Industry sector: Leisure

Entertainer: Loans/grants


It may be that you do not need to borrow any money to start up your business. However, many new businesses need to raise money to cover:

  • the initial start up costs such as equipment, vehicle, business stationery
  • working capital

Working capital

There will almost certainly be a period of a few weeks or even months when your act is becoming known, your reputation is growing and your earnings are building up to their full potential.

During this period you may not receive as many bookings as you would like, but you will still have to cover expenses such as:

  • your own living expenses
  • travelling expenses
  • consumables, such as strings for an instrument
  • costumes
  • phone bills

Because your income in this period may not be enough to cover these outgoings during the early days, you will probably need to set aside some cash, or 'working capital', to tide you over.

If you need to approach the bank for a loan to cover your start up costs and working capital, leave this entry in the cash flow empty until you have completed the rest. This will give you an idea of the shortfall between income and expenditure.

Instead of borrowing money, you may find that taking a part-time job is a better proposition. For example, if you give most of your performances in the evening, you should have available hours in the day for part-time work if needs be.

If your figures show that you're likely to need to borrow money, it's wise to check at an early stage in your planning that funds are available on terms that are acceptable to you.

Grants and other funding

You may be eligible for some form of grant aid to help you develop your professional career. Grant aid may be available from:

  • the Arts Councils of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Creative Scotland (previously the Scottish Arts Council)
  • Help Musicians
  • regional arts associations, local authorities, broadcasting organisations and charitable trusts

You can also get information on grant aid and other types of funding available throughout the UK from the business finance and support finder tool on the Gov.uk website.

Grant aid varies considerably around the UK and some assistance may be available in your area to help you start up your business.

It is also worth contacting the business support unit in your local council if it has one. You can also use the tool on the Gov.uk website to help you identify any suitable sources of local and regional funding.