Programmes and resources to enable new business development 

Our new regional business support initiatives aim to help your business build financial resilience, innovate and adopt best practice, and boost productivity.

Tailored sector-specific support

Access our support programmes to accelerate innovation, improve sustainability, develop workforce skills and drive growth through our other bespoke business programmes. These include:

Workforce for the Future

Workforce for the Future provides tailored, in-depth support to help your business plan and adapt for the future by identifying your current and future skills needs, implementing development plans to upskill or retrain employees, and supporting you to bring in apprenticeships or work placements to drive your business forwards.

Participation is free and is available to SMEs with less than 250 employees based in the West of England (Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, and South Gloucestershire). Sign up today through our online registration form.

Peer Networks

Peer Networks is a peer-to-peer networking programme for SME leaders that want to grow and develop their organisation for future success. ​

There are 200 places available for West of England businesses who have operated for over 1 year, a turnover of over £100,000 per annum and more than 5 PAYE employees. Sign up before the window closes on 1st November 2020. You can register your interest with this form.

Financial support

6-month job placements for young people

The government's Kickstart Scheme provides funding to cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions for Kickstart placements. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

Businesses able to create 30 or more job placements can apply for the funding directly on the Government website. Smaller businesses interested in creating fully-funded job placements need to apply through an intermediary. The process for SMEs seeking to apply in the West of England is currently being confirmed. Please contact us on wearegrowth@westofengland-ca.gov.uk to register your interest in creating a Kickstart placement and we will provide further detail as soon as it is available. 

Improve your energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions

West of England Green Business Grants support SMEs to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. We have already invested £200,000 in local businesses and will be investing a further £800,000. Click to find out more.


Reopening very soon

The Green Business Grant scheme is currently closed to new applicants due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We will reopen as soon as possible. Register your interest today via our online form and we will notify you when grant applications are live again. 

Working in partnership with the local councils

Our universal business support programme provides training and expert advice for those who are (or are hoping to become) business owners, whether you’re self employed or leading an established small business. We can support businesses in any sector, from retail to removals. Find out more today.

Innovation and technology

Second window coming soon

Businesses can get help to accelerate innovation and bring new products, processes and services to market through a new programme. The Business Innovation Fund can award grants to eligible businesses and encourage partnerships with the West of England’s world-leading research institutions to progress research, development and innovation. Check back for news on when the second window will open. 

Skills and development

Productivity through People

Productivity through People is an innovative leadership development programme designed by Bath University School of Management and Be the Business.

The programme is designed support and invest in the business leaders of the future by:

  • giving them access to the latest techniques, thinking and research
  • giving them a framework to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of their business
  • developing leadership and management capability to transform working practices
  • helping them increase productivity through the empowerment of their workforce.

Find out more today.

Strategy and problem solving

Accountancy Support Programme

Our Accountancy Support Programme is delivered in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). The programme provides small businesses with a free financial check-up, as well as bespoke advice and guidance on effective financial management. Find out more today.

Mentoring for Growth

Our Mentoring for Growth programme is designed to connect business leaders from large, multinational companies with key decision makers and owners from SMEs. The aim is to help shape the future direction of SMEs and help boost their productivity, through sharing ideas, knowledge, expertise and experience.

If you feel that your business would benefit from Be the Business’s Mentoring for Growth programme visit their bespoke webpage for more details. 

Please note this programme is best suited to businesses with a turnover of at least £500,000.

Trading Better Online

Trading Better Online provides free, expert business support to enhance your digital presence and increase online sales. Businesses are matched to a consultant and supported with up to 4 days of hands-on guidance to develop and enhance your web presence. Click through to our dedicated page to find out more.

Rose Review Female Entrepreneur Mentoring

NatWest has partnered with Be the Business to launch a free mentoring service for female entrepreneurs in the West of England.  

Backed by the government, this free 12-week mentoring programme, provided by Be the Business Rapid Response Mentoring (using the Connectr platform), will give female SME leaders and entrepreneurs access to advice and guidance to build their businesses.

To take part, you need to:

  • Run an established business
  • Identify as a woman
  • Live or run a business in the West of England Combined Authority Area.

Find out more today.


Business support initiatives from our partners

Find out more about our partners' initiatives.

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Be the first to hear about bespoke initiatives to help your business succeed. Sign up using our online form.