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Free Business Support – Local Enterprise Partnerships

National pandemic restrictions across the country are impacting the running of businesses.  The Government has provided businesses with financial support to assist in weathering the restrictions but there is other support available to businesses through local initiatives. 

Our previous Start Up Businesses Small Business Grant newsletter was one example of this and today we want to introduce the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) who provide free, independent and impartial information, advice and guidance.  They offer fully funded support, events and programmes that are designed to help local businesses as they navigate through the changes with COVID, the EU Exit and businesses looking to grow and scale up. 

SEMLEP is one of several Local Enterprise Partnerships designed to provide free support services to businesses.  SEMLEP provides support to businesses in the local authority areas of Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes, Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton.   There are 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships in the network serving the whole of England.

Currently SEMLEP have a number of programmes and support running for local businesses some of which are:

SEMLEP Growth Hub  

SEMLEP offer funded business supportto help businesses with any specific growth issues, challenges or support in a specific area.  The support covers a range of areas such as sustainability, business resilience, sales, marketing, finance, skills and training.  Alongside this, SEMLEP can help you tap into grant funding opportunities that are available both locally and nationally.  

Peer Network Programme  

SEMLEP are running a FREE peer network programme which is a national peer-to-peer networking programme for local businesses.  The programme aims to help likeminded businesses discuss and work through the challenges and opportunities that have been presented by COVID and the current economic climate.  For eligibility, please visit 

Growth Curve Programme  

The fully funded Growth Curve Programme is aimed at businesses looking to grow and scale up.  The support itself includes one to one support with an expert business advisor, university masterclasses for business leaders which are free to attend and access to several different grants and funding opportunities including capital and revenue grants.  These grants are part of this wider programme so are designed for those receiving the support and attending the masterclasses.  For eligibility, please visit 

Growth Curve, Leading Your Business Forward Masterclass  

SEMLEP have a fully funded leadership masterclass for business leaders looking to successfully implement their business plans and achieve business growth throughout 2021.  This masterclass gives individuals the opportunity to network with other like-minded business leaders, looks at their business from different angles, helps develop insight into their growth challenges and look at new ways of working.  As part of the Growth Curve programme, once completed there may be access to several funding opportunities.  For more information or to sign up and check eligibility please visit

SEMLEP EU Support  

As the UK has now left the EU, SEMLEP can support and guide businesses as they adjust to new paperwork, processes and implications on doing business with the EU.  SEMLEP can support businesses as they adapt to the new way of operations and offer one to one advice, trade focused webinars, masterclasses and events and can help to better understand the EU Exit deal.  Further information can be found at  

SEMLEP EU Exit Events  

SEMLEP have been developing their support offer to businesses as they adjust to the EU Exit.  To support businesses through the first few months, they are hosting a range of webinars from sector specific guidance to an overview of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.  Topics have been designed using insight on business needs and all SEMLEP events are completely free to attend.  For more information on upcoming events check out the links below  


We continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed.  If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our previous updates can be found on Facebook and LinkedIn or on our website blog.

A UK Government general COVID-19 support website can be found here.  It contains guidance on all matters pertaining to the Coronavirus.

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