SPARK financial support

Where do I find the money to start my business?


The first thing to consider is how much you need to start your business. Secondly you will need to consider if you will need finance throughout your first 3 years and when? Therefore, your research and business planning are critically important.


Finance comes in many forms

Debt Finance

  • Bank loan/Overdraft (Santander, Natwest, RBS, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds…)
  • Factoring
  • Funding body loan (Business Enterprise Fund, Funding Circle, IWOCA…)
  • Government (
  • Leasing and hire purchase (Normally for capital equipment)
  • Family & Friends



  • Proof of Concept fund (see below)
  • Government/ERDF (see below)
  • Local Authority
  • Business Support organisation




Who should I talk to now?

This is not an exhaustive list of options however shows some possibilities available to the entrepreneur. For more details on how to prepare and where to go for finance please book an appointment with one of our experienced business advisors.

Proof of Concept Fund

On occasion, a small discretionary fund may be available to University of Leeds Students. 

Applications for this are only considered if:

  • All online workshops have been completed
  • All primary and secondary market research has been conducted showing viability
  • You have attended meetings with a Spark Business advisor

Please note: These funds are subject to availability.



Leeds City Region & West Yorkshire funding and support administered by local authority.

Growth Fund 

  • 0-3Yrs Trading
  • B2B
  • Leeds City Region
  • Grants up to £25,000  (50/50 funding upto £50,000 project)

For more info please contact 

Tony Armson

Senior Economic Development Officer                     

Leeds City Region Ad:Venture Programme

Tel: 0113 37 87873 / 07891270689