Simply Business has announced the launch of its annual £25,000 Business Boost grant.
The grant is designed to give UK small businesses a significant helping hand in the face of wider economic challenges – including the cost of living rising at an alarming rate, inflation and supply challenges.
A panel of expert judges, which last year included leading British businessman, investor and formerstar of TV’s Dragon’s Den, Piers Linney, and The Apprentice winner Carina Lepore, will decide on the final winner of the grant.
Entries will close on 17 August and the winner will be announced on 14 October.
The grant is the third iteration from Simply Business. Last year it gave away £25,000 to founders Mo Kanjilal, Allegra Chapman and Rachel Pearson of the diversity and inclusion consultancy business Watch This Sp_ce. They beat almost 25,000 small businesses from across the UK to the grant, while the 2020 prize was picked up by Larissa Cooper of textiles firm Rowan Bay, from Norfolk.
Allegra Chapman commented: “Winning Business Boost really took our business to the next level. It gave us the financial injection we needed to develop our audit and training platform so that we can provide a truly holistic service to organisations looking to make a meaningful impact with diversity and inclusion.
“It also helped to raise our profile and get us noticed by some very exciting new clients across the UK and beyond.”
A recent study from Simply Business showed the impact COVID-19 continues to have on UK SMEs, alongside the wider effects of the current economic climate. The key findings showed:
- Small business owners now face wider challenges while attempting to recover – with 70% stating rising costs are now their biggest challenge, along with supply shortages also proving difficult
- 87% of small business owners have lost money over the last two years, averaging £20,981 each in total
- SMEs now say they have lost nearly £21,000 on average, with one in six believing they will never financially recover
- Over a fifth do not expect to ever return to pre-pandemic levels of trading
Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, comments: “Small businesses are built on big dreams, and we know finance plays a huge part in starting or growing a successful small firm.
“It’s never been more important to support the self-employed, with the impact of the pandemic and recent soaring costs making it a difficult environment for new and existing owners. We want to make a genuine transformational impact to one owner’s life. From our research, we know £25,000 does just that – the average cost for startups in year one alone stands at £22,756.
“The fact we had almost 25,000 applications last year shows how important it is to empower the nation’s entrepreneurs as they look to navigate a tricky economic climate alongside the day-to-day challenges of being a small business owner.
“Small businesses play a vital role in our communities and contribute enormously to our economy. It only felt right to return with our Business Boost grant for a third year, having witnessed its positive impact on two deserving small businesses in 2020 and 2021.”
Find out more and enter at www.simplybusiness.co.uk/business-boost