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Innovation Grants: Cresco CEO’s useful tips for small and micro businesses

Cresco Innovation CEO Jo Derbyshire has drawn on her wealth of knowledge to give small and micro businesses a really helpful insight into innovation funding.

Jo, who has been with Cresco since it launched in 1999 and who has more than 25 years’ experience in the innovation and enterprise sector, deals with some of the hottest topics on innovation grants, and explains how these grants have proved life-changing for some Cresco clients.

In an article for Micro Biz Mag, Jo helps to explain everything there is to know about innovation funding, including answering questions such as ‘Who is eligible for grant funding?’ and ‘Can micro businesses apply for innovation grants?’, and going into detail on how likely you are to secure potentially vital funding for your business.

Is your business eligible for innovation funding?

Businesses with the following characteristics are more likely to be successful when applying for innovation grants, says Jo:

Innovation – “Obvious, I know, but don’t underestimate the high bar for this. You have to demonstrate that you are creating new knowledge which will enable you to get ahead of the competition. The innovation must be more than an incremental improvement. The best applications have a competing technology table, showing how the new innovation differs and is better than what already exists.”

Market pull – “You need to be able to show that if you develop your product or process, people will want to buy it. Ideally you will already be in discussion with potential end users/customers and can evidence this.”

Risk – “It’s important to show that this project is risky and difficult, and therefore you need grant funding. You need to show that the project might fail, but that you have a well-rounded and experienced team who know how to manage this type of project.”

Jo Derbyshire Cresco CEO

Micro businesses can secure seven-figure sums

At least 50% of Cresco’s clients are micro business, so Jo is well-placed to relate how micro businesses can secure innovation grant funding.

“Many of our clients are micro businesses,” says Jo. “Some of our start-up businesses have managed to secure-seven figure sums. These grants are all about realising your potential, so it’s not about where you are now, but where you want to be.”

Jo also gives one final pearl of wisdom to micro businesses who are considering innovation grant funding, which you can read in the full Micro Biz Mag article here.