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Business support

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West Northamptonshire is home to a diverse and vibrant economy, including over 21,000 businesses and over 400,000 residents. Boasting a highly skilled talent pool, innovative businesses and well connected location. We are dedicated to achieving economic prosperity across this region, benefitting everyone that works, lives, visits and invests here. This is a place where everyone can thrive.

The Economy Team is here to support your business every step of the way, whether you’re a pre-start up or corporate organisation, we are on hand to help you overcome challenges and realise opportunities, offering support with:

  • business growth
  • accessing funding
  • inward investment
  • employment, skills and recruitment
  • help to start a new business

Our business support

We at West Northamptonshire Council are delivering inclusive economic growth for all through our dynamic Economic Growth & Inward Investment Service. We are also the host to the county-wide Business & Intellectual Property Centre and the regional Growth Hub and Careers Hub. 

This area has a variety of quality business support, events, initiatives and more to ensure that local businesses can access everything they need to achieve sustainable, local growth. 

The Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire (BIPC) supports entrepreneurs, inventors and small businesses from that first spark of inspiration to successfully launching and developing a business.

Part of the British Library Business & IP Centre National Network, it runs workshops, webinars and information and advice sessions on self-employment and intellectual property.

The centre delivers a programme of workshops and webinars designed to equip you with the skills needed to start and run a successful business. These sessions include utilising the library's business subscription resources for market research to make informed business decisions. 

We also work with partners to deliver sessions on topics such as marketing and sessions for more established businesses looking to grow and diversify.

We offer a range of one-to-one business advice sessions. Talk to BIPC staff about your business idea, you could be taking the first steps to self-employment and starting a new business. If you're more established, you could be reviewing your existing business practices and developing your ideas for growth. 

You can also talk to our experts in residence about branding and design, business management and growth.

The centre is currently delivering a UKSPF funded programme called Build Your Business with access to a range of modules, mentoring and £2000 start-up grants. The programme is completely flexible so businesses can access as much support as they need, tailored to them.

The South East Midlands Growth Hub provides free business advice and guidance to businesses and charities. They’re a multipurpose, multifunctional hub that goes above and beyond for all businesses, regardless of their size or industry. 

Operating across the whole South East Midlands, they provide:

  • business intelligence: to all businesses, no matter their size. Their business advisers provide expert advice across all aspects of business operations, including finance, marketing, HR, and strategy. All support it is personalised and tailored to the needs of each business we help
  • funding and grants: they assist businesses in accessing funding opportunities and grants to fuel their growth initiatives. Through strategic partnerships and extensive networks, we connect businesses with the resources they need to expand their operations and drive innovation
  • resource provision: their free resource library serves as a centralised repository of resources for businesses to access. Including workshops, seminars, online tools, and educational materials
  • network and support partnerships: their monthly network & learn events series connects business professionals to each other. Each month, the Growth Hub offers the opportunity to connect, share challenges, and build meaningful and lasting business relationships. Each event deep dives into a day-to-day challenge all businesses face, providing valuable insights into how businesses can tackle these challenges

Working in partnership with schools, colleges and businesses, the South East Midlands Careers Hub facilitate volunteer programmes that bring quality careers information to students, enabling them to make confident and informed choices about their career choices. 

Join over 300 volunteers and help develop the workforce of the future, the Careers Hub is searching for more business professionals to join their growing network of volunteers. It’s your opportunity to build the future talent pipeline for your business or industry, give back to the community, and make a difference to the future career choices a young person makes. 

To raise awareness of opportunities for young people in our region, the Careers Hub currently facilitate two volunteer programmes:

  • Give an Hour: Be the role model who changes a young person’s life, just by showing what is possible. Share your knowledge, insights and career experience and inspire the next generation. Activities include careers talks, mock interviews, careers fairs, industry immersion days, work experience, small group visits to your workplace
    • Give an Hour is a great way to make a difference, give back to your community and raise awareness of your business or industry supporting your Corporate Social Responsibility along with wider personal and professional benefits
  • Become an Enterprise Adviser: Join a voluntary team of over 100 Enterprise Advisers to work with school and college leaders, and careers teams, to transform careers education provision
    • Enterprise Advisers partner with a school or college for a one-year period, offering careers education support as a consultant, critical friend, and coach. This is an excellent opportunity to make a real and lasting impact in the community

Vulcan Works in Northampton provides flexible workspaces, including offices, coworking spaces, and workshops, tailored for creative professionals and businesses. It offers an inspiring environment with modern facilities and a vibrant community, designed to foster innovation and growth.

Within the centre, a Business Growth Manager provides business support, including access to workshops, mentoring, and networking opportunities to help businesses thrive. The Barclays Eagle Lab at Vulcan Works also provides local businesses access to industry experts, mentors, growth programs, workshops, and funding opportunities.

Vulcan Creatives is a free six-month cohort programme designed exclusively for aspiring entrepreneurs with an innovative idea. The programme offers free co-working space at Vulcan Works, 1-2-1 support, exclusive business support event and masterclasses and access to the Lift Off Grant Scheme of up to £1000.

Help to grow your business

Find further support resources with Help to Grow from the government.

Last updated 17 June 2024