Current Projects

We often work on a variety of difference business support projects at any one time. As much as possible we try to ensure a wide range of free or subsidised support for businesses across Devon. Typically the types of assistance can include one-to-one support with a local business advisor, free business skills workshops, funding advice and business planning.

Start Up & Grow

The Start Up & Grow Programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It has been made available to support pre-start businesses who have the potential for growth and to create employment opportunities.

The intensive support package may include a mix of:

  • One-to-one advice with an experienced business advisor.
  • Business skills workshops.
  • Telephone and email support – culminating in the preparation of a plan for the business.

The support will cover all aspects of setting up and growing the business including, but not limited, to business and financial planning, marketing, taxation and human resources.

Find out more about the Start Up & Grow Programme.

The Start Up & Grow project is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

Growth Support Programme

The Growth Support Programme is accessible to existing businesses across Devon with up to 12 hours of remote support to help you grow your business. The programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund which means the support will not cost you a penny.

We can help you with all aspects of your business such as marketing, finance and business planning.

The support provides:

  • One-to-one virtual meetings with an experienced business advisor
  • A range of virtual webinars on a variety of digital and business related topics such as social media, building a website and much more.

Visit our dedicated page to dind out more about the Growth Support Programme.

The Heart of the South West Growth Support Programme is receiving up to £1,294,302 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit this page. The accountable body for this programme is Devon County Council, working with the following delivery partners: BIP, Cosmic, North Devon +, SBA, and YTKO.

West Devon & South Hams

If you are located in South Hams or West Devon then thanks to funding from the local authorities we can provide free business support whether you are an existing business or just starting up. That means you can access tailored support with one of our experienced business advisors completely free.

The support you could receive may include a mix of:

  • One-to-one advice with an experienced business advisor which we do virtually using an online platform such as Skype or Zoom.
  • Telephone and email support when you need it.
  • From time to time we may also offer free virtual webinars on a selection of useful topics.

The support can cover any aspects of setting up and growing the business including, but not limited, to business and financial planning, marketing, business administration, taxation and selecting the correct form of trading for your venture.

East Devon: Adapt & Thrive

East Devon District Council have launched the East Devon Adapt & Thrive Programme which offers a range of fully funded webinars and one-to-one support for startups and existing businesses across East Devon.

While we have offered business support across East Devon for some time, this new programme of support has been put in place particularly to help businesses and those looking to become self-employed during the ongoing pandemic.

Whether you are looking to start your own business for the first time, are already trading or employing staff then this support is here for you. We have joined with local digital agency Cosmic to provide a range of free one-to-one support and webinars.

To find out more please visit our dedicated Adapt & Thrive page.

Innovation in Healthy Ageing

By 2040, one in 7 people in the UK will be aged over 75. An ageing population creates challenges to ensure that people can remain independent, healthy and active as they get older and live longer.

Devon County Council has also secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to run the Innovation in Healthy Ageing Project across the Heart of the South West area which includes Devon, Torbay and Plymouth.

The Innovation in Healthy Ageing Project will support small businesses and social enterprises with projects to introduce new and innovative products, services and technology designed to help people live in their homes for longer, tackle loneliness, and increase independence and wellbeing.

£450k has also been invested into a Challenge Fund by the ERDF for businesses to apply for to fund 60% of their project. There are also opportunities to take up student placements to aid in developing ideas ahead of applying to the fund and in supporting the product development process.

To help businesses to prepare an application to the Challenge Fund, Business Information Point will provide 12 hours of support that includes full guidance and assistance through the entire application process as well as a review of the business and the proposed project. Additional support to complete expressions of interest (if required) or practical advice to develop the project can also be provided.

New Confidence, New Opportunities

Thanks to the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund and everyone who voted for us we have been able to fund our ‘New Confidence, New Opportunities’ project. This will allow us to support unemployed women from rural areas who are interested in self-employment but lack the confidence and the support to begin the business planning process or to seek mainstream support.

Barriers such as feelings of isolation and low self-confidence are amplified in rural areas due to factors such as geographic isolation and the logistics of travelling to regular work.

This funding means that we are able to offer a programme of workshops, one-to-one meetings with an experienced business advisor and follow-on email and telephone support. We will also be providing an information service to help women in rural areas of Devon to overcome barriers to self-employment and gain the confidence and skills to start their own business.

The NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund is a commitment of £2.5m to fund projects in charities, social enterprises, community groups, state-funded schools and colleges across the UK and Ireland with a further £2.5m to be split across two rounds in 2016.

The focus for this funding is to support organisations that help people in disadvantaged communities develop, create or access the skills and opportunities they need to help themselves; skills that will enable them to get into work or start a business, now or in the future.

New Enterprise Allowance

If you are currently unemployed and want to follow your dream and start your own business then we can help. Being self-employed can be a great way to make a living, working the hours that suit you and an opportunity to do something you enjoy.

If being your own boss sound like something you would like to do then the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme could be for you. It supports people currently unemployed to get a head start in business and self-employment.

Your own mentor

We will work with you to develop a business plan and give you advice on areas such as marketing, finances and business planning. You will initially meet with one of our trained advisors and once successfully enrolled on the scheme you will be given your own business mentor who will guide you along the way. Our business mentors have a wealth of experience in all areas of starting and running a successful business and will be on hand to make sure that your business is a success.

Self-employment Workshops

Before you begin on the scheme you will be required to attend a self-employment workshop to get a complete overview of what it means to become self-employed and whether it’s the right decision for you. These run regularly and are held in various locations.

You will also have the opportunity to attend other workshops covering topics on marketing and financial planning.

Business Loans

As part of the scheme you will be entitled to apply for a maximum loan of £2,500 to get you started once you have successfully completed your business plan.

CIAG Business Support

Adult Social Care

A range of support to help the development and growth of adult social care businesses and organisations in the county is being funded by Devon County Council.

Free business support, training, development opportunities, and grant funding are being offered with the aim of increasing provision of adult social care in Devon and encouraging innovation for adult social care businesses.

Focussed Support: Businesses have the opportunity to access up to 15 hours of free “focussed support” to develop a support plan, catering for the individual needs of the adult social care business.

Intensive Support: Up to 30 hours of free “intensive support” is also available for businesses seeking to plan or develop an innovative business solution, to grow, or to assist businesses in areas where there may be a gap in service provision.

Additional Support: Free training, guidance and mentoring is available, covering a wide range of aspects of business, including sales and marketing, digital business, ethical organisational management and providing mental health support for employees.

Creative Innovation and Growth (CIAG) Grants Fund

The grants fund has been established by Devon County Council to encourage the development of “outreach” activities in the community to promote and support independence and keep people healthier for longer.

Revenue grants of between £5,000 and £40,000 will be available to support providers to implement innovative ways of diversifying their business to help people maintain their independence.

Capital grants of between £20,000 and £80,000 are on offer for providers, particularly social enterprises, to undertake capital work which enables them to make use of new technology where this will help grow or diversify their business or allow them to undertake additional outreach activities.

Find out more information on the Creative Innovation and Growth (CIAG) grants fund >>

Get in touch

Please fill in your details below to have a friendly chat with one of our experienced business advisors about how we may be able to support you with your business.

    Sorry but we aren't currently able to offer business support in Somerset. The good news is that Somerset Business Agency offers fully-funded business support in your area. Visit the Somerset Business Agency website for more information.
    Sorry but we aren't currently able to offer business support in North Devon. The good news is that North Devon+ offers fully-funded business support in your area. Visit the North Devon+ website or call 01237 426 426 for more information.
    Sorry but we aren't currently able to offer business support in Torridge. The good news is that North Devon+ offers fully-funded business support in your area. Visit the North Devon+ website or call 01237 426 426 for more information.
    Sorry but we aren't currently able to offer business support in Torbay. The good news is that Torbay Development Agency offers fully-funded business support in your area. Visit the TDA website or call Kim Thornton on 01803 207 948 for more information.
    Sorry but we aren't currently able to offer business support in Plymouth. The good news is that Outset offers fully-funded business support in your area. Visit the Outset website or call Graham Leigh on 0800 587 7707 for more information.

    Tick this box to subscribe to our email list. We will send you updates on upcoming free workshops, small business related news and articles as well as local funding and support no more than twice a month. We never sell or share your details with third parties and you can unsubscribe at any time.

    Get in touch

    Please fill in your details below to have a friendly chat with one of our experienced business advisors about how we may be able to support you with your business.

      Sorry but we aren't currently able to offer business support in Somerset. The good news is that Somerset Business Agency offers fully-funded business support in your area. Visit the Somerset Business Agency website for more information.
      Sorry but we aren't currently able to offer business support in North Devon. The good news is that North Devon+ offers fully-funded business support in your area. Visit the North Devon+ website or call 01237 426 426 for more information.
      Sorry but we aren't currently able to offer business support in Torridge. The good news is that North Devon+ offers fully-funded business support in your area. Visit the North Devon+ website or call 01237 426 426 for more information.
      Sorry but we aren't currently able to offer business support in Torbay. The good news is that Torbay Development Agency offers fully-funded business support in your area. Visit the TDA website or call Kim Thornton on 01803 207 948 for more information.
      Sorry but we aren't currently able to offer business support in Plymouth. The good news is that Outset offers fully-funded business support in your area. Visit the Outset website or call Graham Leigh on 0800 587 7707 for more information.

      Tick this box to subscribe to our email list. We will send you updates on upcoming free workshops, small business related news and articles as well as local funding and support no more than twice a month. We never sell or share your details with third parties and you can unsubscribe at any time.