Information, support and advice

Enterprise M3 Growth Hub

The Enterprise M3 Growth Hub provides free, expert advice and a resource network for new and existing businesses including signposting to a range of business services, information on starting and growing your business and access to a Business Support Helpline.

Solent Growth Hub

If your business is located in the south of the Winchester District you may be eligible for help from the Solent Growth Hub, a ‘One Stop Shop' that helps business navigate its way through the complexity of growth initiatives, and promotes growth opportunities to help unlock business finance options.

The Business Growth Helpline offers businesses access to free help, expert advice and specialist services:

  • Signposting by phone or in person to address your business growth needs
  • Referrals to local and national schemes supporting business growth
  • Growth Audits and expert growth advice to assess growth options and unlock finance
  • Connecting to B2B support groups and organisations
  • Visit www.solentgrowthhub.co.uk or call 01329 820 898 for more information

Solent LEP funding

The Solent LEP recently launched their largest ever Small Business Support Programme - a £5m package of funding opportunities through the Solent Growth Fund to help SMEs grow through developing new processes, products, services and markets.

The Solent Growth Fund is providing two bespoke funding streams: a £3.2m Capital Investment Fund and £1.8m Small Business Programme, which has been supported with a £1m investment from the European Regional Development Fund.

Delegates will get the chance to learn about this fund and other funding options open to businesses through the LEP. Choose to attend either: 

  • Workshop 1: Wednesday 1st March 2017 2-4pm at the Solent Hotel, Rookery Ave, Whiteley, Fareham PO15 7AJ, OR
  • Workshop 2: Thursday 6th April 2017 9-11am at the Hilton Ageas Bowl, Botley Road, Southampton SO30 3XH

RSVP via email to events@solentlep.org.uk with your name and organisation and your preferred choice of workshop. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis and limited to 2 attendees per organisation.

Breakfast Briefing on apprenticeship levy

Hear the most up to date information regarding the upcoming apprenticeship levy and what it means to you.

The Solent LEP, ALPHI (Association of Learning Providers for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight) and global financial services firm KPMG are running this session which is designed to give businesses of all sizes all the information they need including where to go for support, which local training providers are supporting businesses and what the financial implications are. In addition to this, attendees will have the opportunity to hear how KPMG, as a major UK employer, is preparing for the apprenticeship levy and the positive impact it is having on its recruitment and workforce plans as well as insight into how different business sectors across the country are gearing up for the Levy.

Date: 2nd March 2017
Time: 08.30 - 11am
Location: The Ageas Suite, Ageas Bowl, Botley Road, Southampton S030 3XH

Please RSVP via email to events@solentlep.org.uk by 20th February with your name and organisation name and the subject line 'Apprenticeship Breakfast Briefing'. Bookings are limited to 2 attendees per organisation. Places at this event are first come, first served.

Change those old energy hungry lights in your workplace

For a limited period, the Carbon Trust is providing an attractive and accessible support package to help small and medium sized companies in England, Wales and Scotland identify energy saving opportunities and install energy efficient equipment in their business.

  • A financial contribution towards your energy saving equipment
  • Energy opportunity assessment
  • Implementation support
  • Expert workshops

This support is available for a limited period on a first come, first served basis, aimed at small and medium sized businesses in England, Scotland and Wales.

To discuss how your business could benefit from the support on offer, or if you have any questions about the Green Business Fund please visit www.carbontrust.com/greenbusiness, email us at greenbusiness@carbontrust.com or call 020 7832 4773 to speak to an advisor.

 

The GREAT Way to Grow

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has launched a brand new guide for small businesses with advice from other SME's.
 
The Guide compiles a selection of invaluable pieces of business advice, hints and tips from 34 hand-picked remarkable small British businesses and top entrepreneurs who each reveal handy hints which they believe are pivotal to their success.

Click here for more information.


Funding Circle

A peer-to-business lending platform connecting businesses and investors, where businesses get fast business loans and investors earn great returns on their investments. Funding Circle has funded over £570m in business loans so far. for more information you can visit their website


Through the British Business Bank the Government has invested £60m through Funding Circle (click here), while many County Councils and Universities are also lending via Funding Circle to help local businesses and raise funds. Funding Circle is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

Starting a business?

 

Need some help and support? 

  • Involved in the tourism industry? Check out the Visit Winchester website
  • Some local financial, legal, marketing, HR and planning firms offer free initial consultations. Please email businessgrants@winchester.gov.uk if you need help in one or more of these areas and we can provide you with a list of firms to look into contacting.
  • Go to the Government's portal for all business advice and support at Great Business
  • Experience the Growth Accelerator (download PDF below)
  • Support for new high tech, high growth businesses with the Catalyst Centre
  • Make use of Connect 2 Innovate coaching, mentoring and specialist support (download below)
  • Make sure you get the business rates relief you are entitled to
  • DiscoverBusiness.us Business Education and Entrepreneur Resources has useful articles on market research and project management
  • Visit HMRC for a range of Webinars (online seminars)
  • Find a business mentor. You could go to The Business Mentors or Mentor-net
  • Help you and your business grow with WSX enterprise
  • Do you want to profit more from your ideas? Visit Enterprise M3 for business support
  • Information, loans, grants, advice and support from Solent Growth Hub
  • Small business support available from FSB
  • Sustainable Business Network for leaning about environmentally friendly buiness practices
  • Life Coach Directory for business owners, managers, employees or individuals looking for a new job or career
  • ActionCOACH provides BIG (Business Improvement and Growth) action planning to help you review your business, create a vision for your business growth and personal goals, and put in place strategies to make this vision a reality
  • Get Set for Growth offers a free business plan and template
  • Have a look at the Arts Advisory Service which provides a free advisory service for arts practitioners based in the Winchester area
  • Green Impact brings together students and staff to green campuses, curriculums and communities
  • Southern Business Growth Network supports projects and people in local communities, schools and colleges with the aim of encouraging new business ideas and the use of technology.

 

Need to find a business?

For local Trading Standards approved traders, go to the Buy With Confidence web pages (see external links below).

The local branch of the Hampshire Chambers of Commerce holds a member directory.

Armed Forces Community Covenant

Winchester City Council has signed an Armed Forces Community Covenant for the Winchester District. We want to encourage all our local businesses and employers to consider how they can help our armed forces in their local area.

For more information go to http://www.defenceprivilegecard.co.uk/

Call 01509 233 446 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) and a member of the Defence Discount Service Team will assist.