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Business Support FUNDING



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WELCOME It is an unassailable fact that businesses create jobs. Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership’s (NEP) primary objective is to support Northamptonshire businesses to do just that. Developing new and successful initiatives to support both start-up and established companies from the earliest stages of advancement and beyond is one of the prevailing issues at the forefront of NEP’s development strategy. NEP is uniquely placed to offer professional guidance and practical assistance by way of a comprehensive range of business support programmes and activity. These include Enterprise Hub Workshops for start-up companies, trainee and apprenticeship recruitment, property search and rent-free office space, one-to-one support including mentoring, funding opportunities and business to business networking.


Regardless of whether you are thinking about or have recently started a new business or are trying to grow an established company in Northamptonshire, this publication is essential reading.

SUPPORT 4 Enterprise Hub Workshops 6 One-to-One Support 7 Property Search 8 Job Brokerage 9 Mentoring Programme 9

Don’t forget to keep checking the NEP website for details of the many free training and workshop opportunities available @_NorthantsEP

FUNDING 10 Funding & Finance 12 High Performance Technologies 13 Investment Programme

SAJEEDA ROSE Director of Economic Development

NETWORKS 14 Creative & Cultural Industries 16 High Performance Technologies Network 16 Business to Business 17 Industry Focus Groups 17 Construction Forum 17






Support A programme of support for both start-up and established businesses

Enterprise Hub Workshops Jobs Brokerage Property Search One-to-One Support NEP Mentoring Programme


ENTERPRISE HUB WORKSHOPS Essential guidance and advice for start-up businesses IS IT FOR ME? For anyone thinking about starting a business, this workshop provides an opportunity to explore the basics and start building a network with other budding entrepreneurs.

BUSINESS PLANNING Your business plan is a unique roadmap to starting and developing a new business; it is an essential tool if you intend to look for financial investment. This workshop covers the key topics enabling you to put together your first business plan.

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR NEW BUSINESSES Are you social media savy? This workshop takes a look at the world of social media from a business perspective and will help you develop an effective social media strategy for engaging with target audiences.

EFFECTIVE WEBSITES This session is packed with vital information and guidance from establishing a company identity and registering a domain name to creating and developing a website that works as an efficient marketing tool.

ENTERPRISE CHAMPIONS The marketing strategy course, ‘Enterprise Champions,’ was nominated for the National Training Awards last year. It is designed to enable business owners to maximise opportunities for growth by equipping them with the commercial skills needed to succeed.



ONE-TO-ONE SUPPORT Receiving honest and impartial insight into your business from an expert outside of the day-to-day operation can be empowering and provide new energy, inspiration and drive as well as the necessary focus for success going forward. Those who may find NEP’s One-to-One Business Support service particularly helpful are people who work on their own or find it inappropriate to share concerns with staff such as cash flow issues, the pressure to secure sales and keeping on top of paperwork. Talking things through with a professional who understands the problems can be highly liberating.

For more information, contact

COLIN LEWIS Business Support Manager


PROPERTY SEARCH Looking for a property? We can help. Making use of advanced search engines we also have access to local property specialists that help us locate properties ideal for a variety of uses including office, retail, logistics and so on – anything from 100 sq. ft. to 1,000,000 sq. ft. We also arrange and host bespoke tours of sites and premises for companies and delegations of any size. Let us know your requirements by completing the form on our website – – or call David Burrows on 01604 609533 and we’ll put together a list of Northamptonshire sites that suit you.

INNOVATION & ENTERPRISE CENTRES Providing much needed office space, workshops and incubation units for new and established businesses, Northamptonshire has developed a number of high quality, award-winning Innovation and Enterprise Centres which are vital to supporting growing, new and established businesses. The centres provide small spaces in a modern setting at affordable rates. They are already fully facilitated with office essentials (phone, internet etc.) enabling quick and efficient set-up with the minimum of down time. They also provide a professional meeting place for clients and networking opportunities between tenants. For more information on property, contact

STACEY WYLIE Economic Development



JOB BROKERAGE Thinking of recruiting a school/college leaver, trainee, apprentice or graduate? The Job Broker team at NEP offers a FREE and effective solution for all local businesses, helping to reduce the cost and the time taken to find the ideal employees and apprentices. The Job Broker Team can: - - - - -

Provide employers with a single point of contact Advertise vacancies FREE OF CHARGE through our partnership network Receive/sift CV’s and pre-screen applicants to source suitable, work-ready candidates for employers Research apprenticeship training and funding Provide information on government funding initiatives for recruitment

NEP MENTORING PROGRAMME Business mentors can help new business owners make more of the right decisions. Also, as a confidential sounding board they can prove invaluable. NEP’s Mentoring Programme carefully matches volunteer mentors who have a wealth of business experience with local companies. It provides an opportunity to avoid some of the more common mistakes and develop fresh ideas. Research shows that mentoring can significantly improve growth potential. CALL FOR MENTORS The popularity and effectiveness of the NEP Mentoring Programme means that expressions of interest from potential new mentors are always welcome.

No cost. No catch. Available to all Northamptonshire businesses.

If you have a philanthropic desire to share your knowledge and use your experience to help others succeed, please get in touch.

For more information, contact

For more information, contact

Job Brokerage

HELEN NICHOLLS Partnership Manager


Funding A broad range of funding opportunities to help your business grow

FUNDING & FINANCE £1,000 Start-Up Grant Up to £20,000 Rates Rebate £5.8m Growing Places Fund Rent-free Office Space External Funding Opportunities High Performance Technologies Investment Programme





FUNDING & FINANCE £1,000 START-UP GRANT Grants of up to £1,000 to go to new businesses in Northamptonshire to help cover set-up costs such as IT equipment. Applications are invited from new businesses with a robust plan and ambitions to grow.

UP TO £20,000 RATES REBATE (INV-ENT FUND) A business rate rebate to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) enabling investment in activities to stimulate business development and growth. Funded by Northamptonshire County Council and delivered jointly with NEP. For more information, contact

FIONA ÖZDEMIR Project Manager

£5.8M GROWING PLACES FUND The aim of the fund is to help boost economic growth, unlock infrastructure constraints to enable the creation of new jobs and homes and get stalled projects moving again.

RENT-FREE OFFICE SPACE (SOFT LANDING SCHEME) For more information on our Soft Landing Scheme, contact

STACEY WYLIE Economic Development


The Soft Landing Scheme is run in association with Northamptonshire’s 11 Innovation Centres providing inward bound innovative businesses with a rent-free period during their key early stages.

EXTERNAL FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES A continually updated page of opportunities to secure further funding is available on NEP’s corporate website.


HIGH PERFORMANCE TECHNOLOGIES INVESTMENT PROGRAMME In March 2013 the Government awarded £1.2m of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to NEP to run an RGF programme. The Northamptonshire High Performance Technologies Investment Programme has the backing of the local HPT industry and will help to unlock over £3 million of direct business investment and create over 300 sustainable, private sector jobs. The programme will offer support to eligible businesses in the form of grants of up to £100,000.

For more information, contact

JULIA SCHUMACHER “The extra funding has helped us launch our new Hydromask product into the aerospace and engineering sectors and create two new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities”

Business Partnership Manager

Andrew Keir Managing Director, Hydromask





Networks Being connected is an integral part of business development and growth

BUSINESS TO BUSINESS NETWORKS High Performance Technologies Groups Creative & Cultural Industries Northamptonshire Industry Focus Groups - Northamptonshire High Energy Users Group - Northamptonshire’s Environment Group - Northamptonshire Health & Safety Group - Northamptonshire Customer Services Group - Northamptonshire HR Group - Construction Property Forum Networking for new businesses


HIGH PERFORMANCE TECHNOLOGIES NETWORK The Northamptonshire High Performance Technologies (HPT) Network is a unique concentration of industries that specialise in the design and manufacture of innovative technologies, engines and products. With a distinctive network of over 1,000 HPT companies, Northamptonshire has developed a comprehensive industry supply chain that significantly contributes to the economic growth of the county. For more information, contact

JULIA SCHUMACHER Business Partnership Manager

CREATIVE & CULTURAL INDUSTRIES Working with established stakeholders, Creative Northants, Northamptonshire County Council and The University of Northampton, NEP is committed to making the best of Northamptonshire’s creative and cultural opportunity by building on the achievements of the sector and by leading on a strategic framework for development. The sector is currently worth an estimated GVA of £97m (2009).



Northamptonshire Industry Focus Groups

BUSINESS TO BUSINESS NETWORKING Being connected to the right people leads to sales generation so getting involved and taking advantage of Northamptonshire’s high quality networking opportunities is vital to your business.

NEP is always keen to hear from potential new members of these popular and proactive groups.

NETWORKING FOR NEW BUSINESS Build your support network and potential customer base at our networking events specially designed for new businesses in Northamptonshire.

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE HIGH ENERGY USERS GROUP This group is a self-help network of practitioners accountable for sustainability and energy reduction in their workplaces. The group’s aims are to share experiences, gain knowledge, debate legislation and benefit from individual support towards achieving energy reduction and sustainability goals. Members of the group are typically from companies that are high energy users who subscribe to Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), have Climate Change Agreements (CCA) or are members of equivalent schemes.

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE ENVIRONMENT GROUP Members of the group share best practice and information on a wide range of topics including energy usage, anaerobic digestion and updates in legislation. NORTHAMPTONSHIRE HEALTH & SAFETY GROUP Each meeting features shared best practice together with information on a wide range of topics related to Health & Safety. Past meetings have included a drama master class around behavioural safety, legislation updates and presentations from the HSE. NORTHAMPTONSHIRE CUSTOMER SERVICES GROUP The group allows those in Customer Services to share best practice and new knowledge on a comprehensive range of issues related to customer services including social media. NORTHAMPTONSHIRE HR GROUP Members of the group undertake an HR role within their respective companies. They share best practice and information on a wide range of topics and also undertakes a yearly salary and benefits survey. NORTHAMPTONSHIRE PROPERTY AND CONSTRUCTION FORUM Northamptonshire’s monthly property and construction networking forum offers network and business opportunities and discussions on key development activities in the county. For more information and to attend meetings, contact

CHARLOTTE PATRICK Northamptonshire Logistics Sector Lead


HIGH-PERFORMING BUSINESS SUPPORT NEP asked award-winning COG Research to conduct a survey of businesses supported by NEP in 2012-13. Here are some of the findings:

95% of businesses interviewed said they would recommend NEP’s business support service

“The funding we received will enable us to invest in new equipment and to launch in the UK, Europe and internationally.” Andrew Keir Spraylat

9 out of 10 businesses said they were happy or very happy with NEP’s business support service

3 out of 4 businesses said NEP made a real difference to the success of their operation

Almost half of those businesses interviewed said contacting NEP sooner would have improved results In just two years, NEP’s achievements have included:

360 new businesses established through pre-start and start-up programmes

Over 1,000 already formed and growing Northamptonshire businesses supported

Over 1,200 jobs attracted, supported or safeguarded 18

“R am pro ou cre an for

Sara Full

Receiving the right mount of funding has ovided a catalyst for ur business… eating new job roles nd opportunities going rward.”

ah Stoute l Support Healthcare

“Thanks to NEP initiatives, we are now considering expansion…proving that UK manufacturing is not just alive but developing and thriving.” Clive Turnell & Odell

“NEP is business-like, efficient and very helpful.”

“The excellent business strategies developed with NEP are tailored to individual companies. They’re definitely not based on what would be a far less effective ‘catch-all’ approach.” Kerry Newman Contented

“The staff at NEP are very motivated and easy to work with. It is clear their focus is on helping local business.” “NEP helped us to invest Rob Lewis TotalSim

in a good engineering software package which offers our trainees the chance to learn the most up-to-date package available in the industry today.” Louise Eximgo Ltd.


Contact us to see how we can

SUPPORT your business today


Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership Enterprise House 30 Billing Road Northampton NN1 5DQ 01604 609 393 @_NorthantsEP



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Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership - Business Support Brochure  

It is an unassailable fact that businesses create jobs. Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership’s (NEP) primary objective is to support Nort...