Can I send in my business plan instead of the application form?
Due to the number of applications we receive, we are only able to accept applications through our standard process on this website. You are welcome to attach your business plan to your application, plus any other supporting items (e.g. photos of the product), which we may refer to, but our main focus will be on your application form. When considering your initial application are mostly concerned with understanding your business idea and whether you can turn this into a successful business. We may well ask to see a Business Plan at a later stage.
Will you sign my non-disclosure agreement?
We are very conscious of the trust applicants place in us by submitting their application forms and their business idea. We will always handle what you send us in a confidential manner and have included clear details on this within our terms and conditions. We believe this will meet the needs of the vast majority of applicants as it is not practical for us to sign individual confidentially agreements.
Can I meet with you to discuss my application?
If we consider your application has merit and meets our criteria then we will normally ask to have a brief telephone interview with you, which may then lead onto a meeting. The vast majority of business ideas can be encapsulated within our application form and through any further explanation through the telephone interview which offers us a cost efficient way of helping the most people.
Do I need to have completed a business plan before I apply?
Certainly not. At application stage we are interested in understanding your idea. If we find your idea attractive we may offer you the opportunity to attend our business readiness workshops, which will include guidance on constructing a business plan suitable for your idea. This website also includes many tools to help you prepare your plan.
How do you decide which businesses to support?
If an application meets our eligibility criteria we consider whether the applicant has the potential to run the business and will benefit from the support we offer, as well as whether the business can reasonably expect to be viable and able to pay back our finance.