Business Funding

For businesses seeking support related to COVID-19, information is available here

When you start a business, there’ll usually be a period when you’re investing lots of time, effort and money before you start making a profit.  Before you do this, it’s important to research your market to make sure your customers will really pay for your product or service.

Once you’re confident they will, explore sources of funding to help with the costs of starting up your business.

Use the links in Related Content to find how what help is available.

In addition, if you are an existing business wishing to grow and/or relocate to a rural area, the following grant programmes are currently available:-

South East Local Enterprise Partnership logo

South East Business Boost logo

The South East Business Boost

BEST Growth Hub are pleased to administer the South East Business Boost programme.

From 15th June 2020, our popular 30% Growth Grant of between £1000 and £10000 can be accessed by Essex SMEs who have not received any type of support from the SEBB programme to date. 
  • A 30% Grant for eligible Essex SMEs who are in the position to or are planning to carry out a Growth project. 
  • The Growth Grant is available to support eligible small to medium enterprises and trading sole traders who have not previously received support via the SEBB programme and require funding for their specific eligible Growth project.  
  • The total Growth Project cost must be between a minimum of £3333 and a maximum of £35000.  The SME would self-fund 70% of the project cost and the Growth Grant would fund the remaining 30% from a minimum of £1000 to a maximum of £10000.
  • It can take as little as 8 weeks to get a grant approved.
  • If you would like more information in relation to this Growth Grant, please email stating:
    • your name
    • business name and address 
    • confirmation that your business is registered or that you can provide trading evidence (for sole traders this would be business bank account details/HMRC number
    • phone number
    • confirmation that you have not received any support previously via the SEBB programme.

Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE)


We are delighted to announce that we have had our follow on programme approved by Government. This means that we’ll again soon be in a position to help our SMEs with grant funding (including those we’ve helped previously) right up until Spring 2023. This can be standard SMEs in the region who are looking at ‘green’ projects or LCEGS firms seeking grant funding for business development purposes, especially pertinent through COVID-19 adaptation. Maximum 40% ERDF grant contributions will remain at a limit of £10K with the minimum grant of £1K for qualifying projects. There’s going to be plenty of funding available to help our SMEs in this difficult transition time. We have worked hard behind the scenes to try to adapt and streamline our delivery and processes to best suit this increasingly digital world but there will still be real people to talk to and assist in your locality!

For more information about how we’ve helped firms, see our news section and then register your interest


I-Construct is a supply chain development project designed to help local companies access the construction market. By introducing companies to new ways of doing business, offering expertise and influence in areas as diverse as offsite construction, renewable energy, digital technology, zero carbon targets, business development, robotics, and more.  They help small businesses join local supply chains, access bidding opportunities, explore new client groups or business models, tap into technology, and launch products or services.

Companies are eligible for I-Construct support if they are SMEs working in or supplying to the construction and built environment sector or from a different sector and wanting to get into the industry.  I-Construct also offers SMEs a choice of two additional routes to work on their business priorities:

Business development support: up to 9 hours of free 1:1 business mentoring and advice from industry experts worth £1,200 OR 30% Grant funding between £1,000 and £20,000 to part fund the development and launch of a new product or service; this is for consultancy, to upgrade or purchase a new system, associated hardware and a new employee.

Please get in touch to register your interest: email: or telephone: 07739 971656. Please also visit their website in Related Content for further information.


NWES logo

Start-up Funding

Nwes is an official delivery partner of The Start Up Loans Company, a Government-backed initiative delivering start-up loans across the East of England, London and East Midlands. A Start Up Loan is a personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK. With a fixed interest rate of just 6% per annum and the ability to borrow up to £25,000, this scheme offers an affordable source of finance to help new and early stage business owners bring their plans to life. In addition to finance, all Start Up Loan recipients are offered mentoring support.

Get Exporting 2

Get Exporting 2 is a tailored programme of advice and assistance, both financial and 1-2-1, to enable companies to begin selling overseas or to expand internationally thereby increasing profitability and 

DiT logo

employment in a sustainable way. It is backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which has enabled 

the Department for International Trade (DiT) to provide services additional to their normal operations and grants of up to £3000.  For further information, please see the Get Exporting 2 leaflet in the Related Content section.

Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) 

Manufacturing Growth Programme logo

The MGP supports SME Manufacturers to make improvements by identifying, understanding and rem

oving their barriers to growth.  Support tailored to your business:

  • A dedicated, experienced, Manufacturing Growth Manager to provide on-going support
  • A comprehensive business diagnostic tool, GROWTHmapper for manufacturers
  • Identify opportunities and create plans for growth and improvement
  • Work with the best external experts to implement those plans
  • Using an average 35% of the cost of implementing an improvement project
  • Connect to wider support to maximise opportunities for growth

Click here to view the fact sheet, or follow the link in Related Content to head to the Manufacturing Growth Programme website:

Transport and Logistical Efficiencies (TALE)

TALE is an ERDF funded project helping SMEs in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent and East Sussex make the most of their logistics data, to improve profit margins and reduce costs.

TALE can help you to:

  • Safeguard your data - Improve Cyber Security and comply with GDPR
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction - Insight to increase profit margins and grow sales
  • Use Data Strategically - Launch new products and implement innovation

TALE offers three types of support:

  • One-to-one free data assessment; Get a free diagnostic support plan to show how you currently use data, and recommendations on better data opportunities
  • Free workshops on practical use of data; Cyber Security, Customer Insight, Operations, Business Intelligence and Digital Strategy
  • Funding contributions; Up to £60,000 (40% of total project cost, non-repayable grant)

For further information, visit their website here:

ERDF logoThe European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is responsible for management of the EU funding which is dedicated to regional development and funds all of the above grant programmes.