Partners and Business Support Schemes

This is a directory of our partners, local business support schemes and how they can help you.

Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University offer fully-funded professional development training courses (SHEP and SEGWAY) for any SME in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. There are also some opportunities for degree students and graduates with a Stoke-on-Trent or Staffordshire postcode that may be in full-time education, working part-time or working at a large business.

They also have two innovation programmes: Staffordshire Connected Intelligent Mobility Innovation Accelerator (SCIMIA) which looks at innovation in transport, logistics and mobility solutions and Staffordshire Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Innovation Demonstrator (SAMPID) which looks at innovation in manufacturing and prototyping.


Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership
The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) was set up to help strengthen local economies, encourage economic development and enterprise, and improve skills across the region. It is formed of Birmingham and Solihull, with East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, Redditch, and Wyre Forest.

Stoke and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) brings businesses and local authorities together to drive economic growth, create jobs and raise skills levels.

Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hub
The Growth Hub is the single point of contact for business advice, funding and support for any business across Greater Birmingham. We bring together all services and partners offering business support in our region through a web portal and expert advisers. We will either provide support directly to businesses or refer them to specialist advice through partner organisations.

For 1-1 business support, at no cost, contact:
Call: 0800 032 3488

Stoke-On-Trent & Staffordshire Growth Hub
The Growth Hub was established by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP to play a major role in the drive for strong, sustainable business growth across the LEP area. It acts as the focal point for businesses that wish to grow, providing co-ordinated and cohesive growth programmes, business networks, growth groups and links to specialist information, advice and services.

For 1-1 business support, at no cost, contact:
Call: 0300 111 8002

Chambers of Commerce
Want to grow you client base, contacts or access events to network and engage with the local business community? You could benefit by joining a Chamber of Commerce. Local memberships can be explored on their website or with a representative of the Tamworth and Lichfield division.

FSB (The Federation of Small Businesses)
Organisation supports self-employed and small business members with local support, networking, and business benefits.  They’re experts in business offering their members a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise, legal and other core business support.

DIT (The Department for International Trade)
The Department for International Trade (DIT) is the Government department that helps UK companies grow their export sales. In the West Midlands there are DIT teams located in Birmingham, Coventry & Warwickshire, Herefordshire & Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and the Black Country all supporting local businesses export.
Website: ,

Arts Council
The Arts Council are the national development agency for creativity and culture. They invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the creative sectors through support in growing skills, knowledge and networks to help creativity and culture flourish across the country. They conduct research, give expert advice, promote partnership and do other activities to help the creative and cultural sector businesses and community develop.

Birmingham City University (BCU)
BCU Advantage is the business support service from Birmingham City University. They help businesses from all sectors start, grow and innovate. They offer a range of business support programmes, including Higher Level Skills Match which allows businesses to access skills and talent for placements, internships to assist with live projects.

Blue Orchid
Provides market-leading support programmes for business start-ups and growing SMEs, along with bespoke consultancy services. Blue Orchid offers an Enterprise for Success programme which is a project to encourage new business start-ups and to help young businesses grow and thrive.
Website: ,

Prince's Trust
Prince’s trust work with 18 to 30-year-olds living in the UK to turn big business ideas into a reality and has helped over 86,000 young people to start their own.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Skills hub
The Skills Hub actively seeks out businesses looking to upskill their staff, to offer guidance and support with identifying the best training providers to suit your requirements.

Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Skills Hub
GBSLEP Skills Hub are a one stop shop for businesses for training and skills needs met. Their Apprenticeship Advisers and Skills Brokers support employers one-on-one, to design and develop a bespoke plan for training and recruitment, bringing all the expertise and support services that are available in our area under one umbrella. They also help employers to navigate Government initiatives, such as Plan for Jobs, Kickstart, apprenticeship grants and traineeships, ensuring SMEs are able to claim all the incentives they are entitled to.

Southern Staffordshire Employment and Skills Board
The SSESB comprises of leading individuals from business, local authorities, education and training provision who can positively influence and implement SSESB objectives, whilst joining up the relationships between employers, schools, colleges and all stake holders involved in skills and employment throughout the Southern Staffordshire area. They meet quarterly and are always looking to attract new members to help increase local business growth and employee training.

Focusing on increasing business productivity, investment growth and reduce unemployment within priority sectors including:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Business, professional and finance
  • Construction and infrastructure
  • Health and social care
  • Logistics and distribution

Email: .  Call: 07855 106383

SBEN (Staffordshire Business & Environment Network)
SBEN aim to support organisations to achieve long term sustainability and maximise their business opportunities through innovative environmental activity. Their programmes like LCBEP (Low Carbon Business Evolution Programme) helps businesses across Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire LEP reduce their carbon footprint and increase energy efficiency.
Website: ,

SERCO Skills Support for the Workforce
Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) helps support small & medium-sized businesses to upskill their employees with training courses & qualifications to grow their business and boost the local economy.

Keele University (Keele Gateway)
The Keele Gateway offers a wide range of opportunities for businesses, particularly SMEs in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, to access professional and academic support to grow, develop and innovate.

Benefits of the Keele Gateway include:


Apprenticeships - Ladder for Birmingham
The Ladder for Greater Birmingham campaign is working to upskill the region and are continuing to work with providers to help learners step on and step up to their next career, as well as business to understand the process of taking on apprenticeships. The Ladder for Birmingham is currently working with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership in order to provide a triage service. This triage service is free of charge and aimed at helping employers and employees through the post Covid-19 climate.

Natwest Business Support
Natwest bank offers a range of schemes to support businesses of different stages and scales; whether you need help setting up or are an existing business owner.

NatWest Accelerator - Website:

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise nation offers bespoke advice and services from their network of trusted advisers, host events, lunches and festivals as opportunities for business to gain contacts and knowledge and offer tools to enable business growth and success.

E4F New Start Incubator
The New Start Incubator is designed to support entrepreneurs in the West Midlands area, E4F New Start invites ambitious founders with a digital or tech business idea to apply. Successful applicants will receive inclusive business support facilitated by the team of expert mentors. The most aspiring businesses will receive further intensive support to launch their businesses.