Is your business serious about growth? If so, you’ll need two key ingredients; knowledge and experience.

Our Business Advisers offer both in equal measure and can really make a difference to your company, helping make your dreams become reality and taking your business to the next level.

We can also direct you to a wide range of information to help guide you on the steps to growth, from guidance on research and development resources to advice on exporting and growing your business overseas.

The following links will help give you all the information you need to grow.


The National Business Support Helpline is available for those looking for support in relation to government legislation and compliance, pre-starts and businesses in crisis. Tel: 0300 345 3565 (9.00am – 6pm Monday to Friday)

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Exporting: is it for you?

The Department for International Trade (formerly UKTI) is responsible for promoting British Trade across the world, and ensuring that UKTI companies take advantage of the hug opportunities open to them. Making the move into any new market – especially when you’re faced with different languages, cultures and regulations, can feel like a leap into the unknown. Exporting is Great  Supports UK exporters by listing live opportunities to target and by offering exprt advice and guidance at every step of your exporting journey as well as training modules and downloadable resources.

There is also a knowledgeable local team of International Trade Advisers at your disposal, all of whom have great experience helping UK companies export. Other services available to you include:-

    • Introductory “Exporting: is it for you?” workshops
    • Export Masterclasses on various trade topics throughout the East Midlands
    • A programme of Midlands Engine market visits organised by DIT
    • Information about high value opportunities to help win business in large projects
    • Access to a national E-exporting programme with special introductory rates agreed with marketplaces across the world
    • Tradeshow access providing financial support to help you attend and exhibit at exhibitions
    • Market research to help determine where in the world you should be targeting first/next.

The demand is out there, you should be too.

Contact us:

0345 052 4001

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MEIF logo

Midlands Engine Investment Fund

The MEIF provides commercially-focused finance through Small Business Loans, Debt Finance, Proof of Concept and Equity Finance funds.

MEIF is a collaboration between the British Business Bank and 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships including SEMLEP to provide over £250m of investment to boost small and medium business growth in the area.

The current finance programme available – a £120million fund – is composed of two separate lots: £30million of small business loans valued between £25,000 and £150,000, as well as £90million of debt finance of between £100,000 and £1.5million.

MEIF is part-funded by European Regional Development Fund.


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British Business Bank logo

British Business Bank

British Business Bank works with over 80 finance partners to enhance choice for smaller businesses. They support businesses from start-ups, scale-ups to growing mid-sized businesses. Their online finance guide details finance options available for different stages in their development.

Their online finance guide details finance options available for different stages in their development. Download the Business Finance Guide here.

Finance programmes available to businesses in the South East Midlands include:

  • Angel co-fund
  • Bank referrals to designated finance platforms
  • Enable programmes
  • Enterprise capital funds
  • Enterprise finance guarantee
  • Help to grow- growth loans
  • Midlands Engine Investment fund
  • Start-up loans


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Fit for Work

Fit for Work is a free, government-led initiative that helps businesses grow through improving their productivity and profitability via effective management of staff sickness absence.

There are two elements to Fit for Work:

  1. Free, expert and impartial work-related health advice via our website and telephone line (0800 032 6235).
  2. Referral to an occupational health professional for employees who have been, or who are likely to be, off sick for four weeks or more

What are the benefits of Fit for Work?

  • Employees return to work sooner so the costs of sickness absence are reduced.
  • Employers get access to free work-related health advice and free occupational health assessments for employees on long-term sickness absence.
  • Employers get a tax exemption on payments of up to £500 (per year, per employee) on medical interventions recommended by Fit for Work.

To find out more about how Fit for Work can help your business, visit the Fit for Work website, email or call 0330 221 0280.

HM Revenue and Customs

The following websites , which feature e-learning resources, will also be useful to businesses looking to grow.

Starting your own business

Becoming an Employer

Exporting Goods(UKTI)

Trading with other EU Countries (UKTI)

VAT – Getting Started

VAT – How VAT Works



Intellectual Property Office

Most businesses whether large or small, will own or use intellectual property (IP), even without realising it.

In a recent survey, 86% of UK small businesses said it’s important to know how to protect their intellectual property, but what exactly is IP?

IP covers any original creation, not just inventions, and can include your business name, logo, images, promotional material and even your website.

There are four main types of IP:

  • Patents – protects new inventions; how they work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are mad

  • Designs – protects the overall look of a product including the colour, shape, texture and material

  • Trade marks – protects brands, such as your business name or logo, and can consist of a word, phrase, picture or a combination of all these

  • Copyright – protects written, dramatic, musical and artistic works including photos, recordings, software and databases

Intellectual property assets can be integral to the growth and sustainability of a business. When properly managed, the value of your IP can far outweigh the physical assets, accounting for over 70% of your business’ value.

It’s important to identify and protect your IP early on, but if you’re new to the subject, where do you start?

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the government body responsible for granting IP rights. IP for Business from the IPO is a range of online tools designed to help you understand, identify, protect and exploit your IP assets to their fullest potential. Whether you’re a complete novice or looking to brush up on existing skills, we have the right tool for you:

IP Equip

  • What is it? A free, interactive online learning tool to help you identify assets which may be protected by IP rights. Made up of four modules on the main IP rights, it takes around an hour to complete and is also CPD accredited.
  • Who is it for? Everyone, from small business owners to professional advisors.

IP Health Check

  • What is it? A free online assessment of your business to help you identify and add value to your IP assets. Based on your answers to a series of simple questions, it provides a confidential report with advice on how to protect your IP.
  • Who is it for? Businesses looking for a more detailed look at their IP.

IP Master Class

  • What is it? A specialist course for business professionals. It will help you develop an in-depth understanding of IP and practical skills you can use in a business environment. Can be completed in a classroom (face-to-face) setting or online.
  • Who is it for? Professionals looking for a comprehensive course in IP.

IP Equip app

  • What is it? Perfect for accessing simple IP information on the go, the app gives you an overview of IP rights and how to make the most of them. Free to download on Apple iOS and Android devices.
  • Who is it for? Anyone who wants instant access to IP information.

General IP information, including protecting your IP abroad can be found at

The Intellectual Property Office has also produced a series of short videos called IP Basics for businesses, click here to view