finding finance

When it comes to business funding, it can be difficult to navigate your way around all the different types of financial support or to understand which organisations can help.

Below we have listed a selection of funding and services that can deliver them. A wide range of financial support is also available via the Financial Support Finder provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

British Business Bank

The British Business Bank is 100% government owned, but independently managed. It brings expertise and government money to the smaller business finance markets.

Their aim is to make finance markets work better for small businesses in the UK at all stages of their development: starting up, scaling up and staying ahead. 


Dorset Council

Provides a variety of options for local and national grant funding for businesses, charity, community interest and social enterprise groups.

Visit Dorset Council website.

Dorset Growth Hub

A Business Support Agency with access to start-up grants, match-funded digital grants and other business finance offered in conjunction with training, events and one to one support.

Visit Dorset Growth Hub website

Innovate UK

Innovate UK offers a wide range of competitions to access grant or loan funding as part of UK Research and Innovation to drive productivity and economic growth, by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base. 

Visit Innovate UK

Silicon South (Digital)

Silicon South is an ambitious not-for-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the digital economy in Dorset – one of the fastest growing creative and digital hubs in Europe.

Silicon South supports companies applying for grant funding from Innovate UK and/or other funding sources, providing expertise to help companies improve their chances of successfully gaining approval for funding. 


Broadening knowledge and learning new skills are vital components for staying competitive and enhancing personal growth - but the cost of attending events, conferences or workshops which can help you gain these insights, can be a barrier to people signing up. Silicon South helps people working in Dorset’s creative and digital sector to overcome these cost barriers.

South West Investment Group (SWIG)

Operating for more than 25 years, SWIG Finance is a not-for-profit organisation delivering loan finance across the South West region to small and medium sized enterprises which cannot access sufficient funding from the banks.

Visit the SWIG website to find out more.

Start Up Loans 

Start or grow your own business, borrow up to £25,000, fixed interest rate of 6% per annum (per year), repay over a term of 1–5 years, 12 months of free mentoring, Government-backed.

Department for Business and Trade Finance Finder Tool

A wide range of financial support is available via the Financial Support Finder provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.


Dorset Business Angels

Where talent and investors meet. Dorset Business Angels invest in start-up and early stage high-growth businesses pitched to them at an Investors’ Dinners which run four times a year.

Crowdfunder UK

Crowdfund your business - raise funds for your start-up or existing business. Whether you’re just starting out or need a little extra support, you can raise money for your business.


BCP Council

If you run a charity or volunteer group, BCP Council can help with funding.