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Business Support and Advice

Business Support (Start up and Existing) – July 2013


Offer business start-up advice and guidance, business training and development opportunities, business centre premises and education programmes. Funded through Barclays, Wenta offer a free 'Get Ready for Business workshop'. Wenta have also recently opened a ‘My Incubator’ facility at Bedford i–Lab, which offers a hot-desk space with business adviser free of charge for 3 months to start ups in the Borough. Tel: 01234 834666 or visit


Princes Trust

The Enterprise Programme supports unemployed young people aged 18-30 to convert their business ideas into reality. The programme can offer mentoring and financial support to start a business or mentoring support to secure goals in employment, education or training. The Trust also offer Development Grants of up to £500. Tel: 01438 730520 or visit


The Jobs Hub

The Jobs Hub helps Bedford Borough residents of all ages into work, training or enterprise. In just 3 months, the project has already supported over 2000 customers and is in a prime position to help employers to broker the skills and talent that they need to grow their business. For further information or to arrange a visit, contact Karen Conway, the Jobs Hub Project Manager on 01234 276326 or email


Helping Business Grow Internationally

Assistance to help prepare business to start exporting, improve their exporting capabilities or to help enter into new export markets.


Growth Accelerator Programme to help up to 10,000 high growth businesses a year to address barriers to growth and grow more rapidly and will target a select group of:

1) Established Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the potential to increase employment or turnover by 20 per cent or more each year for three years

2) New start-ups with the potential to become “gazelles” i.e. the potential to achieve turnover of £1m within three years of starting trading, or to have at least 10 employees within three years.


PrISMS – Practical and Innovative Solutions for Manufacturing Sustainability

Small and medium manufacturers and product or technology based start-ups in the Bedford area can take up fully funded support from the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing's Education and Consultancy Services arm. Ambition and ability to grow and the potential for and commitment to reducing resource and environmental impact are key selection criteria. To find out more, contact Anna Rowntree, Tel: 01223 766141, Email: or visit


Collaborative Research and Development

Designed to assist the industrial and research communities to work together on R&D projects in strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology - from which successful new products, processes and services can emerge. Funding of collaborative R&D projects is allocated on the basis of regular competitions.


Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS)

Manufacturing companies can get specialist support with manufacturing related issues and structured support to manufacturing companies to increase productivity and competitiveness. Information and basic advice, events and training programmes are generally free. Access to longer term assistance is offered to manufacturers at a very competitive market rate. SMEs can receive support at a discounted rate.


Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Businesses are able to access knowledge and skills from the UK Knowledge Base (Further and Higher Education Institutions or research organisations) for use in the strategic development of business. Each partnership employs one or more high-calibre KTP Associates (NVQ Level 4 in an appropriate subject; HND; foundation degree; degree and higher degree; post-doc) for a project in the applicant company lasting a typical duration of one to three years. By participating in KTP businesses can access qualified people to spearhead new projects and can help take business forward. See for an initial assessment. A KTP is part-funded by a grant from the Technology Strategy Board.  A small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) would be expected to contribute about a third of the costs involved in the project.


Networking for Innovation

Businesses can access national networks in specific fields of technology or business application and bring together people from businesses, universities, and research, finance and technology organisations to stimulate innovation through knowledge transfer. Businesses have access to Networking events, Information and news. For further information refer to:

Website that was developed with the support of the Government and Private sector organisations to assist both start up and growing businesses.


Venture Navigator  

Free online business support service which helps individuals take their idea for a road test before they spend valuable time and money.  Businesses can find out more about key early stage business issues and search hundreds of articles written by business leaders and academics.


The Knowledge Hub

The gateway to business support at the University of Bedfordshire. The Knowledge Hub offers organisations of all sizes access to a number of initiatives, including a range of advice support including Intellectual Property advice and business mentoring, free lectures and training including a Basics of Building a Business programme, access to a network of expects and researchers, networking opportunities and access to graduates through the delivery of short term placements and research. See  

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The Business section gives you advice and help on what you need to know about owning and running a business in the borough. Information includes business rates, health and safety, street trading licences and more.