Fund your project: Green finance for startups

Key fact

There are plenty of financing options available, so make sure you do your homework. Financing sustainability measures might be easier than you think.
 

Introduction


Investing in energy efficient equipment usually makes sound business and environmental sense. There are a number of financial schemes available to help make this investment as attractive as possible.

Recommendations

 

  1. Research associated cost savings from emission savings. When you put forward the internal business case make sure you include figures on the savings of a sustainability project and include payback times where appropriate/possible.
     
  2. Get multiple quotes from suppliers. Make sure you shop around to get the best deal when putting together a project. It is also wise to try to cross-reference efficiency saving figures provided by potential suppliers. It is sometimes in their interest to exaggerate them.
     
  3. Research funding opportunities carefully. There are lots of different financing options and plenty of grants available. Make sure you know all the opportunities. Often grants, particularly the larger ones, only provide a proportion of the initial capital costs. Be prepared to mix and match between different financing options.   
     

Additional information

 


Finance, funding and support schemes for startups with their own premises
 

 

  • Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE): A business support programme for companies based in Essex, East Sussex, Kent and the intervening councils of Thurrock, Medway and Southend-on-Sea. http://locase.co.uk/
     
  • Siemens Energy Efficiency Finance: Funding is available for UK businesses to invest in cost effective energy efficient equipment and other low carbon technologies, such as new efficient lighting and biomass heating. Finance is available from £1,000 with no upper limit. https://www.siemens.com/uk/en/home/products/financing/market-focus/energy-finance.html
     


Finance, funding and support schemes for startups without their own premises
 

 

  • Local business support: Look up your local Chamber of Commerce and other local business support groups. They offer business consulting services and networking events to help startups develop and make business contacts.
     
  • Incubators/accelerators: There is a vast range of incubator and accelerator programmes in the UK. Take a look at the following list to find one that’s relevant to your business: http://www.etondigital.com/the-best-tech-accelerators-and-incubators-uk/
     
  • Crowdfunding: If you are considering crowdfunding, look up platforms which are well known in the UK such as Seedrs, Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
     
  • Grants: Grants are a particularly sought out funding type because the funding does not need to be paid back. A selection of grant opportunities for small businesses in the UK can be found here: http://startups.co.uk/small-business-grants/
     
  • Mentoring and advice: Many organisations offer mentoring and advice to startups, and act as a link between startups and potential investors. The Startup Funding Club (SFC) is one such organisation: http://startupfundingclub.com/  
     
Tip of the day
Start when buying the equipment – buying energy efficient office equipment (e.g. Energy Star) helps reduce energy consumption from the beginning.

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