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Financial and business support

The West of England Combined Authority's Growth Hub provides 360-degree business support for small and medium sized businesses. 

Get better positioned for recovery and growth with tailored programmes and services. Our trusted advisors and expert partners give you access to national and regional grants, funding and guidance so you can develop and scale your business with ease.  

Browse through the national and local grants and all the business support we offer below. 

Request a call-back today.

West of England regional grants

West of England Green Business Grants

West of England Green Business Grants supports SMEs to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Click to find out more.

Business Innovation Fund - currently closed for applications

Get help to accelerate innovation and bring new products, processes and services to market with the Business Innovation Fund

Recovery support for the creative sector

We’re providing increased support to our region’s creative businesses to help you respond and adapt as the world changes rapidly and provide you with the resilience to navigate uncertainty and get set for future success. 

Find out more.

Business Growth Grants - currently closed for applications

Business Growth Grants are designed to support SMEs in the West of England with their plans to drive growth by implementing new business practices or adopting new ways of working.

The grants are applicable to businesses across all sectors, from sole traders to established SMEs.

Restart Grants

The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses in reopening safely now restrictions are being lifted. 

Eligible businesses in the non-essential retail sector may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £6,000 from their local council. Eligible businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £18,000 from their local council.

Eligibility

Your business may be eligible if it is:

  • based in England
  • rate-paying
  • in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care or gym sectors
  • trading on 1 April 2021.

Check your local council for more information

Bespoke programmes and services delivered by our partners

Universal Business Support

Our Universal Business Support programme provides training and expert advice for business owners and those wanting to become business owners. Understand regulations, requirements and best practice when setting up a new business. Access a range of one to one support, workshops and resources for everything from digital marketing to accountancy.

It's free and open to all entrepreneurs, start up businesses and established SMEs in the West of England - that’s Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

Intellectual Property

Your business is likely to own or use Intellectual Property (IP). This might include your business name, logo, website, technical innovation and the look of your products to name but a few. 

These important assets which often go unrecognised, can play and important role in the sustainability and growth of your business both domestically and internationally. All businesses need to protect their IP, and with changes to the UK IP law, you need to be up to speed.

Migrant Business Support

If you’re a non-EU migrant or refugee, our Migrant Business Support programme can give you free one-to-one business advice to help you become self-employed, start a business or learn new skills. Led by ACH, this project has been part funded by the European Union Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

Click through to find out more.

Accountancy Support Programme - currently closed for applications

This programme is delivered in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Get a day's worth of fully-funded support and a free check up to fully understand your financial position and improve resilience in current challenges. 

Tech Nation's growth programmes for tech businesses

Whether you’re an early-stage founder trying to get things off the ground, or a late-stage CEO steering a much bigger ship, we have the perfect growth or sector programme for you.

Before you start your application, we recommend you read the Application Guide which includes advice from our judges on what makes a good application.

An overview of the different programmes

NET ZERO 2.0 - Net Zero is the programme for UK tech companies that are creating a more sustainable future.

FINTECH 4.0 - The Fintech programme is tailor-made for fintech & insurtech companies that are ready to scale.

APPLIED AI 3.0 - Applied AI caters to companies with Artificial Intelligence at the core of their key product, no matter their sector.

LIBRA 1.0 - Libra, the programme designed to support underrepresented tech leaders, is looking for its very first cohort.

UPSCALE 7.0 - Upscale is the growth programme for mid-stage companies in all sectors to accelerate their growth.

FUTURE FIFTY 10.0 - Future Fifty is the late-stage programme that addresses the unique challenges of larger tech companies.

FESS – Food Enterprise Support Scheme

Food WorksSW have teamed up with the West of England Combined Authority to provide free business and technical support to pre-start and established food and drink businesses through FESS – the Food Enterprise Support Scheme.

We'll help you get better positioned for recovery and growth

We’re providing increased support to our region’s 45,000+ businesses, to help you and your peers respond and adapt as the world changes rapidly, supporting you to increase your resilience and bottom line so you can navigate uncertainty and get set for future success. 

We build and deliver bespoke programmes, grants and services to help you spend more time focusing on running your business. Our trusted advisors and partners will give you access to national and regional grants, funding and guidance for business growth and development.

Request a call-back today.

Export and trade

Export Academy 

An Export Academy has been introduced to support smaller businesses in the South West begin their exporting journey. Applicable to a wide range of businesses, whether you want to start exporting, or you’re aiming to enter new markets, we’ll help you overcome many of the common challenges that small businesses can face. The Export Academy will deliver a series of activities that will build your capabilities, creating a new cohort of confident businesses ready to trade.

This pilot programme is designed for owners and senior managers of businesses, and to qualify your business must:

  • have a turnover of up to £500,000
  • be located in the Midlands, North of England or the South West of England

Find out more and register today.

Financial support for internationalisation

Internationalisation Fund now open 

The Department for International Trade has launched its new Internationalisation Fund for eligible businesses in England. Match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available for future activity (subject to eligibility and availability). To secure a grant, you’ll need to fund a proportion of your costs yourself. This varies according to where your business is based and will be either 40 or 50% of the total cost.

The fund can be used to support areas including (but not exclusively limited to):

  • Market research
  • IP advice
  • Translation services
  • International social media/SEO
  • Trade fairs (where no TAP funding is available)
  • Independent market visits
  • Consultancy and other international commercial services

Contact us today to find out more.

Business support from our partners

Find out more about initiatives from BT, North and South Bristol Enterprise Support.

Our directory of supportive partners

You can use our directory for a full list of all support services offered by our partners - Support Directory

And you can filter your results by several criteria:

  • type of support package - such as services, training and toolkits.
  • Specific support category - such as finance, legislation, IP, exporting, procurement, and people.
  • Location available - B&NES, Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire.

Working with the Growth Hub

We work with you consistently to provide the right support for your business. Hear from SMEs on the support we've provided.