Guidance: Business Basics Fund


The Business Basics Fund, a series of open competitions, is the main element of the Business Basics Programme. The fund aims to build evidence on how to encourage SMEs to adopt productivity boosting technology and/or management practices. It is administered by Innovate UK on behalf of BEIS.

Second round now closed

Under the second round of the Business Basics Fund, for which a total of up to £2 million is available, we are funding 2 types of project: trials and proof of concept. This round is now closed for applications. Details of the successful projects (due to start on 1 September 2019) will be published here.

Rules and guidance applying to both types of project

  • all project work must be carried out in England
  • all selected projects must start by 1 September 2019 and can last up to a year
  • further guidance and help on evaluation / finding partners available via the above links
  • we will hold a networking event and an evaluation masterclass

Trial projects - non-business or business led

  • aiming to generate robust evidence on the most effective approaches, and build an understanding of the short, medium and long-term impacts of these approaches
  • grant funding of up to £400,000 per project
  • you must have an evaluation plan, and, ideally, an evaluation partner
  • non-business led trials - where the lead applicant is a public sector organisation, a university, or research and technology organisation (RTO), a charity, or a not for profit company. Businesses can participate as collaborators but cannot be the lead applicant: use appropriate link above
  • business-led trials - where the lead applicant is a business: use appropriate link above

Proof of Concept projects

  • ideas at an earlier stage of development
  • grant funding of up to £60,000 per project


If you have questions about the Fund or Programme, please contact or in the BEIS Business Basics team.

Further funding opportunities

Details of future funding opportunities will appear on this page.

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