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Digital Growth Grant competition launched

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 14 Apr 2022

The £12m grant will be used to turbocharge UK tech growth, tackling the challenges facing small firms and growing regional support networks.

A new government grant competition is launching this summer to boost the growth of innovative tech start-ups and scale-ups in all corners of the country. The £12.09m Digital Growth Grant will focus on opening up access to skills training and advice, and providing support services to the digital and tech sector over two years, from April 2023 to 2025.

Early this year, the UK tech sector became the third country globally to be valued at $1trn. The UK has created more unicorns (companies valued at $1bn) than any other country in Europe, more than 40 of which are based outside London. In addition, there are 100 regional ‘futurecorns’ – businesses on track to gaining unicorn status. 

The aim of this grant is to help develop the next generation of success stories. It will do this by: 

  • delivering support services to the digital sector; 
  • developing the growth of regional support networks for tech start-ups and scale-ups to help tackle the challenges these firms face; 
  • ensuring founders and firms can access digital entrepreneurship and investment readiness training with tailored advice to help develop their skills to start and grow a tech business; and 
  • raising awareness of the strength of the UK tech sector, thus boosting investor confidence and inspiring the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.

Digital Minister Chris Philp said: “Start-ups and scale-ups are hugely important to our thriving tech sector. This funding is dedicated to growing these innovative businesses wherever they are in the country, providing the support and skills they need to succeed and create good jobs and generate wealth. The successful applicant will play a vital role in making the UK the best place in the world to start and scale a tech business.”

Shaun Beaney from ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty said: “More business support for tech ventures and SMEs across Britain is very good news. Innovative companies boost the country’s economy and provide high-quality jobs. Professional advisers – including many ICAEW members – work at the heart of the UK’s innovation ecosystem, so they’ll play a big part in these regional networks.” 

The competition is being run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) over summer 2022. In the run-up to this, interested organisations can attend one of the upcoming webinars about this grant.

The funding for this grant has previously been awarded to Tech Nation Group Limited. DCMS will continue to provide direct grant funding to Tech Nation until March 2023.

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