A £5.2 million programme to encourage innovative business ideas within small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) has been launched by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP).
Innovation has been identified as an important element of the future growth of the local economy. The Innovation Support for Business (ISfB) programme will boost opportunities for businesses to enhance the infrastructure for research and innovation in Oxfordshire.
ISfB offers tailored packages of support to meet the specific needs of commercial enterprises. This includes one-to-one coaching and mentoring, workshops and Go-Create grants for innovation projects. Go-Create funding offers up to 33% of project costs with grants available from £1,000 to £50,000.
The ISfB team facilitates links to specialist expertise, equipment and resources which are typically available only to larger companies. Co-working space is also being made available for entrepreneurs just starting out at the Bicester Eco Business Centre, SmartOxford Incubator and the Agile and Prototyping Labs in Begbroke.
Helen Brind, the Growth Hub Manager at OxLEP Business said:
“ISfB is not exclusive to just cutting edge or technology-based enterprises. In fact, the programme is open to enterprises in most sectors with innovative ideas for their day-to-day business. We want to hear from any entrepreneur looking to do something differently.”