Coming to the end of a dreary January we thought it was about time we spread some good new with you all! Our pals at Scottish Enterprise have recently launched the ‘By Design’ grant providing businesses in Scotland with between £2,000 and £5,000 towards the design of new products, services and processes or to help improve your existing design - sounds great right?

If it’s a case of ‘New Year, New Design’ for your business or if you’re looking to kick-off designs for a shiny new project, we’ve got the details covered below.

Scottish Enterprise Design Grant

So, who can apply?

To start off, you need to be a VAT registered company in Scotland looking to develop new products or services or enhance the design of existing products and services (excluding Highlands and Island). Are you a social enterprise? You can also qualify for the funding providing you are trading and are VAT registered.

If you’re a start-up or considering entering the market, you can also apply providing you are VAT registered and are able to illustrate how the ‘By Design’ grant can help take your product or service to market.

Whether you are a start-up, social enterprise or a business that’s been around since when the tellys were grey, you must be able to contribute at least 25% of the cost, you must be able to fund the project up front and you must be able to demonstrate how this grant could really make a difference to your company.

What can it be used for?

  • Design a new product / service or improve the design of your existing products and services.
  • Hire a designer to help improve your business processes.
  • Hire an expert to write your design brief or prepare a design blueprint.
  • Hire an expert to help your business use design more effectively.
  • Develop a more user-friendly approach to a new product development.
  • Update your branding and / or packaging as part of a larger project .
  • Carry out research on customers needs and wants - it’s all about your users right!?
  • Design and develop a website as long as it’s part of a larger project and the costs of a new site do not exceed 10% of the overall project cost.


Not everyone can qualify for the grant and there are some exclusions. If you have ever received funding from Scottish Enterprise or any public sector body for the project or if you have previously received By Design or Make it to Market support, you are unable to apply for the ‘By Design’ Grant. Similarly, if you are a Scottish Enterprise account managed company or Business Gateway Growth Pipeline company you are also excluded as other forms of support are available to you.

If the ‘By Design’ grant sounds like something that could help you out, head on over to the Scottish Enterprise site and apply. If the ‘By Design’ grant isn’t for you or if you are exempt from applying, check out how the Scottish Enterprise could help you in other ways.