The Secret Weapon for Start-ups in Gloucestershire

Now that Start and Grow Enterprise is in our final year, we’re feeling a little reflective. We thought we’d take this opportunity to make a splash about the impact we’ve made on the business landscape in Gloucestershire since we started back in the summer of 2017.

Wow! After 4 and a half successful years, Start and Grow Enterprise is in our final 12 months of operating. How the time has flown.

For those of you who don’t know, Start and Grow Enterprise is a fixed term funded programme, so by nature, we weren’t going to be around forever. We’re funded by the University of Gloucestershire and the European Regional Development Fund.

We’d like to say that we will still be around after 31st March 2023, but that’s yet to be seen. If and when we have any updates, be assured that you’ll be the first to know!



Start and Grow Enterprise – The Secret Weapon For Start-ups in Gloucestershire

When you’re in the early stages of running a business, a little help can go a long way. It’s our job to make sure that you, as a freelancer, entrepreneur, or small business owner, have the best chance of success.

When it comes to supporting start-ups in Gloucestershire, Start and Grow Enterprise is home to all of the people you need to know, plus the answers you’re looking for, and the community to wrap around it all.

In a nutshell – we offer expert training, interactive workshops, networking events, the chance to apply for a £1,000 reimbursed grant, and the opportunity to get 1-to-1 business coaching. So, if you’re looking for help to get your business up and running successfully, you’re in the perfect place.



We’ve been inspired

Over those 54 months, we have seen an incredible diversity of businesses, who have shown resilience, creativity, and have been truly awe-inspiring as they tackle the various challenges that have been presented to the economy over the past few years. They have proven that “business will find a way”.

Now that we’re in our final year, we’re feeling a little reflective. We thought we’d take this opportunity to make a splash about the impact we’ve made on the business landscape in Gloucestershire since we started back in the summer of 2017.



Some impressive figures – a snapshot

We don’t want to toot our own horn, but it has to be said – we do so many great things on this programme. We upskill our business owners, provide financial support, give out 1-2-1 coaching and expertise, create jobs, and help businesses introduce new products, services or processes, to name a few. Read on for the highlights of what we’ve achieved so far…


A whopping 1,274 Gloucestershire residents have accessed at least 3 hours of our business training, and many of these have taken part in over 12 hours of training. Our training covers the key areas you need to consider when starting out in business, and we’ve continuously updated our training courses with fresh and up-to-date subjects. Head over to our events page and you’ll find workshops to help you with e-commerce, how to win more customers, digital marketing, social media, understanding business finances, and much, much more.


We have provided 11,494 hours of support to local business owners. This is through a variety of support avenues, depending on what’s most helpful for the business. These support avenues will involve our training courses, workshops, and our coaching and mentoring.


We’ve held 320 events to support business owners since 2017. As well as our training, this includes our monthly networking events, where we invite a different guest speaker each month to teach us something new about business. We really enjoy bringing our community together to help them raise awareness of their ventures and make new and valuable connections.


This number has to be one of the most impressive. This is the amount of money local businesses would have had to fork out for the support they needed to start and grow their business. Due to our funded nature, we are able to provide all of this support completely free of charge, meaning people from all circumstances can access it. The value of the support we’ve given to these entrepreneurs totals £353,780.


We help businesses financially too. As well as directing them to places where they can find funding to help them deliver their business plans, we also offer the opportunity to apply for one of our £1,000 grants. Since we started, we have given out £75,000 to local businesses to help them grow!


Since joining our programme, we’ve seen an average 10% increase in turnover for our businesses. Who wouldn’t want that! This shows that when you’re in the early stages of running a business, a little help can go a long way.


Our businesses are so diverse

So many people ask us what the most common business type is on our programme. But we really couldn’t say! There’s such a variety of skills and talent on our roster. Here’s a breakdown…


Our network of creativity and innovation


We are very lucky to be able to connect our businesses with bright young minds and hyper-experienced lecturers, all without leaving the building. Our 120 student projects so far have looked into market trends, business strategies, and marketing tactics for our businesses, helping them to stay sharp, fresh, current and evolving.


So. Many. Questions.

We know that it can be an isolating, stressful, and competitive experience to start your own business. But with the right advice and community, it needn’t be.

If you want to find out more about what it’s like to take part in our programme, and what exactly we offer, take a look at our Secret Weapon For Start-ups here. You’ll get the information straight from the horse’s mouth – we feature our clients Leo Saunders founder of Tuneriver, Carla MacLean founder at Carla’s Captivating Content, and Sacha Kerkhof founder at Astolos, among more.

To sign up to get support from us at Start and Grow Enterprise, simply complete our short online joining form. We look forward to helping you with your new venture very soon.


Thank you all for providing our daily inspiration, we really have been one lucky team.

Yours humbly, Charles, Natalie, Jess, & Katie


To take part in the Start and Grow Enterprise project, you will need to complete a short joining form.