Business Support & Opportunities

University of Suffolk Entrepreneurs Forge

The Entrepreneurs Forge is an immersive development programme designed to help personal resilience and economic recovery and growth in Suffolk, and is a partnership between Creative Unlimited Suffolk, New Anglia LEP, Start East, Suffolk County Council and the University of Suffolk.

Immersive Lab: new immersive training and innovation space for creative digital business, freelancers and start-ups.
Mini MBA Programme: an 8 week development, growth and resilience programme of masterclasses, group activities and peer-to-peer support to learn about entrepreneurial leadership.
Bootcamp Programme: an intensive student and graduate bootcamp to collaborate on projects and connect with commercial clients.

Think Lowestoft

Visit the Think Lowestoft website to join the Virtual Creative Hub and add your creative enterprise to their free online Creative Directory.

The virtual creative hub is a place for artists, makers, freelancers, and organisations to connect, collaborate, and share ideas with other like-minded people. They want to increase confidence, experimentation, and growth, and will accomplish this by cultivating connections, providing business support, and supporting the sector by raising the profile and public awareness of the emerging creative sector.

Think Lowestoft Events

Business & IP Centre Norfolk Upcoming events

Supporting you from that first spark of inspiration to successfully starting and developing a business in Norfolk. They have a year-round programme of free events including: workshops, webinars, networking events and one-to-one advice sessions. To see all their current events and book your place, visit the BIPC Eventbrite page.

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

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.

Bedroom to Business will start again in May 2022 and will run weekly for six weeks. It is being delivered by MENTA and consists of six two-hour workshops with a chance for Q&As and one-to-one coaching sessions.

Norfolk & Suffolk Innovation Grant Mentoring Project

Free innovation mentoring and bid writing project, run by Norfolk County Council, Suffolk County Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), to help smaller businesses secure the funding they need to develop their project ideas. Innovation funding helps companies develop new products or markets. The project helps small to medium business owners or managers, including micro business owners and sole traders, who are based in Norfolk or Suffolk. Register your interest

Onwards Norfolk

Onwards Norfolk is run by Norwich BID, King’s Lynn BID and Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership funded via the government’s UK Community Renewal Fund.The project offers local business free courses such as digital and media training, and upskilling opportunities for the leisure and hospitality sector.

Norwich Business Support Hub, Norwich BID

Norwich Business Support Hub—based at The Forum delivers a programme of weekly speakers as part of ‘Norwich Talks Up Business’, and holds training and networking events as part of Onwards Norwich.

Inc Arts Talent Finder

Inc Arts has gathered databases, networks and lists built by people under-represented in the arts, and put them in one place for the sector, whether you are looking for creatives or business support. Read more

MENTA Networking Events

MENTA Thursday networking events are held at locations across Norfolk and Suffolk with monthly morning events in Haverhill, Bury St. Edmunds, Woodbridge and Norwich.

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.

Head East Campaign Promote Your Events

The Head East campaign showcases the vibrant arts, culture and heritage in Norfolk and Suffolk through an online events calendar, bespoke itineraries, and curated social media content. List your event(s) and venue for FREE on the Visit East of England website.

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


Norfolk Creativity and Wellbeing Week 16-22 May 2022

The theme for Creativity and Wellbeing week 2022 is ‘Get Creative, Get Outdoors’. The festival will focus on a mix on events that take place both in-person and online. If you have an event that you would like to highlight for Norfolk Creativity and Wellbeing Week please register it on the Creativity & Wellbeing Week website and send us details for our social media campaign.

Jerwood Arts: Jerwood Curatorial Accelerator – Call for Entries

Jerwood Arts are delighted to introduce their UK-wide call for entries for Jerwood Curatorial Accelerator (JCA), a new 12-month programme to support ten early-career curators from working class/low socio-economic backgrounds to develop their networks, skills, and leadership ambitions.
Deadline: 5pm, 3 May 2022

European Media Art Platform (EMAP): Call for Applications – Residencies 2022

With the support of the European Union’s Creative Europe programme, for the next 3 years the European Media Art Platform expands its residency program for artists, collectives or other artistic collaborations working in the fields of digital art, media art, and bio-art to residencies in 15 countries.
Deadline: 27 April 2022

ACS Studio Prize 2022: Win £4,500 to Fund a Studio

The Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS) is offering one student or recent graduate £4,500 to contribute to the cost of an artist’s studio in a UK city of their choice. The Studio Prize was established by ACS in 2017 to help artists with the costs of rising studio rents. It recognises the need for studio space and financial stability for emerging artists at the pivotal stage of beginning their careers.
Deadline: 30 June 2022


ArtatWork CIC Funding Bid Writing Made Easy Workshops

ArtatWork CIC were originally supported by StartEast to set up and are now offering FREE creative Funding Bid Writing Made Easy Workshops for those new to the funding world. Click on the dates below to book your place.
25 April 2022, 14:00-16:00, Silver Road Community Centre, Silver Road
9 May 2022, 14:00-16:00, The Shoebox Community Hub. 21-23 Castle Meadow, Norwich
30 May 2022, 14:00-16:00, The Jubilee Community Centre, Long John Hill

StartUp UK Saturday: One day business class in Norwich

7 May 2022, 10:00 – 16:30, 8 Thorpe Road, Norwich
Join Enterprise Nation, the UK’s leading small business network, to learn everything you need to get started on your business – in just one day. In this  FREE jam-packed session, you’ll find out how to turn a business idea into reality. Expect practical tips, inspiring stories, and a fun, interactive Saturday. Leave armed with all you need to begin your journey as a start-up founder! Book here

EXPERIENCE Networking Events for Tourism Businesses

These free, face-to-face events will enable you to meet other businesses and organisations wanting to bring visitors to Norfolk, develop more innovative sustainable tourism practices and extend the season.
Wednesday 4 May – 09.30am-12.30pm, Clippesby Hall, Clippesby, Great Yarmouth
Thursday 5 May – 09.30am-12.30pm at Maids Head Hotel, Norwich, NR3 1LB

Back to the Future: Arts in a Digital Age 

The University of East Anglia’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities is delighted to announce, Back to the Future: Arts in a Digital Age, a public event series showcasing UEA’s commitment to research and innovation in the arts sector. Through four events in May and June, we will focus on museum and gallery curatorial practice, archives, the wider heritage industry, and the study of history. All events will take place at Norwich Castle’s Town Close Auditorium, 18:30 – 20:00, and are free and open to the public.

Practising Well: Reflective Practice for Creative Practitioners
Monday 16 May, 10:00-12:00, Online

As part of Norfolk Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2022, Norfolk Arts Service has commissioned this FREE professional development session for creative practitioners and freelancers. Artist and researcher Nicola Naismith will introduce her new research findings from Practising Well: Conversations & Support Menu which explores the ways in which practitioners can be supported in their creative work with people. The session will include opportunities to exchange experiences with peers, experiment with reflective practice methods and consider on an individual and collective level what it means to practice well. Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. Book here

Events & Festivals – making good use of Public Space 
25 May 2022, 13:30-15:00

This virtual roundtable event will cover identifying opportunities in both urban and rural settings, understanding the local drivers, how to build momentum and ensure community ownership and considerations around sustainability. Read more

Artswork: Project Management for the Arts & Cultural Sector

Whether you are developing a funding application or are at the point of initiating a funded project, this workshop will leave you fully equipped and inspired to deliver your own arts and cultural projects. This online course is split over 2 days: Session 1 : 5 May, 10:00am – 12:30pm & Session 2: 12 May, 10:00am – 12:30pm. Cost: Full price: £85 per person, Bursary rate: £51

EXPERIENCE Training Calendar

Here you can find the calendar of events (training and networking) organised by Project EXPERIENCE for 2022 and the registration links.


Every Thursday from 7pm at The Rumsey Wells (in the Underbelly)
A weekly forum to present, develop & discuss works-in-progress, experiments & artworks. Bring music, stand-up, visual arts, YouTube videos, PowerPoint slideshows, etc.

Company Concentric Resource Roundtables

The Resource Roundtables are interactive group conversations which invite artists to reflect on a different aspect of their practice each month. Recent topics include working collectively, digital design, gender awareness and self-care. Each event combines self-reflection with networking time and peer support, allowing everyone to engage equally, share their questions and perspectives on the theme. Up coming dates: 2 March & 6 April 2022

TEA Break Sessions from The Audience Agency

Free monthly online TEA (Talking Evidence and Audiences) Breaks offer a regular introduction to The Audience Agency’s latest research, projects and sector knowledge – grab a cuppa and listen in.

itc: independant 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

The Hour Collective: Coaching for Artists by Artists

The Hour Collective supports you to find clarity about how, where, when and what to do on your own terms – to explore options, make decisions, test new approaches, to move forwards. We work with all artists including visual artists, writers, musicians, performers, choreographers, architects, curators, designers.
Please contact us for a free twenty minute no-commitment consultation phone call to work out whether coaching might be useful to you at this time or in the future.
Contact email:

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.

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

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.


Youth Music – Trailblazer Fund

The Youth Music Trailblazer fund offers grants of £2,000 to £30,000 to organisations in England to run projects for children and young people (25 or under) to make, learn and earn in music. We are looking to increase the number of applications from organisations working with children and young people in the East of England, so feel free to email Jan Mares (Senior Grants and Learning Officer at Youth Music) at to discuss your ideas.
Deadline:  13 May 2022

Magic Little Grants 2022 

Magic Little Grants 2022 has now launched. It will be awarding £500 grants to 2,650 charitable organisations on Localgiving. If your organisation is carrying out a project within the identified themes, make sure to get your application in once the programme launches on 16 March 2022  Read more
Deadline: 31 October 2022

Biffa Partnership Grants Scheme 

Biffa are currently accepting expressions of interest in their 2022 Partnership Grants Scheme for both Built Environment and Natural Environment themes.
EOI Deadline: 1 June 2022

The Austin & Hope Pilikington Trust

Grants of up to £5,000 are available to UK registered charities with a minimum income or expenditure of £2,000,000 to support talented young people working in the arts who are facing particular hardships as a result of the pandemic.
Deadline: 30 April 2022

Grants 4 Norfolk

Looking for funding? Try the FREE Norfolk County Council search facility serving both businesses and communities. Local, regional and national funding opportunities available. Register here.

Babergh & Mid Suffolk Grants

Business Innovation Support Scheme
The Business Innovation Support Scheme (BISS) will cover 50% of the costs (up to £2,500 (or £5,000 for the Enterprise and Innovation Fund)) towards projects that encourage innovation and economic growth.The aim of the scheme is to support businesses who want to innovate, reduce their carbon footprint and stimulate the local economy.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council Community Funding
Through the Community Grants team at the Councils, a range of grants are available for projects that have clear community benefits within the two districts.

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.

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.


The Arts in Norfolk: An Overview 2020-21

Read the latest Norfolk Arts Service Annual Report which advocates for the role, value, and contribution of the arts in Norfolk, illustrating the significant economic, social, and health-related impacts achieved by sustained Norfolk County Council arts investment.

In the wake of the unprecedented effects of Covid-19 on all our lives, access to arts and culture has never been more important. This report highlights the outstanding contribution that our arts organisations, community arts groups and artists have made over this last extremely challenging year.

Download the report here

Creative Industries PEC Spotlight on Creative R&D

A series of research and publications highlighting the need for investment in R&D in the Creative Industries. Read more

New Research Report Practising Well: Conversations & Support Menu

Nicola Naismith has published a new research report Practising Well: Conversations & Support Menu which explores wellbeing at work for creative practitioners working in participatory arts. Nicola says ” This is a critical time, creative practitioners will be living and processing their own experiences of recent seismic events whilst supporting others through participatory arts offers. A culture change is needed in the participatory arts sector to ensure creative practitioners are consistently supported in the work they do.” You can access the full report and alternative versions here.

Report: The role of the arts during the Covid-19 pandemic

Key findings of this report published by University College London (UCL) and funded by Arts Council England include an increase in creative and cultural engagement in lower income and lower education groups during the pandemic. Read more

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.

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