Start and Grow Programme extended – ACT NOW to benefit!

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The UK Government has extended the Community Renewal Fund programme in our region until 31 December 2022

This means that you can still enrol on the Start and Grow programme and benefit from workshops, skills support and grants for your start-up or existing business.

Please note that the current window for submitting your grant applications ends on 11 November – so you must get your application in before this date.  The grants will be allocated on a first come first served basis, and once all the remaining grant money has been allocated, the grant programme will end.  It is possible that the application window could close sooner that this date (due to demand).  We urge you therefore to get your grant application into us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

The Growth Hub has been running the Start and Grow programme for several months, and we have already helped hundreds of start-ups and existing businesses across Fenland, Huntingdon and Peterborough to develop their business plans, upskill and access money to help establish their new business or grow their existing one.

“I was amazed at the attention to detail and the continued support which helped me gain funding, not only helping my business continue to help local communities thrive but create long-term career opportunities within our organisation.” 

The programme is completely free to join – all you have to do is register your interest and one of our business advisors will contact you to enrol you on the programme.  There are some eligibility criteria you must fulfil to benefit from all our support:

  • For the Start programme, that you are a resident with your home address in the Peterborough, Huntingdonshire or Fenland Local Authority areas, and for the Grow programme, be an independent SME business based within the Peterborough, Huntingdonshire or Fenland areas with demonstrable evidence of trading in these areas over the past three years, at least 4 months prior to your enrolment on the programme.
  • You are an entrepreneur considering starting a business;
  • or have already started your business, but been trading for less than 3 years with 3 or less staff

 

A reminder of what’s on offer!

For entrepreneurs

The ‘Start’ programme is for individuals wanting to explore enterprise, possibly for the first time.

This intensive pre-start business programme combines information sessions, workshops, online learning, mentoring, networking and peer support.  We will help you develop your business plans to provide you with the best chance to qualify for a start-up grant.

Grants are matched to fit your business need, based on your application, and your business plan. Grants will average £15k with a 10% match funding requirement. For example if your total costs are £16.6k, the grant offered will be £15k with you (the entrepreneur) contributing the final £1.6k towards the costs of your purchases.

In order for you to qualify for the ‘Start’ programme, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a resident where your home address is in the Peterborough, Huntingdonshire or Fenland Local Authority areas
  • Commit to completing our Start Programme.
  • Commit to completing a business start-up (‘Start’) plan.
  • Agree to complete a Grant Application and Claim Form, and provide receipts and invoices etc. to evidence spend of this grant.
  • Give yourself/ others a job in your new start up business

For existing businesses

Our ‘Grow’ programme is for existing early-stage businesses with the desire to grow but lacking skills and investment to do so. Your business must have been trading for up to 3 years and you must employ 3 or less FTE staff.

The Grow programme will equip you with leadership and business planning skills to expand into new markets, create more jobs, increase profitability and productivity. Your new business planning skills will optimise your opportunity to gain a CRF grant, providing the financial support for your business growth.

Grants will average £20k, with a 20% match funding requirement. For example, if your total growth plan costs are £25k, the grant offered will be £20k with your business contributing £5k towards the cost of your purchases.  In order for your business to qualify for the ‘Grow’ strand of the Start and Grow programme, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be an SME (i.e. have a turnover of less than £44m) with 3 employees or less, and trading for less than 3 years.
  • Be an independent SME business based within the Peterborough, Huntingdonshire or Fenland areas with demonstrable evidence of trading in these areas over the past three years, at least 4 months prior to your enrolment on the programme.
  • Commit to completing our Grow Programme.
  • Commit to completing a business growth plan.
  • Agree to complete a grant application and returns form, and provide receipts and invoices etc. to evidence spend of this grant.
  • Not be in or going through the process of administration, insolvency or striking off proceedings.
  • Create new jobs in your business

 

What our clients say

Don’t take our word for how great we think the Start and Grow programme is – here is some feedback from just a handful of our clients who have benefitted from attending workshops, 1-2-1 support or gained successful grant finance:

Start and Grow gave me more confidence and made me realise that I can do what I am doing. I know that may sound strange, but having been unemployed for 5 years and constantly been beaten back, this programme has helped me realise actually this grant and support system is going to help me grow my business and to grow as a person. 

Nate Lansdell

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your help! Without you, I might not have had the confidence to apply for this grant, I can’t thank you enough! All the questions you answered and support you gave to me was invaluable. This news has made my year!

Karen Fogarty

I had a brilliant experience working with the Start and Grow programme. Mark was extremely helpful throughout the entire process, he always made time to point me in the right direction if I had any questions or concerns and was an all-round lovely and very supportive man who I couldn’t have done it without. You could genuinely tell that he wanted nothing more than to help you and to get your business support it needed.

 Daryl Williams

 

What do you need to do to get our support?

Act now to maximise your chance for support since there is only a finite grant pot and you need to get your grant application in before the deadline of 11 November 2022. The grants are allocated on a first come – first served basis, and so once the remaining grant money has been allocated, the grant programme will close (which may be sooner than 11 November, based on demand).  We therefore recommend you get your grant applications in as soon as possible to avoid any possible disappointment.

All you need to do is register your interest and one of our business advisors will get in touch to enrol you on the programme.

The UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund (CRF) is focused on regenerating communities and enabling more people to benefit from economic growth through investment in skills, enterprise and employment.  The CRF Project is being delivered by the CPCA Growth Hub across Peterborough, Fenland and Huntingdonshire.

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