There are various grants for business in the UK, but those aimed at directing their funding to women entrepreneurs seem to be shutting up shop.

In 2014, only one-in-five SMEs were majority led by women entrepreneurs, according to figures from the UK government. RBS has also calculated that increasing the number of top female entrepreneurs could deliver approximately £60bn extra to the UK economy. 

Yet, RBS recently closed its Inspiring Women in Business scheme. With more than 1,000 female-led businesses set up under the scheme and almost £2,000,000 raised in funding since January 2013, it was certainly a success. The Government’s Aspire fund is also no longer considering new investments, having been set up to “to support women-led businesses across the UK and to help those with real potential to access growth capital”.

There are still a couple of grants in the UK specifically targeted at the female demographic to help fund fledgling businesses or training, including:

Futures for Women logoFutures for Women
Futures for Women offers interest-free loans of around £1,000 to women training for professional, commercial or technical work. 

infocus awards for Women in Innovation
These awards will see four successful applicants receive a £50,000 grant to get her brilliant idea up and running. The infocus awards will target women entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas in four categories: Emerging and Enabling Technologies, Health and Life Sciences, Materials and Manufacturing and Infrastructure Systems.

WISE campaign
For women entrepreneurs working in science, technology, and engineering sectors, the WISE campaign highlights a range of funding opportunities for those looking to further their studies or start a business.

Women Make Music
Women Make Music offers grants of up to £5,000 to individuals looking for a helping hand on the creative ladder.

There are also plenty of outlets offering advice to budding women entrepreneurs. Here are four of the best: Enterprising Women, Prowess, Women’s Business Council and Women Entrepreneurs UK.

Creative Grants in Business

Within the creative sector, although not specifically aimed at women entrepreneurs, there are other funding options, including:


From European grants to UK-based projects , _connect is a great one-stop shop to keep creatives up-to-date on the funding opportunities out there.

Arts Council

The Arts Council offers funding opportunities to "parts of the country where involvement in the arts is significantly below the national average", with £37 million invested to date.

The British Council

The British Council also offers a range of opportunities for creatives working in a range of industries, from film and fashion to art and design.


One of the many crowdfunding initiatives out there, Kickstarter is aimed at the creative sector and "helps artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality".


If you’re looking for freelance creative work then start your search by clicking here.