Support for small and medium-sized businesses

Growing your business, together

Finding the time to develop your business or staff can be challenging. Sometimes you don’t have the right skills or knowledge in-house and no budget for training or outsourcing. We can help.

For example, we offer:

These can help bring new skills, processes or technology into your business, enabling it to flourish.

Yellow and blue wires going into the back on a computer

Claim up to £7000 in funding and recruitment support

We are inviting firms across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to claim up to £7,000 in funding when they employ any individual that graduated within the last 3 years - either from Derby or any other university.

Find out more about the support packageFind out more about the support package

What our SMEs say about our support

"We have been working with the Low Carbon Business Network for about 12 months and they have helped us as a business to get our green mark accreditation. The green mark accreditation has helped our clients look at their fleets and create greener fleet solutions, saving money on their costs."

"I have been extremely impressed with both the University and the course. The most valued thing is that it gives you real transferable skills. In my first module I created a business plan which I then took to my boss and we have used within the business."

"I have been working with the University of Derby for quite a few years. I first had a studio at Banks Mill where I set up my fashion business. Since then I have been working with the fashion students and I am really excited to start working with a second year student who was referred to me."

"I worked with the Big House Project to produce a new product that creates digital patterns for the heritage craft of bobbin lace making. They enabled me to develop the product and produce the digital patterns. I then went on to crowd fund for the equipment and recently won two awards at the QUAD in Derby for the Mainframe Awards for Digital Innovation and New Product to Market."

Training and education

Improve staff morale and retention or increase efficiency and innovation with our great range of training and education. This includes:

 See all education and training

Networking and partnerships

Businesses that are well-connected stand a greater chance of success. Sometimes you don’t have the right skills or knowledge in-house and so collaborative projects or networking can help.

You could:

As well as learning from others, these activities can also raise the profile of your business without the need for expensive marketing.

Keith Cox, Director and Founder of Bloc Digital

The University of Derby is our first port-of-call for new talent and to explore funding opportunities…It has been a key partner in our growth.

Keith Cox
Director and Founder, Bloc Digital

You might also be interested in...

We run three hi-spec 'incubation units' for start-ups: two in Derby and one in Chesterfield. These provide affordable studio/office space and a range of business support services and events. 

More about space and support for start-ups

Our dedicated Employer Engagement team will help you find fresh talent for your business. They can recruit students or recent graduates for:

  • Work experience, volunteering and projects
  • Internships and longer placements
  • Graduate jobs or part-time/casual work

Recruiting students and graduates

Small business friendly

Our University has a wealth of expertise you can tap into and a track record of working with smaller organisations like yours. Although our range of support is vast, you need only talk to one team initially — they will help you find the right solution for your business.


200businesses helped**Invest to Grow, March 2019
£23mfunding awarded**Invest to Grow, March 2019
National Forest Spring Water Company MD David Smith stands in front of crates of drinking water in plastic bottles

Access our Invest to Grow funding for your business

Our Invest to Grow programme provides grants and loans of between £15,000 and £250,000 to support private-sector businesses across the East Midlands to innovate, grow and create jobs.

Learn more about Invest to GrowLearn more about Invest to Grow