Young Business Capital Investment Grant

Support provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise

What does this involve?

The Young Business Capital Investment Grant aims to stimulate productivity, innovation and employment in the Highlands and Islands by investing in young businesses and social enterprises that have been trading for less than 5 years.

As a result of securing funding, businesses or social enterprises should demonstrate that they will be able to (at least one of the following):

  • create or retain well-paid jobs that pay the real living wage and apply fair work conditions
  • create or retain green jobs that involve the production of goods or services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources
  • increase efficiency and outputs by investing in new products, processes or services, which can be achieved through innovation, research and development, technology or reductions in carbon emissions and waste
  • focus on sustainability and growth, to achieve long-term benefits through growing sales, increasing turnover and reaching new markets in Scotland and beyond

Am I eligible?

The fund is open to small and medium enterprises (organisations with less than 250 full-time equivalent employees) based in the Highlands and Islands.

Unincorporated forms of business ownership such as sole traders, partnerships and limited partnerships, as well as incorporated legal forms of business ownership such as limited companies, companies limited by guarantee, community interest companies and limited liability partnerships are eligible to apply.

The applicant must be a start-up or young business or social enterprise that has been trading for less than 5 years.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they operate in a growth sector and have a clear ambition to operate outwith local markets.

Applicants must comply with Highland and Island Enterprise (HIE)'s fair work conditions for grant support. These include:

  • paying your employees aged 18 years or more the real living wage as a minimum (currently £9.90 per hour)
  • having a flexible working policy in place and a current fair work action plan
  • being able to demonstrate how you support your workforce and foster employee engagement

What does this cost?

The scheme can provide grant funding to cover up to 50% of eligible costs for capital equipment and capital works. Applicants are expected to fund the remaining 50% from their own resources.

The minimum grant is £5,000 and the maximum grant available is £100,000.


Who is this for?

Businesses in the Highlands and Islands area of Scotland that have been trading for less than 5 years.

How long does this take?

The application follows a 2-stage process. The first stage is to complete the online Expression of Interest (EOI) form and submit it by midday on 12 August 2022.

If your EOI meets basic criteria, you will be allocated a development manager who will assist you to make a full application.

The deadline for full applications is 30 September 2022.

Claims must be made within 4 weeks of project completion or by 15 March 2022, if that comes first.

Important information

The funding can be used for:

  • most categories of capital investment, including but not limited to the purchase of equipment, fixtures, fittings and IT infrastructure
  • the construction, adaptation or upgrade of premises or other business infrastructure

The funding cannot be used for:

  • equipment that has already been ordered or purchased, or capital works that were underway before your application to the fund
  • any type of motor vehicle or trailer, including mobile homes and caravans
  • glamping pods or equivalent infrastructure and temporary buildings or infrastructure such as portacabins

Next steps

Visit the HIE website to complete an Expression of Interest form.

Support provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise

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