Business Support

Fully Funded Business Support Programmes for Central Bedfordshire Businesses

Central Bedfordshire Productivity - University of Bedfordshire

Supporting ambitious Central Bedfordshire based businesses, this new productivity programme will assist companies looking to attract new investment and achieve accelerated growth - offering bespoke, fully funded, accredited Lean Six Sigma training.

Go Global - Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Central Bedfordshire Council are delighted to announce they are working together to support up to 200 companies with their international trade support needs.

Ready for Scale - Cranfield University

A 12-week Growth Plan programme to enable the next phase of your business growth. Our process shows you how to critically review your business, asks challenging questions, and thoroughly interrogates what is and isn’t working.

Business Support, Mentoring and Grants - SEMLEP

Participating businesses receive in-depth support over a six-month period to aid their recovery. They can access specialist expertise via grants of between £1,000 - £3,000 for use on professional support from the local business community.

Green Connectors - Green Business Network

The Council is supporting GBN to set up a new programme – Green Connectors, which is a referral network for providers of green products and services. This network aims to increase business for green solution providers by teaching them how to refer each other to their clients.

Business Growth Programme (BGP) - Cranfield University

Designed specifically for the development of owner-managers of established businesses, the BGP offers a team of counsellors and trainers working closely with participants to ensure they create the future they want for themselves and their businesses.

Innovation and Recovery Grant - SEMLEP

For those who suffered a demonstrable downturn in business during COVID, this grant offers up to £20,000 to help fund business innovation / recovery activity which results in job creation.

Essential Management - Cranfield University

Designed to provide new and experienced managers of small and medium sized businesses with the skills required to become commercially-focussed, confident members of the senior team.

Finance Fundamentals - Cranfield University

Finance Fundamentals equips managers who have financial responsibilities with the key concepts and abilities required to manage finances at an SME level

Investment Ready Support - SEMLEP

A pilot programme with Grant Thornton, offering intensive investment readiness support to businesses who are looking at access to finance and/or raise investment.

Ready for Net Zero Growth and Top Up programmes - Cranfield University

An 18 week programme that focus on embedding the participant's business Net Zero ambitions within their growth plan. A Top Up programme is available to those who have already completed the Business Growth Programme.

Setting Up a Business


Wenta offer business start-up advice and guidance, business training and development opportunities, business centre premises and education programmes.

Princes Trust Enterprise Programme

The Enterprise Programme helps people start in business. For people who are 18-30 are exploring the idea of starting a business.

SEMLEP'S Growth Hub

SEMLEP’s Growth Hub is here to help local businesses realise their ambitions through free impartial information, advice and guidance. The Growth Hub have expert knowledge of the national and local business support available

Central Bedfordshire Council

Central Bedfordshire Council Business Support team will guide you through the steps from setting up in business to achieve your business goals. If you have relocated to the area, you will receive one to one support from their aftercare service.

Public Protection Advice

The Public Protection team at Central Bedfordshire Council offer business training, advice and audits to make it easy for you to comply with legal requirements, reduce your risks and and save you money.


GOV.UK has compiled links to all relevant and useful government information for businesses including self employment, registration, tax, licences, etc.

Federation for Small Businesses - FSB

FSB offers a wide range of business services including advice, financial expertise, and a powerful voice in government. It is the largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms

Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation provides business start-up advice or support if you are thinking about setting up your business.

Money Advise Service

This Money Advise Service provides a guide which you can discover the pros and cons of working for yourself, how to keep accurate records and what help is available to you if you choose to become self-employed.

Inspire 2 Enterprise

Inspire 2 Enterprise supports you to start, run and grow your social enterprise.

Community Action Bedfordshire

Community Action Bedfordshire is a voluntary and community sector support organisation that develops, enables, promotes and supports local voluntary and community action (including volunteering) across Bedfordshire.

Growing your Business

Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce can provide you with a range of tools to help your business. These include events, export support and a membership scheme.

Experience Bedfordshire

Businesses that rely on visitors and tourists are being offered the opportunity to promote their business for free via Experience Bedfordshire. Central Beds Council is funding membership for 65 businesses to sign up to Experience Bedfordshire

Innovation Bridges

The University of Bedfordshire can provide expertise and funding to support innovation in your SME, through the Innovation Bridges project.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into research and development to help drive productivity and economic growth.

Intellectual Property Office

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trade marks and copyright


Nesta is an innovation foundation based in the UK. The organisation acts through a combination of programmes, investment, policy and research, and the formation of partnerships to promote innovation across a broad range of sectors.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Facilitated by Cranfield University, the Knowledge Transfer Partnership could provide the additional knowledge and capability required to advance the innovative and challenging ideas you may have to improve your business.

Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits

R&D tax credit relief supports companies that work on innovative projects in science and technology. It can be claimed by companies that seek to research or develop an advance in their field. It can even be claimed on unsuccessful projects.

Manufacturing Advisory Service

The Manaufacturing Advisory Service provides technical and strategic advice to the SMEs in the UK offering five levels of business involvement and Supply Chain assistance to help stimulate business growth.


Central Bedfordshire Council is working with the Food and Drink Forum to deliver funding for a range of services to food and drink manufacturers through the FEAST programme. This includes; grant funding, business mentoring, industry events, technical support and technical apprentices.

Food Standards Agency

The Food Standards Agency is responsible for protecting public health in relation to food in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Department for International Trade

The Department for International Trade provides support for businesses trading overseas.

Exporting Checklist

Export goods from the UK: step by step guide/checklist covering how to move goods from the UK to international destinations, including the EU.

Scale Up Institute

The ScaleUp Institute aims to advance understanding of how to scale up a business, and how to build the most effective environment in which scaleups can flourish.

The Business Barn

The Business Barn is a free, online resource providing advice and guidance for diversifying farmers, rural business owners and landowners.

Primary Authority Partnership Scheme

For businesses that also trade outside the county, the Primary Authority Partnership scheme could save you time, money and make it simpler to deal with regulations.

Business Continuity

The Bedfordshire Local Resilience Forum (BLRF) was formed to respond to any major emergencies and they are there to help you to prepare your business - every business should have a business continuity plan.

Employing an Apprentice

The Government apprenticeship service provides businesses with funding to cover some of the cost of training and assessing an apprentice.

GOV.UK : Business Information

A listing of all Gov.UK website listings for business / self employed information and support

Business Incubators

Incuba Centre - Dunstable

The Incuba is a well established business centre in the region, playing host to a range of new start-up businesses, meetings, conferences and events.

Wrest Park Enterprise Centre, Silsoe

Wrest Park Enterprise Centre offers a full range of workplace solutions including serviced, virtual and shared offices, larger office suites, warehouses, workshops & storage units, complimented with conference & meeting facilities all on one campus.

Cranfield University Business Incubation Centre (CUBIC)

At CUBIC we offer knowledge-based businesses the opportunity to use local meeting space to establish and grow in a science and technology environment.

Wrest Park Mansion House, Silsoe

Within this historic French Revivalist mansion, English Heritage offer an extensive range of serviced accommodation including individual offices and suites from 100 sq ft, all accessed via the Grand Hall with a manned reception and plentiful parking.

The Rufus Centre, Flitwick

The Rufus Centre is a modern centre focused on providing flexible, quality, office accommodation.

Cranfield Eagle Lab

The Cranfield Eagle lab provides a co-working space with a range of support services, including access to expert mentoring and funding opportunities and a schedule of events

Cranfield Innovation Centre

The Cranfield Innovation Centre is tailored specifically to the needs of small and growing businesses, offering serviced offices on flexible leases as well as meeting rooms, conference facilities and administrative support.

Sandringham Community and Enterprise Hub, Houghton Regis

The Hub provides local businesses with office space and conference facilities conveniently located near to the M1 and A5.

Working Woodlands, Haynes

Have three workshop units available to rent suitable for new and small wood- or woodland-related businesses on flexible monthly terms and at affordable rents.

Dunstable Business Centre

The DBS is a centre located on quiet industrial estate and offers newly re-furbished offices with secure parking.

Business Networking

Business Buzz

Business Buzz holds a number of different network events in the area monthly. A fresh vibe in business networking, this drop-in session is a great way to catch up with the local business community

The Room Networking - Bedford

The Room Networking, Bedford is a weekly breakfast networking group with over 28 local businesses represented each week with meetings focused on generating new business opportunities for attendees.


Networking@Dunstable meet monthly on the first Friday of the month at the Holiday Inn Express, Dunstable, from 7am to 9am.

Flitwick Business Group

The Flitwick Business Group is an organisation set up and run by businesses in Flitwick and the surrounding towns and areas who are committed to work together to promote local trade with and between local businesses.

Creative Bedfordshire Network (Bedford Creative Arts)

Creative Bedfordshire Network is a network of creative people and businesses in Bedfordshire and offers regular networking events and professional development opportunities.

Enterprising Women

Enterprising Women aims to offer support, training and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and those who have already launched their own companies.

The Athena Network Bedfordshire

The Athena Network in Bedfordshire is a structured yet informal monthly networking and business development club for female business owners and executives.


WiRE offers a range of business services including training, online presence and support for women in rural enterprise.

Women in Business Network

Women in Business Network is a membership organisation for women who wish to gain new business opportunities through word of mouth.

Green Business Network

Green Business Network provides an array of services to help businesses navigate increasing levels of environmental legislation.


WRAP is a registered charity that works with businesses, individuals and communities to help them reduce waste, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way.

Social Enterprise East of England

Social Enterprise East of England is a membership organisation, strategy and policy organisation covering the Eastern region and contains information on business support, procurement, training and finance, as well as local events.

Social Enterprise UK

Social Enterprise UK is the biggest network of social enterprises in the UK and supports and represents work of members, influences national policy and promotes best practice.

Good Networking

Good Networking is a free monthly networking brunch that benefits attendees and a local charity