Business Support & Opportunities

Expanding Business Support in Norfolk Libraries

Thanks to £13m funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the British Library’s BIPC Network is undergoing a major expansion, from 14 to over 100 regional and local library-based centres across England by 2023.

In Norfolk, the number of BIPC Local centres has increased from three to six – there are now BIPC Locals at Cromer, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, Thetford, Wroxham and Wymondham libraries – as well as the BIPC Norfolk regional hub at the Millennium Library in Norwich.

BIPC Norfolk can help people at different stages of their business – whether just starting out, needing advice on protecting business assets (IP), or ready to take the next step.

Bedroom to Business: Are you ready to start your own business?

We’re excited to offer a free six-week online programme that will take you on a journey from ‘Bedroom to Business’ – from the spark of an idea to setting up your own business.

The last 18 months have been tough and many people have had to find alternative sources of income. If you’re thinking about starting a new business venture, this programme will help you decide if you’re ready, support you to develop your idea and give you the tools you need to get started.

Bedroom to Business runs weekly for six weeks and is being delivered by MENTA. It consists of six two-hour workshops with a chance for Q&As and one-to-one coaching sessions after each workshop. You are welcome to join this course at any point during the 13 weeks. Recordings of earlier sessions will be available on BIPC Devon’s website. Participants who attend 10 of the 13 sessions will receive a certificate of completion.

IP support at your local library

If you are a business person, an inventor, an artist or an author, knowing the kind of intellectual property (IP) you own and how to protect it is essential.

As well as providing online 1-to-1s, we are now offering confidential face-to-face IP guidance at our BIPC Locals. Trained IP advisors can provide guidance on a range of intellectual property topics up to, but not including, legal advice.

Book one of the next sessions at Wroxham or Great Yarmouth libraries or look out for more coming up on the Eventbrite page.

Creative Unlimited Business & Entrepreneurs Support Programme

The Creative Unlimited project is designed to help economic recovery and growth in the creative, cultural and digital sectors in Norfolk and Suffolk and is a partnership between New Anglia LEP, University of East Anglia, Norwich University of the Arts, University of Suffolk, Suffolk County Council and Norfolk County Council (as part of the legacy of the StartEast programme). The project will help organisations and individuals develop and showcase their creative ventures through bespoke business workshops, masterclasses, mentoring and direct support.

Norfolk EXPERIENCE Providers’ Facebook Group

Join the new Norfolk EXPERIENCE Providers’ Facebook Group. Meet and collaborate with business owners and individuals across the county, who have already developed experiences or are in the process of creating new ones.

ICET Project | University of Suffolk

The European Social Fund and University of Suffolk are financing ICET, a £1m project to support SMEs to access high quality, immersive digital and professional leadership training.  A key element of the ICET project is to promote the progression of women in business and digital arenas. SMEs that register and apply to the ICET project, can request 50% of funding towards high level, immersive courses. Find out more

Head East Campaign update: How to promote your autumn/winter events

Head East, has now been live for ten weeks and has achieved a reach of 21.3 million so far. This campaign showcases the vibrant arts, culture and heritage in Norfolk and Suffolk through an online events calendar, bespoke itineraries, monthly content in Eastern Daily Press’ ‘What’s On’ guides, and curated social media content.

How to Get Involved
List your event(s) and venue for FREE on the Visit East of England website
1. Add an event listing
2. Add a free venue listing

Share your newsworthy stories for national press. Please email any stories about events and artists to Head East’s PR Lead Elma Glasgow

Norfolk for Business Twitter @norfolkforbiz

The business support team at @norfolkcc will keep you informed about grants, training & mentoring to help you grow your business.

New Anglia Growth Hub Free business support

New Anglia Growth Hub’s business advisers offer free support and guidance. They can help you find out more about the latest Government schemes and a range of local initiatives. Speak to them for impartial advice on 0300 333 6536 or email .

Go Digital Funding Programme

Go Digital is for micro, small and medium sized businesses based in Norfolk who want to make better use of digital tools to help them grow. Read more

Employer Training Incentive Programme

Employer Training Incentive Programme (ETIP) is a delegated training grant programme, aiming to assist Norfolk SMEs (less than 250 employees) in sectors that have been most effected or highlighted by COVID-19. Businesses, including self-employed business owners, will be able to use the grant to increase their employees’ skills level whilst supporting the diversification, growth or survival of the organisation. Read more

fsb – National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses Limited Events

Join us for our virtual events, including networking and business surgeries designed to help you find advice, support and guidance for your small business. FSB events are open to all small businesses and the self-employed across the UK.East of England Female Entrepreneurs’ Meetup – 24 November 2021 at 10:00, online networking for female entrepreneurs!


MediaFutures Open Call

The MediaFutures support programme is looking for artists and startups eager to reshape the media value chain through innovative, inclusive and participatory applications of data and user-generated content.

MediaFutures seeks to support novel, unconventional ways for people to engage with journalism, science, and democracy, using approaches and tools from the arts, technology, and innovation. The second open call challenge invites innovative, creative and impactful ideas which address the issues of online misinformation and disinformation in different domains.
Application Deadline: 27 January 2022


Artsadmin Creative Support Sessions

Free one-to-one support service for UK-based artists working in contemporary performance, at any stage of their career. Sessions are informal and artist-led, offering an opportunity to talk about anything from artistic ideas and project development to funding and contexts for your work. Book a Zoom session with one of the team.

Arts Health Early Career Research Intensive
9-13 May 2022, Snape Maltings, Cost: Early bird rates from £629 (student) – £899 (professional), some scholarships are available.

Presented by the Arts Health Early Career Research Network, University College London, and the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine in partnership with Snape Maltings’ Creative Campus, the Arts Health Research Intensive provides a rich introduction to the evidence base around arts in health and fundamentals of evaluation and research. Read more and apply

Theatre from Lived Experience, Centre for Excellence in Participatory Theatre
Online, 20 January 2022, 11:00-13:00, Cost: donation

In this session we will explore practical exercises and creative prompts for making theatre based on participants’ lived experience, as well as discussing the ethics of this practice.

Firm Foundations. Cornwall Museums Partnership
Online training, 21 Jan 2022 to 11 Mar 2022

Firm Foundations is a course for people embarking on a capital development project in the culture and heritage sectors.

Digital Culture Network Events
The Digital Culture Network has developed a series of FREE webinars to support arts & cultural organisations and businesses.

itc: independent theatre council Training

itc training courses are designed to provide you with a resilient toolkit of essential skills and specialist knowledge needed to run a performing arts company successfully. See the latest courses and book here.

MENTA Networking Events
New for 2022 Thursday face-to-face business networking in Suffolk & Norfolk

MENTA Thursday networking events are held at locations across Suffolk with monthly morning events in Haverhill, Bury St. Edmunds, Woodbridge and Norwich* Find our upcoming events below. MENTA welcomes all in business to our events. Choose your preferred location and join the business conversation. *Norwich events begin in March 2022. Our events are supported by Jacobs Allen Chartered Accountants.

Get it Together: Business and VCSE speed networking event
26 January 2022, 11:00 – 12:30

A free virtual networking event connecting businesses, charities and community groups. Are you a VCSE organisation looking for an opportunity to engage with businesses more effectively? Are you a business keen to align your values and provide meaningful support to your local community?

Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Training Sessions – Cost £50 – £75 per session

Fundraising for Individual Artists – 20 January 2022, 10:00-12:30
Digital Tools for Fundraisers – 18 & 25 January 2022, 10:00-12:30
Business Planning – 19 & 26 January 2022, 10:00-12:30
Corporate Fundraising – 3 & 10 February 2022 10:00-12:30

Norfolk Chambers of Commerce Events

A series of FREE virtual events which support businesses to restart, rebuild and renew. Click here to see the latest events.


DBACE Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs 2022

Applications for DBACE 2022 open on 13 January. For 28 years the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs has helped creatives bring their ideas to life.

Partnering with MeWe360, the programme aims to enable and celebrate talented 18-30 year olds driven to make positive social impact through their creative enterprise.

The £60,000 prize fund and £100,000 worth of business support will be split between 5 winners.

Business Growth Grant, Norwich City Council

Grants between £500 and £10,000 are available to Norwich-based micro, small or medium enterprises (with fewer than 250 employees) for projects which support business growth. Applications must be received no later than 31 January 2022, approved purchases/works must be complete before 18 March 2022.


ARTCRY is a new fund supporting urgent artistic responses to current social and political events. The fund aims to encourage artists to create bold political work with funding in seven days to enable fast action.

ARTCRY are seeking applications that open up or provokes dialogue and doesn’t close it down, can startle people with a new perspective, asks audiences to think more deeply, strives to make an impact, respects difference and can be presented in the public realm, with a spirit of openness and accessibility at its core. Applications can be from any artform and from artists at any stage in their career. Grants of up to £2,500 are available.

Moblox Limited Pitch to Piers Competition

Former Dragons’ Den judge Piers Linney is offering support to UK small business owners to boost their growth. Maximum value: £10,000. Application deadline: 28 January 2022

Arts Council England National Portfolio 2023 Onwards

Information about Arts Council England’s National Portfolio investment process for 2023 onwards, including who can apply, the timeline for applying and how to prepare. Read more

Film & TV Charity Stop-gap Grants

One-off grants available to individuals in financial need who work behind the scenes in film and TV in the UK.
Maximum value: £750

Business Innovation Support Scheme

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are pleased to offer a range of new grant schemes, in support of our local independent businesses. The grants are designed to encourage sustainable innovation and economic growth. Read more

Power to Change

Open and upcoming funding programmes for community businesses.

CROWDMATCH: Providing a match-funding incentive to maximise community business crowdfunding.
POWERING UP: Support for community businesses shifting from an emergency mindset to investing in future planning. The initial phase provides support for improving digital skills.
BOOSTER: Supporting community businesses to launch a community share offer with grants and match funding.
REBOOST: Supporting community businesses to raise community shares capital to aid their recovery from Covid-19.

British Business Bank Start Up Loans

Start or grow your own business with a Start Up Loan:

  • Borrow up to £25,000
  • Fixed interest rate of 6% per annum (per year)
  • Repay over a term of 1–5 years
  • 12 months of free mentoring
  • Government-backed

Creative UK Investment Funding

Start Up Loans: Creative UK has partnered with the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans scheme to unlock new and important finance opportunities for people working across the creative industry in the UK. If you’ve started a business in the last two years, Start Up Loans can help you develop your creative pursuit, offering personal loans of up to £25,000.

Creative Growth Finance: Is a landmark fund providing vital scale up finance to the UK’s most promising creative businesses. Finance will be directed to post-revenue creative businesses presenting promising growth potential and who: bring change, disruption and new IP to the creative industries, harness creativity with technologies and supporting businesses, are talent led. Loans of £100,000 – £500,000 are available across all UK regions.

East Suffolk Plan for the Future Grant

Delivered by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and East Suffolk Council, the new ‘Plan for the Future’ scheme begins on Monday 27 September and provides support to businesses in East Suffolk which have been severely affected by Covid-19 and the subsequent restrictions. Read more

New Anglia Growth Hub Finance and Funding

The Growth Hub has access to experts and suppliers across a number of different funding approaches for various industries or projects.


Global Fibre Impact Explorer

Textile Exchange is proud to take on the Global Fibre Impact Explorer – a tool built by Google in partnership with WWF that helps brands understand the environmental risk of their raw materials sourcing. Our goal in taking the tool into 2022 and beyond is to equip all brands, big and small, with the data they need to make more sustainable sourcing decisions.

New quality framework planned for social prescribing

The National Association of Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA), the National Academy of Social Prescribing (NASP) and London 2012 legacy funder Spirit of 2012 have together launched a project to make social prescribing easier and more effective. Read more

Culture: The Missing Link to Climate Action

A new report by Julie’s Bicycle, Culture: The Missing Link to Climate Action, says that the global creative community has embraced environmental action at local, sectoral and national level, which has grown substantially during the pandemic, and there is an opportunity now for government policy to draw on the culture sector’s creativity and power to motivate.

ACE – Building on Environmental Commitments 

ACE has published Environmental Responsibility: From Understanding to Action, which is the first stage of their new environmental policy and action plan. It summarises the environmental impacts and carbon footprint and what they’ve been doing to change.

Creative Industries PEC led by nesta New Research Focus on Climate Change

We’re partnering with Julie’s Bicycle to look at a research agenda on climate change for the creative industries. As part of this new research initiative, we have also commissioned two new projects on net zero and sustainability goals in the theatre and fashion sectors: Managing transition in the UK fashion sector & Transitioning to sustainable production across the UK theatre sector .

Arts Council England Delivery Plan 2021-24

To achieve the vision of Let’s Create, ACE will publish a series of Delivery Plans over the next decade. These will set out in more detail the steps it will take to deliver Let’s Create and how it will resource them. The first Delivery Plan covers 2021-24. Its a live document, which will be added to and updated over the coming months and years. Read More

Creative UK Report 

The UK Creative Industries is the first report of its kind, exploring the power and potential of the UK’s creative industries to regenerate places, rebuild the economy, drive innovation and create jobs in all parts of the UK. Read more

The Audience Agency ‘Build Back Creatively’ Toolkit  

As the UK emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and looks to the future, it’s clear that Britain’s genuinely world-beating creative industries can play a vital role both in rebuilding the country’s economy and helping communities emerge from successive lockdowns.
This toolkit is a practical document that you can begin using today to work out how you to boost your local creative economy. Download it here