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My Norwich

Business support services

A list of contacts for business in Norwich where you can get advice and support about all aspects of business.


The Akcela incubator is a vibrant community of some of Norwich and Norfolk's most promising start-ups, supports business with office space, expert consultancy and a community of founders to drive innovation and growth.

With a wide range of companies in the community ranging from EdTech, Games Development, GreenTech, Retail, Coding Bootcamps and more, they support a wide range of businesses over many sectors. Akcela operate on a shareholding model, usually offering incubation over the first two years of the business to support with strategy, fundraising and growth post raise.

You can find out more about the Akcela incubator and apply through the Official Akcela Incubator landing page.


The Business Energy Efficiency (BEE) programme provides free support to eligible organisations in Suffolk and Norfolk to help them become more energy efficient. BEE has a limited pot of European funding to support participating businesses to implement the next generation of energy efficiency measures. Register your interest:


The Business & IP Centre (BIPC) Norfolk offers free support to help start or grow a business. This includes one-to-one advice, workshops and networking events as well as resources, access to databases and help to protect your ideas. Find out more at www.norfolk.gov.uk/bipcnorfolk or email bipcnorfolk@norfolk.gov.uk


The Eastern New Energy (ENE) project aims to build a stronger Local Energy and Low Carbon Economy in the East of England. PECT’s role is to provide grants to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, to help catalyse capital investments in energy efficiency initiatives. The long-term organisational benefits to participating businesses include reduced operating costs, increased competitiveness, business growth and resilience. 

The Insight Apprentice Project - Thinking about hiring new talent or upskilling your existing workforce? Never recruited an apprentice before and not sure if it's right for you? If you have less than 250 employees and are based in Norfolk, we can help!

The Insight Apprentice project gives each eligible small to medium-sized business a free, tailored package of support to help embed the best approach to apprenticeships into your organisation. We're here to support businesses and organisations operating in any of the following sectors: Clean Energy; Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing; Digital & ICT; Agri-tech; and Voluntary/Social Economy plus any business in any sector which has diversified or experienced rapid growth due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

How does it work? You will have the support of a dedicated Business Development Officer who will:  

  • Talk you through how an apprenticeship works and what you need to do
  • Identify your apprenticeship requirements
  • Find the right apprenticeship programme to suit your business
  • Support you with setting up PAYE
  • Work with training providers/colleges to find the best match for you
  • Advertise your apprenticeship vacancy for free
  • Access apprenticeship funding, grants and support services
  • Make sure your apprentices get off to a good start

Email Insightapprentice@norfolk.gov.uk or call 0344 800 8024 to find out more.


Jobcentre Plus helps employers to fill their vacancies.


MENTA provides free, impartial business advice meetings at Norwich Library suitable for both established businesses ambitious to grow and start-ups. Book your place for free start-up and growth advice.

Free business skills training for people who want to be their own boss or have a start-up less than 12 months old, are available, regularly at two Norwich locations. For full details visit  the Menta website.


New Anglia Growth Hub
Access free advice and support about any aspect of business growth your business is grappling with. The Growth Hub’s expert team of friendly and experienced advisors are trained to show you where to get the business support you need. All of the Growth Hub’s services are free at the point of delivery.


NWES provides professional advice and training to existing business and individuals wanting to set up in business. It can provide bursaries and loans as well as managed workspace in Norwich and across the county.


Open to Export is the Government supported free, online community for UK companies looking to grow internationally. It brings together experts from across the private sector and government agencies to help small and medium sized UK businesses successfully enter international markets.
http://opentoexport.com


The Pathways Training Fund 
 
The Pathways Training Fund is open for applications. It is delivered by Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils, and funded by the European Social Fund, the Pathways Training Fund can help businesses and trading Social Enterprises cover the costs of training employees. The project has a dedicated team to help businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk get the right training without paying the full amount. Businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk can access up to 75% of staff training costs for multiple employees, with maximum grants of £500 per employee/£3,000 per employer.  Training is also flexible and can be: 

  • Whole qualifications, modules or units
  • Accredited or non-accredited courses
  • Courses run until September 2023
  • Businesses can choose from the network of registered training providers or further afield
  • A wide range of courses offering ‘must have’ skills can be selected from the PTF Prospectus

SMEs can apply using this eligibility form (online) Pathways Training Fund SME Eligibility Form (office.com).  A copy of the Guidance and the Prospectus can be downloaded from the project’s website at www.suffolk.gov.uk/pathways-training-fund where you can also find more information, as well as links to and courses from the network of Training Providers. If you have any questions or queries, please contact Grace (Suffolk) or Lisa (Norfolk) at sparc@suffolk.gov.uk for more information.
 


The Prince's Trust is a national charity offering practical solutions to help young people to 'get their life working'. The trust offers a variety of programmes to help develop confidence and skills, as well as providing finance and other help to those considering starting a business.


UnLtd provides funding and support to individuals within the Norwich City Council area who wish to become social entrepreneurs and set up a social enterprise.


Youth Pledge for Employers is a European Social Fund project that supports employers to engage with 16-24-year-olds across Norfolk. This can be to offer young people talks or tours to raise awareness of your business helping you to recruit an apprentice or offer work experience or trials. Free of charge, they can help you advertise your opportunity and your business on www.icanbea.org.uk to reach young people.