Grants available to Scottish businesses

Mike Newman, founder of Glasgow-based My1login, received an array of cash grants to develop his small business, which provides an encrypted vault service for logins, passwords and pins.


Mike Newman, founder of Glasgow-based My1login, received an array of cash grants to develop his small business, which provides an encrypted vault service for logins, passwords and pins.

How did you find out about the business grants available?

We got in touch with the Go Group, one of Scotland’s prominent business support organisations, which provided us with advice and guidance on the grants available through Scottish Enterprise. We were identified as a high-growth account and provided with access to a number of individuals in Scottish Enterprise who pointed us in the right direction for grants available.

What grants did you get and how did you secure them?

The Investor Readiness grant, which was worth about £4,000 to us, helped us with the cost of fundraising. Being an internet business we required some investment up front to support us until we became cash flow positive.

We had to demonstrate that we had a viable business plan and product, so once that was cleared the grant was signed off. It’s payable on a restrospective basis, subject to the level of legal costs incurred on any funding deal we have.

The second was a Product Development Grant, of which we’ve had two over the past two years. The first was for about £2,000, but we’ve just had signed off a £30,000 grant. The second of these was achieved on the condition we raise a significant amount of private equity finance, which we did.

We had to demonstrate that we’d use this funding to make some leaps in our product offering. The money will allow us to develop products that will enter new markets and generate more revenues.

Finally, Regional Selective Assistance (RSA). Our headcount over the next few years is forecast to be 24-25 employees and we have a number of milestones to meet along the way to achieve this grant. We have to prove that we have paid out twice as much on salaries as we are claiming from the grant.

It’s about incentivising companies to achieve growth in terms of employment figures then rewarding them for achieving that growth.

Any others?

Glasgow city council has an initiative called Digital Enterprise Glasgow, whereby digital start-ups are offered free accommodation for a certain period of time. We have benefited from this and it’s a huge asset for a young company to have, not to have to worry about outgoings for office space, at least for a period of time. Digital Enterprise Glasgow has also awarded us a grant to support some of our PR and marketing activity.

Overall, we’ve managed to construct a healthy blend of public and private sector funding!

Why do you think you have been so eligible for assistance?

These organisations recognise we’re solving a growing problem. We operate within the internet sector which is highly scaleable if you’ve got a good product and marketing strategy. If you look at our approach to marketing, we’ve ticked enough boxes to be considered one of the companies to back.

Do you think Scotland offers the best grant opportunities for small businesses in the UK?

From my experience in talking to other entrepreneurs and investors I haven’t seen the same level of support for entrepreneurial start-ups  elsewhere. I know there are certain grants available in some parts but in general the level we have received I haven’t seen outside Glasgow and Scotland.

For more information on business grants, check out the SmallBusiness Finance app, which has a dedicated grants section with comprehensive information on the grants available in the UK.

Related Topics

Business Grants

Leave a comment