Funding and support to grow your business

We're a university of energy and enterprise. We offer modern and friendly business services to Small-to-Medium Enterprise (SMEs) of all shapes and sizes. We can help you secure funding for growth and innovation, and connect you with our in-house expertise, facilities, support networks and learning programmes.

Although our range of support is vast, you only need to talk to one team initially – they will explain everything that's on offer to you.

We currently run a number of part-funded or fully-funded schemes that are focused on helping SMEs in the East Midlands with research and development (R&D), innovation and growth.

There is also the part-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme, which can help you address a specific business need by connecting your organisation with one of our academics and a recent graduate.

David Smith, The National Forest Spring Water Company

Our turnover is set to increase by 35-40% by the end of the year. The funding has enabled us to increase production, become more efficient, and ‘step up a level’.

David Smith
MD, The National Forest Spring Water Company

A university for SMEs

Universities can be daunting to SMEs, but not ours. Our track record of working with smaller organisations and our down-to-earth, practical approach means we’re the ideal partner for your expanding business.

200businesses helped**Invest to Grow, March 2019
£23mfunding awarded**Invest to Grow, March 2019

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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

We have a great range of affordable work-related education and training packages.

From heavily subsidised higher-level or degree apprenticeships, to shorter courses and Continuing Professional Development (CPD), or traditional degrees and qualifications that can be studied part-time.

Education and training for businesses

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

Orange machinery in a factory with a blue floor

They direct you to the right places, the right information. They help fill paperwork out. All the things that would normally stop an SME applying for funding.

Phil Mason
A stocky white male stands in front of crates of drinking water in blue 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