Business Support2022-12-12T11:18:57+00:00

Business Support

Economic Development Team

Harborough District Council

You can arrange a one-to-one meeting with our Economic Development Team to discuss your business needs and find out how we can support you. We can provide you with a range of advice including identifying local suppliers, finding local property, exploring funding opportunities, and identifying local business networks.

"Invest in Harborough District" "District of Harborough"

Prince’s Trust

Prince’s Trust work with 18 to 30-year-olds living in the UK to turn big ideas into a reality.

Got a business in mind or want to explore an idea? From training and mentoring support to funding and resources, we’re here to help you become the best entrepreneur you can be. Our free Enterprise programme takes place in a centre near you and is broken down into three stages. If you’d prefer to learn flexibly with online mentor support, sign up to Enterprise Online.

View more on Support for starting a business  

Image reads: "Prince's Trust - YOUTH CAN DO IT" in red lettering featuring the Prince's trust emblem

Digital Upscaler

If you’re a high growth business looking to invest in technologies, the Digital Upscaler project could help you.
The Digital Upscaler is a £1.9m project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire). It aims to support ambitious high growth businesses across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire by providing them with the knowledge, investment and capacity to scale up through embracing new technologies.

The programme consists of:

  • Intensive one-to-one digital technology adviser support
  • Funded diagnostic consultancy and support to implement new technology
  • Digital strategy programme and Technology Forums
  • Capital technology grants of between £10,000 - £50,000

Find out more about the Digital Upscaler


The local business adviser from NBV is at the Harborough Innovation Centre on the last Tuesday of every month. To book an appointment or to be referred, please email

Current Business Support Programme;

Starting in Business: Everything you need to know to get your small business up and running. This three day training course is aimed at people who would benefit from in-depth knowledge on how to become self-employed or start their own small business. Over two weeks this course covers all of the skills that you'll need to start and manage a successful small business.

More information on Starting in Business

Business Assist: Expert, impartial business advice from advisers you can trust. Running your own business can be lonely occupation. What could improve this? How about the advice of an impartial, experienced business person? Someone to act as a sounding board, providing focussed and objective assistance. If you think you could benefit from a fresh perspective the NBV Business Assist programme could be just what you need.

More information on Business Assist

"NBV Encouraging Enterprise"

The iNet

Based at Loughborough University, the iNet runs a number of business support programmes helping SMEs across various locations (formerly called Transport iNet)

Smart Innovation & Networking for Growth (SING)

Managed by The iNet and based at Loughborough University SING will make it easier for SMEs to accelerate their development and implementation of new products, process and services, as well as working with UK research institutes.

Find out more about SING

Productivity and Capability Enhancement (PACE)

Managed by The iNet and based at Loughborough University, PACE will make it easier for SMEs to accelerate their investment in activities which enable growth and enhance their competitiveness. The programme will operate until October 2019.

Find out more about PACE

The British Business Bank

The British Business Bank Hub is designed to help businesses understand the financial landscape and ultimately access the right finance for their growth potential. It's an independent, impartial digital hub designed to raise awareness of the different types of finance available for growing UK businesses. Explore finance options and find funding to suit your business.

Find out more about British Business Bank

Manufacturing Growth Programme

This funded growth programme can provide free advice, support and help to source potential grants to help manufacturing businesses grow. The Manufacturing Growth Programme is delivered by Economic Growth Solutions Ltd.

View more on Manufacturing Growth Programme 

Sir Thomas White Loan Charity

Business Loans

  • Sir Thomas White Loan Charity are an equal opportunity organisation, providing loans for new business ideas and young businesses needing investment. Eligible candidates may borrow up to £20,000 interest free for 9 years to establish themselves in their chosen career.

Find out more about Business Loans

Education Loans

  • Sir Thomas White Loan Charity are an equal opportunity organisation, and eligible candidates may borrow up to £10,000 interest free for 9 years in order to assist with the cost of post- graduate courses anywhere in the world.

Find out more about Education Loans


Medilink East Midlands grant support programmes for small and medium companies. Medilink has innovation support programmes across several LEP areas. The SoLSTICE2 programme supports health/medical/wellbeing innovation for small or medium companies located in the Leicestershire region.

SoLSTICE has three types of support, all work as intervention rates- so only part of the money is provided, and would need proof of spend to claim the grant- so not provided ahead of any work:

  • Innovation Grants- £1,000-£20,000 (up to a maximum £66,00 total project cost)- support for innovation to develop a new product or process with an intervention rate of 32.5%. Money is paid after spend is completed so for larger grants it is often useful to profile (spread out) the spend so you can part claim during the project. It is all about your company purchasing a skill set or service so can't be spent internally and usually can't be spent on equipment consumables- but can be used to purchase project management to 'build a prototype'.
  • Travel Grants- £500- £3,000 (up to 10,000 total travel costs)- to attend medical/health related workshops and conference anywhere in the world that are around your innovation area. Intervention rate is from 30% to 50% depending on the size of the grant requested. A maximum of 2 delegates per conference, and flights, travel, hotel and conference costs are covered but not 'subsistence' or gala diners etc.
  • MedTech Trails Grants- up to £50,000 grant for £100,000 or more of total project cost. Maximum intervention rate of 50%. the grant is to support trails, feasibility studies and evaluation of new products. This would be the hardest funding to access as it would be competitive with other proposals and the funding partner- AHSN- will determine which projects are funded.

All the grants must be fully 'planned' ahead of any work and you need to receive an offer letter before you go ahead and instruct any works. The MedilinkEM website can be used to 'tender' for services if you are looking at either the innovation grant or the MedTech trails grant. Conferences would just need three quotes for hotels and flights from web sites and an indication of other similar conferences with similar costs. All the information for travel grants can usually be obtained with screenshots from websites.

Find out more about Medilink

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