What types of grant funding are available?

July 26, 2021

Understanding what types of funding are available and appropriate for your business is a valuable first step towards securing a future for your current projects. Part one of our funding series looks at the different types of funding available, their pros and cons, and the types of organisations that might best benefit.

What is Grant Funding?

Grant funding is managed and awarded by government bodies or charitable organisations. There are different grant funding categories: Research & Development (R&D or R&I), Capital, Business Support, Development and Charitable. In order to apply for grant funding, you will need to complete an application form that will be submitted to the awarding body for assessment. There is generally a stated deadline for applications and the process is competitive. 

Suitable Entities

Pros of grant funding

  • Non-dilutive funding
  • Broad range of funding available – from €10k to €15m
  • Some grants give a decision in six weeks from application
  • Securing a grant is seen positively by other investors (Angel and VC)
  • Strong external affirmation of the business from experts in the sector

Cons of grant funding

  • Grant funders will support a certain percentage of total project costs ranging from 25% to 100% (depending on the project) called the ‘intervention rate’
  • Some grants have a long decision timeframe of up to six months
  • Grants are generally paid out in arrears so consider the cash flow of the venture
  • There are some hidden costs like administration and financial compliance reporting


Research & Development Grants (R&D or R&I)

R&D grants are designed to support the research and development of cutting-edge technology and game-changing innovations. Funding can be used to pay for staff wages, equipment & materials, subcontractors, external advisors, market research and project management (including travel).

Key Facts

Funding amounts: €25,000 to €15m

Intervention rates: 45% to 100% 

Decision Time: 6 to 24 weeks

Capital Grants

Capital grants are designed to support capacity building for businesses, not-for-profits and public organisations. Applicants need to demonstrate their capacity to grow turnover and staff numbers. Funding can be used to pay for tangible assets including buildings, building extensions, fit-outs, machines, vehicles, installations, etc.

Key Facts

Funding Amounts: €50k to €15m+

Intervention Rates: 10% to 50%

Decision Time: 8 to 16 weeks

Business Support Grants

Business Support Grants are designed to provide high-growth potential businesses with expert coaching and advice to support launching and scaling ventures. Funding is generally provided in the form of paid support, for example, 12 hours of business coaching or market research from an experienced mentor or team. Funding could also be used to secure Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Key Facts

Funding Amounts: €300 to €2500

Intervention Rate: 100%

Decision Time: 1 to 2 weeks

Development Grants

Development Grants are designed to support not-for-profit organisations with their work in emerging market economies. Funding can be used to support staff wages, capital items, travel, operational costs, and other items required to deliver development projects. 

Key Facts

Funding Amount: €100k to €multi-millions

Intervention Rates: 25% to 100%

Decision Time: 12 to 24 weeks

Charitable Grants 

Charitable Grants are managed and awarded by charitable trusts and support the work of other charities, not-for-profits and social enterprises. Funding can be used to support activities that make a positive impact on the lives of disadvantaged people, local communities and the environment. Eligible costs are broad and the funding is more flexible, with an eye to meeting the charitable aims of the funder. The application process is usually less formal compared to government grants but this can also mean less transparency on selection criteria. 

Key Facts

Funding Amount: €10k to €500k

Intervention Rates: 25% to 100%

Decision Time: 8 to 24 weeks

The Funding Process

Grant funding can take between 6 and 24 weeks to secure once the application is prepared and submitted for assessment.

Further Reading

EU Guide to GrantsA comprehensive guide to grant funding from the EU
Search for an EU GrantEU grant search engine
Horizon Europe VideoIntroduction to the new EU funding framework from 2021
R&D Grant Overview VideoFrom Innovate UK – the UKs leading R&D funder

Related Content and Comments

If you found this useful, please do share this post with other members of your team or with your wider network. For more information about grant funding get in touch.


Alex has over 15 years of experience in founding and running businesses, the most recent company having raised over £50m in funding for businesses based across the globe. He has a thorough knowledge of business funding options and can draw on many successful consultancy engagements to bring impetus to venturing. Alex has now set his focus on working with entrepreneurial teams looking to make a positive impact on the climate crisis and the broader UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Contact Alex