typically loans cover a period of up to five years maximum and are tailored to your business requirements with competitive rates and terms.

Foundation East

Foundation East is a not-for-profit organisation that operates across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex. They lend money to new businesses, existing businesses, self-employed people and social enterprises that can't get a loan from a bank or need additional funds to match bank lending.

Telephone: 01284 636 550

Prince's Trust

The Prince's Trust is a UK charity that works with young people aged 14-30, offering practical support through training, mentoring and financial assistance, to help them overcome barriers and realise their potential.

Their particular focus is on young people who have struggled at school, been in care, been in trouble with the law or are long-term unemployed.

Find out about Talent Match - a £108 million Big Lottery Fund investment project to help long-term unemployed young people, aged 18-24, to gain employment across England.

Enterprise Europe Network

Enterprise Europe Network helps small business to make the most of the European marketplace. Working through local business organisations, they can help you:

  • Develop your business in new markets;
  • Source or license new technologies;
  • Access EU finance and EU funding.

Department for Business Innovation & Skills - Employer Ownership Fund

Improving engineering skills in smaller companies

This offer is open to any small or medium sized company which directly employs people in engineering occupations. Its aim is to help companies grow and become more productive through investing in the skills of its current and future engineers.

Government will contribute 50% of eligible costs to firms who have projects to provide extra training to employees to support career progression and allowing people to transfer from other occupations into engineering.

Employer Training Incentive Pilot

Working with partners, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce will be delivering the Employer Training Incentive Pilot, which will provide a 25% return against cash paid on additional training (to the maximum claim value of £1,000 per learner) to help Norfolk and Suffolk SME businesses to grow.

Contact Details

Economic Development,
Ipswich Borough Council,
3E Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432918