Providing a service in identifying funding opportunities, and then researching bidding opportunities for different types of enterprise. An excellent track record in successful bid writing makes this area a key strength of FCL (Some £8.9 million in the last 36 months). All new clients are offered a free half-day consultation to discuss their plans and opportunities. It is essential for successful bidding, and delivery of that project, that a clear vision of future progression of the organisation is identified, so that project monies help deliver the vision. FCL has worked with businesses ranging from owner / manager enterprises, through to County Councils and Further / Higher education establishments, and has a flexible service that will provide professional personnel as and when required.
Many funding opportunities exist for SMEs that are not generally advertised. FCL has access to many sources of funding for SMEs, is constantly researching and identifying new opportunities for funding, and will provide a definitive guide through the various pathways needed to obtain these funds. Some of the funding would be in the form of grants, possibly requiring an element of match funding, other funding may be in the form of loans, with very low repayment terms. Company-specific information will be provided, and guidance given on the most cost-effective schemes available. FCL also has access to professional financial advisors, who can confidentially discuss and contribute to the overall business proposition.
November 2002 marks the start of the VI Framework Programme from the EU commission, and with it, the opportunity to link into leading-edge technology and innovation. There are substantial amounts of funding available for well-researched and supported projects, and this route could be the answer to an under-funded, but worthwhile development of your portfolio. Details are still being released at this point in time, but the implications for all businesses and organisations are clear - start planning your growth for five years time now!
There are many well-funded programmes available through the EU, such as ESF, LEONARDO and SOCRATES and local / national government, such as LIF and co-financed ESF. With in-house expertise in many of the training and skills programmes, FCL will obtain the best return on your investment in time and money, to give you the resources that you need, when you need them. There is also the essential transnational element to identify potential partners for project activities, and FCL has an extensive network of contacts in all countries of the EU (plus the new accession countries) and in countries on other continents, so that personal partnerships may be established to help deliver your project.
In the aftermath of Foot and Mouth Disease, there are many programmes being initiated by the Government to help rural businesses back on their feet. With the extensive experience of FCL staff, a package of grants and partially-funded business opportunities will be identified, to suit each individual or organisation, and sign-posted help is available to build on new foundations. As a founder member of the Institute of Agricultural Management, personnel in FCL are well equipped to help any rural business develop their business plans and re-financing.
Involved in primary, secondary and tertiary food companies, FCL has built up an expertise in key areas of this major UK industry. All aspects of the food chain, from selecting suppliers, through processing to wholesaling and retailing are covered in the portfolio of experience and expertise that FCL staff and Associates contribute to providing this service. Legislative issues are more important than ever, and FCL will help organisations plan and exceed their targets in compliance issues. They also have an extensive network of contacts that may be used to develop joint ventures and / or new business opportunities, and have a growing interest in import / export opportunities for food companies.
Many of the most attractive funding opportunities involve international partnerships, and organisations wishing to investigate export / import markets have a multitude of options. From Research and Development, through partner-finding, study visits and Joint Venture Companies, there are clear pathways to tread in reaching a successful international operation. With the accession countries becoming increasingly important in European terms, and many specific programmes for other areas of the world, there has never been a better time to develop an international strategy. FCL has the expertise and contacts to make the development of that strategy a feasible operation, and will help identify and obtain funding to kick-start such initiatives.
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