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Your finance options

There are different circumstances that can influence which finance option or investment solution is the most suitable for your business. For example, your needs, your goals, the size of your business, or the stage of your growth. In addition, there's a lot of information you should consider when it comes to what the finance might be used for, and what borrowing criteria you need to satisfy to access it.

You might want to start a new venture, rapidly grow your business, hire more people or launch a new product. Finance is often critical to unlocking business potential, but there are thousands of finance options available – the question is which one is right for you?


So how do you decide what is right for you?
We’ve taken the guess work out of finance and investment. On this page you can discover some of the most relevant finance options for Greater Manchester businesses. We have defined exactly what a category of finance is, what the benefits are, who is eligible, what risks could be involved and what you might need to access it.

What are you waiting for?
Click through the options below and discover how you could use finance to support your business goals.


A way to raise funds for your business by selling shares or partial ownership to people or an organisation in return for money, who can share in your profits or losses. Equity funding can help you raise large amounts without building up debt, and your investors will have a personal stake in helping your business succeed.

Equity Crowdfunding

Equity crowdfunding is a way for small businesses to raise money from a broad group of people who believe in their project or business idea.

Angel Investors

Angel Investors are typically wealthy individuals who invest their own money into promising start-ups in exchange for a share in the ownership of the business.

Venture Capital

Venture capitalists are professional firms or groups that tend to invest larger amounts of money in more established or potentially into significantly scalable businesses.

NPIF Equity

Equity investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) enables your business to access capital funding in exchange for a negotiated stake in it.


Money that you can borrow from external sources, with a liability to repay the borrowed amount with interest over a set time period. Debt funding can help you get access to cash, while retaining full ownership of your business. 


An overdraft arrangement is where a financial institution (often a bank) allows a business to withdraw funds up to an agreed overdrawn limit from its current bank account with the aim of supporting its business operation. This is often called an agreed overdraft arrangement.

Commercial Loan

Sometimes known as business loans, these are paid back over time and you can sometimes set up flexible repayment plans depending on your business' cashflows.

Invoice Finance

Invoice finance involves a provider giving you a portion of the money owed to your business by customers. It allows you to access much-needed cash quickly.

Asset Finance

Allows a business to purchase assets without paying the full amount upfront, getting quicker access to vehicles, machinery or equipment to grow the business.

Cashflow Finance

Cashflow finance helps you manage day-to-day expenses and business operations by providing quick access to money based on expected future income.

Trade Finance

Trade finance helps businesses buy and sell goods across the globe, making international trade easier.

Public Sector Grants

Funds provided by government organisations or agencies that can support you with specific business projects, initiatives or activities. Public sector grants provide you with financial support without a requirement to repay the funds.

Innovation Voucher Scheme

GM Business Growth Hub’s Innovation Vouchers offer small and medium-sized businesses across the region with the opportunity to access up to £5,000 in grant funding

Innovate UK SMART Grants

Innovate UK SMART Grants support ground-breaking and viable research and development (R&D) projects.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are collaborative projects that support the transfer of knowledge, expertise, and technology between businesses and academic institutions.

Unlocking Potential Award

The Innovate UK Unlocking Potential Award aims to boost business innovation by providing support and funding to under-represented or overlooked innovators.

Public Sector Loans

Funds provided by government organisations or agencies that can support you with specific business projects, initiatives or activities. Unlike public sector grants, public sector loans must be repaid over a set time period with interest, and this interest is typically at a lower rate than loans from private lenders. 

Start-up Loans

These are effectively personal loans from £500 to £25,000 to business owner(s) designed to help pre-revenue or early-stage businesses launch and/or grow.

NPIF Micro Loans

Business loans from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Innovate UK Innovation Loans

Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency that supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and regions.

GM Business Investment Fund

The Greater Manchester Business Investment Fund is a scheme for local businesses to access investment and financial assistance to promote growth and create jobs.

Alternative funding options

Discover additional methods you can consider when looking to raise funds. 


Bootstrapping typically occurs when starting a business with little or no assets and allows the business to develop without sourcing external capital.

This is information, not financial advice or recommendations

The content and materials featured or linked to are for your information and education only and are not intended to address your personal or business requirements. 

The information does not constitute financial advice or recommendation and should not be considered as such.

Simplifi is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), its authors are not financial advisors, and it is therefore not authorised to offer financial advice. 

Do your own research and seek independent advice when required 

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