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Processes and systems

There are several useful business support schemes and grants that can be used to improve internal processes and systems, leading to greater efficiency and productivity.

Productivity Through Innovation

Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Derby offer this high impact programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund. They work with SMEs to deliver productivity improvements, by introducing new or improved processes, products or services. You can also get fully funded consultancy advice and workshops from industry experts, as well as funding towards graduate and postgraduate placements working on your business improvement projects helping you with strategic planning and providing operational insights in areas such as; business continuity, supply chain development, future markets research, product development, reducing waste, digital technologies and digital marketing strategies.


Offers a range of free business support services to SMEs in the aerospace, rail and automotive supply chain. Enscite is a partnership between the University of Derby and Aston University and the offer includes a series of online funded learning lab workshops which have been specifically designed for challenges that businesses may face within this sector. Grant funding is also available for SMEs in this sector employing a recent graduate for a particular project to help improve competitiveness and productivity. With the Knowledge Exchange and Innovation (KEI) fund a business can get £5,950 towards the cost of employing the graduate.

Energy for Business

This is a low-carbon innovation project from Nottingham University. They help SMEs with product research and development, business support and have some capital funding/grants. This can help your business to take the leap into becoming a low carbon business. SME’s can get up to £8,000 or 40% of eligible project costs. Minimum projects to be considered are £2,500 to maximum of £20,000.

The Manufacturing Growth Programme

The Manufacturing Growth Programme provides business support around consultancy to assist SME sized manufacturers who are trading and who can show an intention to grow.

It’s being delivered by Economic Growth Solutions and SME’s will be able to access some capital funding to help pay towards 1/3 of agreed project costs up to a maximum of £10K.

This programme is designed to help manufacturers to identify their own growth needs, create practical action plans and help them move forwards. You can find out more on The Manufacturing Growth Programme website or contact regional manager David Caddle by

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