Louise Guinda, founder of baby product retailer Safedreams.co.uk, received monetary help from Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise and the UKTI.
How did you find out about the first of your business grants?
I found out from the local council about an opportunity for a grant through Business Gateway, a business portal for Scottish companies and it was for £8,000. I had to do a business plan and three years projections in order to apply.
Were there rules on what the money should be spent on?
It was specified from the beginning that the money was for three things; attendance at an international trade show, product development and marketing. In my application form I allocated £3,000 for trade shows, £3,000 for marketing, and £2,000 for product development and I had to stick to that.
How much did the grant help your company?
It helped tremendously. I was able to go to two international trade shows, they paid for 50 per cent of almost everything except for accommodation, and paid for almost half of my safety testing which was important as it’s a baby product.
What other business grants have you received?
Another was with Scottish Enterprise, which offers business grants in Scotland to stimulate economic growth and improve the business environment, but it was a lesser amount in that they would only match 30 per cent of the funding. They had very strict criteria on what you could claim for and what you couldn’t. I pay for whatever it is myself and send them the invoice and they send me a cheque for 30 per cent of the amount.
Also, this year I got £1000 from the UKTI which is to go towards an international trade show. I achieved this through the Baby Products Association, they’re a trade association which applies for grants on companies’ behalf.
- Click here for more on government grants and other sources of local finance for new or expanding businesses.