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Business support, advice clinics and grants

The Council's Business Team can signpost you to the relevant business support organisations that can help you in your growth plans and if you are seeking to set up a new business.

Roadmap to Business Success - EU-funded start-up Entrepreneurship Programme

The highly regarded business incubator, SETsquared, are running a series of 2-day courses for entrepreneurs with an idea for a tech-based product or service, and founders of early-stage ventures. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), this programme will put your business on the path to success, including free business mentoring for eligible companies.  The courses will run in Farnborough, Basingstoke, Guildford, and Woking, and cover all essential elements of starting a business.

Fully funded places are available.  Find out more and apply for a place at  setsquared.co.uk/hubsupport or contact us at business@guildford.gov.uk.

European Union. European Regional Development Fund SETsquared Partnership. Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey

Becoming a Business South Champion

We have now joined Business South, which represents businesses in the south of England  and works hard to make a difference to individual organisations and to the wider economy with its Champions programme. The strength that such an influential group of organisations represents, has achieved a huge amount for the region.

The Champions Programme aims to:

  • promote our area

  • demonstrate the importance of different sectors

  • influence policies and investment decisions

  • deliver on a range of projects.

Our Local Economy Manager, Chris Burchell, says: "Supporting economic growth in the area is a key priority for us as part of our economic strategy and by working with Business South, we believe we can enhance our support for the local economy. We are therefore delighted to become a Business South Champion and anticipate a strong working relationship that will benefit the region."

Councillor Bilbe and John Mitchell, Group CEO at Business South

Pictured: John Mitchell, Group CEO at Business South with Cllr David Bilbè.

The Council's Business Team can advise on the availability of commercial space, apprenticeships and business events.

Please contact Chris Burchell, Local Economy Manager, for an initial discussion.
Email: business@guildford.gov.uk
Phone: 01483 444329

Free one-to-one business advice clinics

Local agency Enterprise First is working in partnership with us to offer free, one-to-one business advice clinics to all companies from start-ups to more established growth businesses.

Running a business can be a lonely process and that's why Enterprise First and Guildford Borough Council believe in the importance of helping all businesses, whatever stage they're at.

Enterprise First business advice sessions

We have already helped over a hundred start-up businesses and are now extending our service to more established growth businesses from any sector.

Pictured from left to right: Malcolm Kerry, local business adviser, Enterprise First, and Chris Burchell, Guildford Borough Council's Local Economy Manager.

Expert help and advice

Our free business clinics, held in Guildford, are run by impartial local business advisers who have personal experience in setting up and developing companies.

They provide a confidential environment in which to discuss and find solutions to the key challenges and opportunities in your business.

To book appointments for our Wednesday weekly clinics, call Enterprise First on 01252 319272 or email info@enterprisefirst.co.uk, or visit Enterprisefirst.co.uk.

For more information

To find out more about the support that Guildford Borough Council offers to the business community, please email: business@guildford.gov.uk.

Business support

Surrey Chambers of Commerce

Surrey Chambers of Commerce - Provide regular business-to-business events and networking opportunities and offers an important voice for business.

Enterprise M3 Growth Hub - Connect to Free Business Support

Updated M3 logo

The Enterprise M3 Growth Hub has been developed by business for business. It is a business-led Local Enterprise Partnership working with private and public sector partners to realise the full growth potential of the area.

The Growth Hub offers a fully government funded service which gives free consultancy from a team of experts, for high growth innovative businesses throughout the M3 corridor.

This includes:

  • Dedicated  Growth Champions who focus on supporting individual business's growth plans

  • Bespoke growth plans developed with businesses based on their unique requirements and circumstances

  • A trusted expert services network; the introduction of experts with a proven track record of delivering growth results with clients

  • A wide variety of expertise including: developing new markets; finding finance; innovation; product development and developing staff

  • Impact assessment; growth results really matter to businesses and to the local economy, so we are with businesses every step of the way to track progress.

To find out what the Growth Hub can do for your business visit https://www.enterprisem3growthhub.co.uk/the-growth-service. To get in touch, call us on 01483 478098 or email admin@enterprisem3growthhub.co.uk.

Enterprise First

Enterprise First - working with our partners, Enterprise First, we offer free monthly clinics for new and established businesses to support their growth. From 1 April some business development grants will be available to qualifying businesses. The business advisers from Enterprise First bring a number of years of experience in a range of sectors.

Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator

The Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership has committed £5.5 million of capital to create a new funding escalator, comprising a loan scheme and an equity fund managed by The FSE Group. If you are an ambitious SME based within the Enterprise M3 geographic area with the potential to deliver high growth and employment opportunities, you may be eligible to apply. More information is available by visiting: www.thefsegroup.com/enterprise-m3-funding-escalator.

Other business support organisations

Surrey Technology Centre and Set Squared Partnership - The Surrey Technology Centre provides space for small technology (research, development and design) companies in one of the most prestigious Science Parks in the UK and Western Europe.

Invest in Surrey - For businesses wishing to locate in Surrey/Guildford please see the Invest in Surrey website which highlights how the county is an excellent location for new investment.

Department for International Trade - Export support - free advice and subsidised training.

X-Forces are an organisation supporting ex-forces and their families by providing support, loans, mentoring, training and marketing.

Free training

To support the needs of local SME employers, Guildford College Group will be offering free flexible training to boost employee confidence, motivation and productivity.

The training programmes are tailored to individual workplace needs or to helping employees gain nationally recognised qualifications. They can include:

  • Leadership  and management
  • Business administration
  • Customer service
  • Prince 2 (Foundation) project management
  • Health and safety
  • First Aid
  • Bespoke training
  • English lessons online (ESOL)
  • IT

How to apply

To find out if you are eligible to apply for the free training, please contact Guildford College Group Services to Business Team on 01483 44 85 30 or email employers@guildford.ac.uk. For more information, visit the Guildford College Group Services to Business website.