Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP

GBSLEP Growth Hub

The Growth Hub aims to enable businesses to get the right advice at the right time so they can grow and be successful. The Growth Hub operates in Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Redditch, Solihull, Tamworth and Wyre Forest.

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

Solihull Sustainability Visioning Group

Solihull Sustainability Visioning Group aims to help Solihull to be at the forefront of sustainable business development and a showcase for environmental business standards, supporting Solihull’s transition to a low carbon economy. It is led by senior business representatives and stakeholders.

Peer Networks

Peer Networks is a national peer-to-peer networking programme for SME leaders that want to grow their business. The programme is fully funded by BEIS so there is no cost to businesses, and delivered locally by Growth Hubs. Support is available to SMEs from any sector that have:

  • Operated for at least one year
  • At least five employees
  • A turnover of at least £100,000
  • An aspiration to improve

Funding & Support

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

PIVOT is a programme 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.

ARLI – Alternative Raw Materials with Low Impact: aimed to drive collaborative research and development among SMEs to enable the development of products and processes that provide energy efficiency games in the use of raw and waste materials.

Aston University’s Smarterials Programme: aims to promote functional materials in SMEs. It aims to help companies grow their business through a partnership built on research, testing and expertise in material science. It enables new and established SMEs access to experts at the forefront of the latest research into materials development who can help you to drive your business forward.

ATETA: aims to promote research and innovation in the adoption of zero carbon energy technologies for SME’s that are active in the Black Country, Coventry, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Areas. Since its launch in 2017 it has offered advice and support to more than 100 businesses.

BASIS – Birmingham & Solihull Industrial Symbiosis Project: aims to work with SMEs to quantify their wastes and seek resource efficiency improvements that deliver financial savings. These underutilised resources can be process by-products, discarded waste materials, low grade energy, waste water discharges, logistics (empty vehicle movements), capacity (such as warehouse or office space) and shared expertise.

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.

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.

Manufacturing and Technology Innovator 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, the use of digital and financial services, and share how to capture more revenue from the products & services.

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.