Boost your business through funded help from me

by Justin Souter on February 1, 2017


I thought it would be helpful to set out how Founders can benefit from ERDF (and other) funding to avail themselves of my time.

Use these funding pots to get clearer about your ideas, your markets, your early adopters, the potential traction, and to minimise your market risk:

  • NE BIC SME Innovation
  • North East Business Support Fund
  • Generator’s Digital Futures programme – coaching & mentoring
  • DIT Virtual Export Manager

I use the tools of the Lean Startup framework to make an appreciable difference to Founders and their ability to turn what’s in their heads into forward motion & momentum.

NE BIC SME Innovation

NE BIC SME Innovation programmeThe North East Business and Innovation Centre is HQ’ed in Sunderland, and serves the Region. The following is a description of the North East SME Innovation Programme:

Building on its prior successes the SME Innovation Programme is designed to help SME’s realise their innovative possibilities.

  • Have the need to progress an innovative idea that contributes to business growth
  • SME’s must be North East based
  • Investment ready
  • Must create a innovative product, service or process

The friendly team at the BIC provide expert help and guidance taking you through the grant process to structure an Innovation project which matches the needs of the business, and creating an essential competitive edge with growth potential.

We do this by offering:

  • Independent advice and guidance
  • Access to industry experts and suppliers
  • Up to 40% Project Funding
  • Links to other support agencies

So whether you are looking to be innovative with your products, your services or your business processes our team of internal and external advisers may enable you to take your ideas forward.

erdfThe North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) has received £820,439 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

This Arnia Case Study is of particular interest to me – being a beekeeper and needing to manage swarm behaviour and generally keep my girls happy and healthy!

North East Business Support Fund

NEBSF Logo ArtworkI am a registered Provider for NBSL’s North East Business Support Fund helping businesses to improve their competitiveness. Find out more at  Applications can be sent to

“We’ll give you up to 35% funding for business improvement projects costing between £3,000 and £8,000 (maximum grant of £2,800) – you can use the grant for almost any type of business support that will help your business to grow – from marketing and web design to financial or human resources planning.”

There’s more information about the fund via this link.

Generator’s Digital Futures programme – coaching & mentoring

As per my recent post about Lean Startup masterclasses, I’ll quote myself here:

Coaching and mentoring also available

As a registered supplier to Generator’s Digital Futures programme, I have been delivering coaching and mentoring to a number of startups and founders:

  • A Consultant Surgeon who wants to set up a global learning platform for the discipline in which he is an expert
  • A female founder who wishes to pivot from her existing business
  • A pair of co-founders who want to bring to market a lamp which speeds up recuperation from illness and injury; also applicable to social care, and prison environment.
  • An online marketplace for property rentals
  • An online marketplace for vintage and preloved clothing and fashion accessories

Virtual Export Manager

Expanding North East Presence in International Markets

Department for International Trade logoThe Virtual Export Manager Programme is designed to assist both experienced and inexperienced exporters to realise their export potential by helping them approach international trade in a focused and structured way. Places are limited to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) offering UK products or services and demonstrating their commitment to growth through international trade.

Projects will focus on identified opportunities and will include assistance with all export related aspects of the business. A project action plan will be agreed, and will have as the principal aim a construction of clear strategic development plans for participating businesses. To assist the business wherever possible, when choosing a Virtual Export Manager to work with, we will endeavour to offer the business the choice of more than one Virtual Export Manager who will match business objectives and targets.

The programme offers a maximum of up to £2000 match funding and regular progress reviews from the Department for International Trade.

Get in touch!

Please get in touch if you’d like to benefit from one of these schemes.

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