Black Country LEP

Black Country Growth Hub

The Black Country Growth Hub coordinate support for businesses based in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. If you run a business or if you’re thinking of starting a business in the region, they can here to help you grow and develop – visit their support page to find out more about funding, training, efficiency, innovation, supply, export and property.

Innovate UK EDGE

Innovate UK EDGE provide a range of services to help ambitious, innovative SMEs scale and grow through:

  • Exploiting innovation: By protecting and harnessing IP, improving innovation management and connecting to the innovation ecosystem globally. In addition to Sector Innovation Leads at Innovate UK, they have strong relationships with ecosystem players including Catapults, Laboratories, KTN, the investor community and universities
  • Entering new markets
  • Sourcing funding and finance


Funding & Support

Grants and support are available to Black Country SMEs on a broad range of sustainability issues. We’ve listed just a few of these below:

Advanced Services Growth Programme: The Advanced Services Group is a Centre of Excellence at Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham. They provide education, training, research and a global network of like-minded professionals around business models and how to capture more revenue from products & services.

BECCI – Built Environment Climate Change Innovations: support is available to SMEs to develop new or improved energy efficient products, engage with housing providers in the region to support the use of more green products and give them access to the latest information and knowledge on low carbon technologies.

EBRI – Energy & Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI): EBRI leads and delivers a range of research projects and collaborations with partners in the West Midlands, UK, Europe and beyond. Projects focus on the adoption of bioenergy technologies in both urban and rural settings and the provision of support to businesses to enable them to make informed bioenergy decisions. Support is available to SMEs wanting to develop low carbon goods and services.

EnTRESS – Environmental Technologies & Resource Efficiency Support Service: Working across a variety of sectors EnTRESS seeks to improve resource efficiency for SMEs.  Their aim is to increase business competitiveness, improve productivity and identify new market opportunities for SMEs through the adoption of environmental technologies and the reduction of waste.

Low Carbon SME’s: The Low Carbon SMEs project uses university academics to provide short and long term support to SMEs. Projects leading to a reduction in energy consumption, carbon emissions and process inefficiencies within high energy using organisations are eligible for support including a free diagnostic evaluating your sites’ energy use and process efficiencies, a grant of up to £12,250, one to one advice and innovation support, and sector specific workshops.

PIVOT: The PIVOT programme aims to accelerate cross-industry innovation in West Midlands supply chains. It will do this by mobilising the expertise of regional clusters to identify and stimulate supply chain companies to diversify their business portfolios by developing their technologies and innovations ready to address business and technology challenges that are being faced in new, emerging or simply different markets (it’s the switch that is the pivot). It builds on a model that has already proved successful in the aerospace industry of supporting a significant portfolio of distinct technology development projects, and applies it to demand-led innovations that cross sector boundaries.

Smarter Choices has been government funded to bring together and test the latest financing and monitoring technologies into a single online platform to provide straightforward building energy-saving solutions. To develop this new service, SMEs with energy bills above £20,000 per year can now access a limited number of free energy assessments and free measurement & verification equipment for pilot projects which proceed to installation.