Partner Programmes

My Own Boss

Business Support - Staffordshire County Council

Support for people looking to start their own business but who are not quite sure on where to start? Fully funded business coaches offer bespoke support to help get a business idea off the ground.

The dedicated team of coaches provide FREE information, coaching and guidance in all aspects of self-employment, including business planning, HMRC registration and financial planning.

To access this support please email

Made Smarter Programme

Connects manufacturers and makers to digital tools so that they can transform the way they work, resulting in cutting costs, getting to market faster and reducing downtime.

Through Made Smarter, access is available to fully funded specialist technology experts,  to help identify the right tools to make everyday improvements to the business.

In addition to this 50% match funding is also available to implement projects, as well as guidance on creating an effective digital roadmap to ensure the right technology is taking the business forward.

UK Export Academy

Learn how to sell your products and services to the world. Exporting can help you grow your business by finding new customers and increasing your sales - UK Export Academy (

Carbon Literacy Training

Training is available for businesses based in Staffordshire, this fully funded short online course provides individuals with an awareness of climate related impacts their activities have.

It will also provide them with the knowledge and motivation to make reductions to greenhouse gas emissions - Carbon Literacy Training (

One2Three Club

A business networking opportunity to take advantage of business opportunities across Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire. For start up businesses formed within the last three years or those wishing to start up - One2Three Club (

Staffordshire County Council Enterprise Centres

The County Council has a number of units to let in Stafford as part of its overall strategy of regeneration and economic development.

These are available to let on flexible, monthly 'easy-in', 'easy-out' licences - Staffordshire County Council Enterprise Centres (

Staffordshire Business and Environmental Network

A free membership group to help businesses achieve long term sustainability and maximise their business opportunities through innovative environmental activity - Staffordshire Business and Environmental Network (

The Carbon Tracker

A fully funded online carbon foot printing and reporting tool that enables Staffordshire organisations to measure and monitor carbon emissions from their energy use, fuel use, transport, water consumption and energy generation. Standard recommendations are also provided to help you reduce your carbon emissions - The Carbon Tracker (

Creative Lab

Offered by Staffordshire University, this is a platform for ideas and business model generation, scaling up and new product or process design.

It is a workspace that provides access to specialist and collaborative facilities where students, innovative thinkers, start-ups and SMEs can benefit from a digitally enhanced environment and university expertise - Creative Lab ( 

Staffordshire University Knowledge Partnerships

KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, the University, and a recently qualified graduate to collaborate on a business opportunity, idea or innovation and supports companies to drive innovation through the development of new digital products, processes and services.

SMEs can claim grant support at 67% towards project costs and for large companies 50% - Staffordshire University Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (

Staffordshire University Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Specifically for growth orientated businesses with up to 500 employees, the focus of a mKTP is specifically on delivering human-centred and/or technology enabled, strategic change.

Up to 67% funding is available depending on the size of the business - Staffordshire University Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (

Hatchery and Incubation Office Spaces

Office space of all sizes based in Stafford is available to rent through Staffordshire University. Through this, businesses can gain access to academic expertise, specialist equipment, training courses, business mentors and so much more - Hatchery and Incubation Office Spaces (

Department of International Trade

Whether you are interested in exporting for the first time, or an experienced exporter, support from the UK Government’s DIT can help your business to grow in new markets - Department of International Trade (

Keele University Knowledge Transfer Partnership

This programme is designed to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through better use of knowledge, technology and skills.

A KTP is a three-way project partnership between a business, Keele University and a recently-qualified high-calibre graduate.

Up to 67% of the total KTP budget for SMEs is met by Government funding (for larger companies, this is up to 50%). In certain cases, the KTP may also be eligible for Research and Development tax credits - Keele University Knowledge Transfer Partnership (

Smart Energy Network Demonstrator

Access to a specialist researcher and academic expert for those wanting their business to become more sustainable and energy efficient - Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (

Innovate UK 

Supports business led innovation in all sectors and technologies.

Innovate UK help businesses grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes and services.  

Princes Trust

Helps support young people (18-30 years old) into education, training and employment. Their support covers the practicalities of running a business, followed by 1-2-1 support for business forecasting and business mentoring for 2 years.

If applicants have completed the Trust’s ‘Explore Enterprise Course’, they can apply for a ‘Test My Business Idea’ grant of up to £500 to help with market research for a new idea.

Loans are also available along with a live chat option on Prince's Trust (

MentorMe Programme

The Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) offer free 1-2-1 virtual business support sessions for Staffordshire businesses looking to:

  • Start a business or in the embryonic stages of your business?
  • Keen to identify potential new markets?
  • Interested in bid ready for public procurement opportunities?
  • Need advice on chasing late payments?
  • Seeking general advice and support?

Contact to book a slot.

Stafford Business Together

Monthly gatherings open to all businesses in Stafford and surrounding areas, to network, unlock new opportunities and discuss business challenges in a relaxed, friendly environment.  

Held the last Thursday of every month 5.30pm - 7pm. - Stafford Business Together - Staffordshire Chambers.

Kick Off in Business

This is a fully funded, one-week online course available to adults (19+) who are interested in exploring the option of self-employment or starting their own business. Also open to those have already started their business or registered as self-employed  

Help to set up a business or become self-employed (

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