Business Support

Invest in South Lakeland are now partnering with the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce to provide a package of free business support. This is available for both existing businesses and those looking to start-up.

Start-up support

Any individual over minimum school leaving age is eligible for support to help them explore entrepreneurship & start in business. The flexible package of support includes:

  • One-to-one support from advisers covering generic start-up advice and a range of specialisms (business planning, finance, HR, marketing, selling, digital/ICT, production etc.) This includes specialists in support for women in business
  • 3 day modular business start-up course
  • A range of workshops covering topics such as using social media to promote your business, book-keeping, marketing, sales, etc. – topics can be flexed in line with client demand
  • Range of hard copy and online resources
  • Referrals to other relevant support and funding
  • 40% subsidy of £1k towards consultancy when starting trading towards consultancy, such as web design, accountancy support, etc.

Eligible people can also access the DWP’s New Enterprise Allowance scheme which provides mentoring to help produce a business plan & start-up in business, with a subsidy for the first 6 months of trading. 

Support for fledgling businesses

Support is also available for young existing businesses who are within their first 3 years of trading. This support is drawn from a flexible package to meet people’s specific needs and is largely as for pre-starts (above). The issues and topics discussed at start-up courses and workshops can be very useful to existing businesses. 

An individual can be supported by both the Start-up and Existing business packages, which ensures support can continue during the early stages of the business lifecycle.

Existing business support

Through the Cumbria Growth Hub, established existing businesses looking to grow and improve their competitiveness/capability can receive a personalised action plan, specific to a client’s needs. Please note there is ERDF eligibility criteria around this. Support includes:

  • One-to-one support from advisers covering generic business advice and a range of specialisms (finance, HR, marketing, selling, digital/ICT, production etc.). This includes specialists in support for women in business
  • Workshops on a range of topics, for instance developing food & drink & craft businesses
  • Range of hard copy and online resources
  • Referrals to other relevant support and funding
  • 40% subsidy of up to £2,500 towards consultancy depending on number of jobs created
  • Cumbria Forum development programme (delivered by Lancaster University Management School) 

In all cases social enterprises can also be supported as help is also available for family businesses through the Family Business Network.

Contact

If you are interested in any of these services please contact our friendly Economic Development Team to find out more:

 T: 01539 793280  E: [email protected]   

A fresh outlook for business - South Lakeland