Investing in Kent's businesses
Kent has a number of interest-free business funding initiatives to support industry growth in the county
Kent offers a compelling range of financial assistance to support ambitious businesses with the aim of creating jobs in the county.
Business funding advice service
Whether you are making the decision to set-up, expand or invest in Kent, our business advisors can educate you on the best business funding and financial support available to you.
On top of a range of regional schemes backed by Kent County Council, there is also a raft of national funding support from the Government that is helping to attract overseas and UK businesses to Kent.
Our business services are confidential, impartial and completely free of charge, to find out if your company may be eligible for funding please get in touch.
EIRA project (Enabling Innovation: Research to Application)Kent
EIRA (Enabling Innovation: Research to Application) is a 3 year project, building on the success of Eastern ARC, funded by Research England to drive forward world-class university commercialisation.
EIRA will support innovation in the East of England by helping businesses to access research expertise from universities and colleges in the region. The project has a specific focus on three themes: artificial intelligence, biotechnology and digital creative, drawing on the substantial expertise of the institutions involved.
TALE – Transport and Logistical Efficiencies
TALE – Transport and Logistical Efficiencies is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by the Haven Gateway Partnership.
This project will support SMEs in the Logistics sector to better understand and analyse their data to increase their efficiency. It will also help them to understand cyber security and the implications on their data. Specialist expertise is provided by the University of Essex and University of Kent.
KEEP+ is a £6m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supported programme, providing grants to assist small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovative new products and services.
In partnership with six institutions KEEP+ provides flexible opportunities for knowledge exchange, capital grants for equipment purchase and funding for third party consultancy.
KEEP+ is open to SMEs.
Start up loans + 12 months mentoring
A government-backed personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK.
With a fixed interest rate of just 6% per annum and the ability to borrow between £500 and £25,000, start up Loans offer an affordable source of finance to help new and early stage business owners bring their plans to life.
Innovate UK offers funding of between £25,000 and £10 million for the development of an innovative product, process or service by a UK-based company. Awards are made on a competition basis.
Any business size.
Low carbon across the South East (LoCASE)
Business development, growth and competitiveness initiatives for SMEs in the Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector.
£1, 000 – £20,000 match-funded grants for SMEs to cover 40% of your energy efficiency project costs.
KentRate Relief + Benefits
Enterprise Zone rate relief
North Kent Enterprise Zone, made up of six sites across Ebbsfleet, Medway and Maidstone offers business rate relief of up to £55,000 a year for five years – a total of up to £275,000.
Applies to any business size.
MedwayGrants & 0% Loans
Partners for Growth
- Focused on supporting Medway-based growth, the scheme provides a package of local funding and free business advice.
- Start-up grants and 0% loans for growing SME businesses
R&D Tax Relief
- Corporation Tax relief on research and development activities
- Applies to any business size
Regional (over 20 counties)Grants
Manufacturing Growth Programme
- Grants of up to 35% of the cost to deliver your manufacturing growth plan
- SME’s only
This enables a 10% Corporation Tax rate to apply to business profits attributed to patents and intellectual property registered in the UK.
Applies to any business size.
0% loans between £100,000 and £999,999 towards the development of innovation incubator spaces and other workspaces for start-ups and small businesses within Kent.
EnglandRural Grant Funding
Kent LEADER programme
Kent LEADER is a source of funding available to farmers, growers, foresters, rural businesses and communities to help secure a sustainable future for the rural economy of Kent.
The fund has a minimum grant award of £2,500 and a maximum of usually £50,000-£100,000 at a rate of 40% of eligible costs for commercial projects.
KentSouth East Business Boost (SEBB)
Kent and Medway Growth Hub
Working with SME’s to offer:
- 0% grant contribution (max grant value £10k) towards the cost of capital purchases which help to drive Business Growth
- Business workshops
- Business start-up advice and support
KentBoost 4 Health
For SME’s operating in the life sciences sector looking to network and trade internationally. Includes:
- Micro financing to help travel and growth
- Cross border networking and product validation
- 1:1 growth coaching programme
- Part funded visits to networks and clustering activity