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Torridge Business Bulletin – December 2023

Does your business need a BOOST? 

The Business BOOST programme is providing FREE support to small and micro businesses across North Devon and Torridge, through one to one business support tailored to the needs of your business.  The aim of the programme is to is to assist your business to improve performance, grow and develop, create jobs, increase turnover and / or reduce costs, and to improve sustainability. 

As part of the business support programme,  businesses will be able to work with a Business Advisor to identify projects and apply for a Small Business Support Grant of up to £1500 (this is a competitive application process with specific eligibility criteria, requires a 20% match from applicants and will be subject to available funding.).

For more information on the programme and how to book your appointment please visit our website https://northdevonplus.co.uk/contact or email us  boost@northdevonplus.co.uk quoting Business BOOST, your name and contact details.

This project is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.’

New finance and funding opportunities for your business available on Access to Finance SW

Access to Finance SW has shared a series of new finance and funding opportunities on the free platform, connecting South West businesses with the latest funding news and resources.

The newly opened funding awards and grants are suited to innovative organisations across a variety of different sectors, including Tech, Aerospace, Medical, Marine and more, with competition deadlines throughout the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024.

Upcoming opportunities address vital challenges such as energy storage, design for repair, advancing biosecurity and providing for those from deprived areas.

The opportunities on the Access to Finance SW platform are updated by funding providers, advisers, and business finance and grant funding experts, including Innovate UK, Creative UK, British Business Bank, Granted Consultancy, Social Investment Business and School for Social Entrepreneurs.

The Access to Finance SW platform, run by Tech South West and funded by Heart of the South West LEP, regularly shares the latest funding and finance opportunities, provides free finance resources, and allows members to connect with a community of South West businesses and business finance experts.

Join Access to Finance SW to find out more about the latest funding opportunities for your business, all from one accessible location: www.accesstofinancesw.co.uk.

Angel Investor Programme

A new Angel Investor Programme has launched in the Great South West!

The programme will recruit 40 new angel investors, with a strong focus on fostering diversity, generating an expected £2.8 million of angel investment annually, resulting in a total funding boost of £9 million.

The Angel Investor Programme will:

Operate with key team members including a ‘Super Connector’ and an ‘Angel Lead,’ targeting professional services firms, private banks, wealth managers, and Chamber of Commerce memberships.

Engage second-home communities and work closely with local incubators, accelerators, science parks, universities, clusters, and other key players in the tech ecosystem to identify investment opportunities and connect with the newly formed angel community.

Establish four new Angel Groups, including one dedicated to women investors, and support 68 individuals in becoming investor-ready through the UKBAA’s online Angel Education Programme.

Provide 50 founders and startups with valuable access to the angel community, facilitating growth and collaboration.

The programme is a collaborative endeavour between Tech South West and key partners including Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Hub, Heart of the South West Growth Hub, Dorset LEP, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, Dorset LEP Business, Heart of the South West LEP, and the British Business Bank.

The project is also made possible through the support of North Devon Council and Torridge District Council via the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and HM Government Levelling Up programme.

If you’re interested in joining the Angel Investor Programme and being a part of this exciting journey, please email hello@techsouthwest.co.uk

Train4Tomororrow – Skills Bootcamp Programme

Devon County Council’s Train4Tomorrow Skills Bootcamps programme has been awarded an additional £900,000, funding a further 400 places to boost skills development within our region.

Courses are open to adults aged 19 and over, looking to kickstart a new career, upskill or change roles. Train4Tomorrow Skills Bootcamps have supported around 2000 individuals over the past three years.

For individuals: Supercharge your career with Skills Bootcamps! Free, flexible training within exciting sectors for those aged 19+ living in Devon or Cornwall. Find out more: www.train4tomorrow.org.uk

For Employers: 

  • Employers can use Skills Bootcamps to support their staff to develop new skills and transform their business. Courses are 90% part funded for SME employers who wish to use them for staff development and for larger businesses 70% of the course costs are funded.
  • For employers looking to recruit staff, Skills Bootcamps offer a pipeline of highly skilled and motivated individuals who are looking for roles where they can utilise the skills learnt.
  • With further funding expected in 2024 the team are keen to work with employers to create bespoke courses for their individual needs. Employers can get in touch with the team to discuss how Skills Bootcamps might be able to support their business development needs: train4tomorrow@devon.gov.uk.

This project is currently being delivered in partnership with 13 different training providers and offer a range of courses in priority sectors: Health and Social Care, Digital, Technical, Professional Services, Green skills, and Construction.

Devon, Plymouth and Torbay Online Careers Hub Event – 16th January 9am-12am

Are you an Enterprise Adviser? Cornerstone Employer? Or simply need support with engaging young people? If so, then this event is not to be missed!

The DPT Careers Hub, established in collaboration with The Careers and Enterprise Company, helps transform careers education for young people across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.

They work with every state-funded secondary school, special educational needs school, alternative provision & post 16 college, helping them to link with local employers to deliver high quality careers support for students. 

As well as working with employers, they link with training providers, FE colleges, universities and career professionals to help deliver the Gatsby Benchmarks and to ensure that all young people are able to identify their best next step. 

The Careers Hub will now play a critical role in supporting local skills development plans post Covid, understanding current and future job markets and feeding that intelligence into education.

This educational webinar is FREE to attend and will cover:

What do schools and students want? 

What is good information? 

Online vs physical delivery tips 

And more…

????Online |⏰ 16th January – 9am-12:00pm | Sign up today REGISTER HERE

Ecology and Conservation Skills Bootcamp

Petroc is working in partnership with Train4Tomorrow to offer free*, high-quality training to employed and unemployed adults.

Skills Bootcamps are short and flexible courses giving people the opportunity to build sector-specific skills and fast-track to a job interview with a local employer or improve their prospects in their current role.

This Skills Bootcamp will provide you with introductory knowledge and understanding of ecology and ecosystems focusing on the broad range of environmental settings in North Devon. The nature of ecosystems and the populations within them will be reviewed in theory and in practice, and you will also engage in fieldwork to gather appropriate data. National and international conservation strategies will be discussed. This course will also provide an introduction to the new Environmental Living Lab facility on the North Devon campus.

Find out more

*Subject to eligibility

English and maths qualifications with Learn Devon

Looking to gain a recognised English or maths qualification? Learn Devon is here to help.

No matter what your English or maths level is, Learn Devon can offer you a course.

Gaining a qualification (GCSE or Functional Skills) in English or maths will help you at home and work. Join a course with Learn Devon and they can help you get the qualification you want.

Explore free* Functional Skills and GCSEs courses. There is lots of support available to adult learners… Find out more and book into their enrolment events..

Learn Devon’s website

*Eligibility criteria applies for a free place.

DWP launches new Midlife MOT website

A new online Midlife MOT has been launched to help older workers with financial planning, health guidance, and to assess what their skills mean for their careers and futures.

Participants must be aged 44-56 and will receive a six-week programme of support covering three core areas: Wealth, Work and Wellbeing. Any employers wishing to get involved on behalf of their staff should go to the Midlife-Mot-Website 

Grant Funding for young people in Devon

Young people in Devon can now apply for personal grants up to £500 and business grants worth up to £2,000, helping them get into training and employment, or set up their own business. There are two funding opportunities:

Training & Employment Support Grant Up to £500 for any young person (16 to 30) who is entering training, an apprenticeship or starting a job after being unemployed. The grant can be used for essential items to help access training or employment, for example, interview clothing and travel costs.

South West Enterprise Fund Up to £2,000 for young people (18 to 30) with plans to start their own business within 6 months or have a business trading for less than 2 years. The grant is for costs directly related to the business, for example, purchasing equipment or machinery, printing marketing material or purchasing stock.

Find out more and apply: Young Devon & South West Enterprise Fund – Devon Funding News

Win a £250 cash grant for your business

Enterprise Nation and Adobe Express are giving away £250 cash grants to help small businesses grow and enhance their brands. You’ll also get free branding and marketing support for your small business.

Enter your business into the draw and take advantage of this exciting opportunity: Brand Builder monthly prize tracker | Enterprise Nation

Digital Leadership for SMEs

Free Digital Leadership training for small and medium businesses (SMEs) across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset, and Torbay, is now available. Business leaders who operate in the following sectors: Manufacturing, Clean Growth and Health and Adult Social Care, and who have 250 or fewer employees are eligible to apply for this free training opportunity.

Businesses can receive up to 32 hours of tutor led digital leadership training with the aim of embedding digital transformation within their business. Two training opportunities are available, these include driving digital transformation and driving digital business. More information about what you can expect from each training opportunity can be found here: https://skillslaunchpad.org.uk/digital-leadership-for-smes/.

To apply click the button below:

Free Digital Leadership training for small and medium businesses (SMEs) across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset, and Torbay, is now available. Business leaders who operate in the following sectors: Manufacturing, Clean Growth and Health and Adult Social Care, and who have 250 or fewer employees are eligible to apply for this free training opportunity.

Businesses can receive up to 32 hours of tutor led digital leadership training with the aim of embedding digital transformation within their business. Two training opportunities are available, these include driving digital transformation and driving digital business. More information about what you can expect from each training opportunity can be found here: https://skillslaunchpad.org.uk/digital-leadership-for-smes/.

To apply click the button below:

Digital Leadership for SMEs Application

Free cybersecurity support for small businesses

Regional police are now offering free cybersecurity support to local charities and businesses. 

We all know someone who has been scammed, and with that in mind, the South West Cyber Resilience Centre has been set up to offer you simple guidance to get some basic digital safeguards in place. Businesses can join up and receive simple help like e-learning for your staff, a twelve-week bite-sized programme on the simple measures that you can implement in place in a few minutes.

You can also access free training, use a student cadre to test your website and systems security, or take a critical look at your continuity plans and policies. With Home Office funding in place, the police-led team is genuinely here to offer you something for nothing. Around two in five businesses spot a cyber attack every year, and even the smallest of businesses are vulnerable. Find out more and join up here: www.swcrc.co.uk/membership

Free Promotion for your Business on the Discover App – don’t get left behind by your competition!

Keen to promote your business for FREE? Then take up the option of a free listing through the Discover app. The app, which is free to download, uses the latest technology to connect users to the opportunities available to them on their doorsteps, including shops, restaurants, bars, events and experiences. 

Simply get in touch with Discover and they will help promote your business using your own branding, imagery and anything else you want to be included in the listing. 

Features of the app include:

  • each town has its own area on the app meaning it can be tailored to specific locations
  • details of local businesses, special offers and links to online purchases
  • places to eat and things to do, including walking, cycling, history and even nature trails!
  • ability to identify people’s location so when they open the app, it will show them locally available content
  • Events, cultural and leisure facilities promoted for free
  • allows users to tailor their feed to what interests and matters to them
  • push notifications if there’s a message that needs to be communicated quickly

Any businesses that would like to add information or have any questions should email hello@discoverapp.co.uk or download Discover free through the App Store or Google Play.