Funding and support for SMEs

We have a range of services and funding solutions to help small medium enterprises (SMEs) with their recruitment needs.

We work with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help you attract, select and keep students and graduates through funding, consultancy services and workshops.

Talent management consultancy

We offer consultancy to enhance your early-careers recruitment activity, and work with you to develop bespoke talent management solutions.

We have a flexible, solutions-focused approach and have experience of working with a wide range of requirements.

To help you get started, download our Attract, Select and Keep talent toolkits today.


It can be expensive to employ new staff, come up with innovative ideas and make change.

We can offer funding to help you recruit students and graduates, including:

  • £1,200 grant to support a minimum of 8 weeks employment

To find out more about funding opportunities and to see if you meet the eligibility criteria, contact us.

You can also visit Support for SMEs to see our full range of services and support to help your business grow.

This Funding is offered through the European Regional Development Fund and Santander.

Santander logo

Innovation Community Lab

The Innovation Community Lab (ICL) is a 30-hour course designed to share knowledge and skills around business innovation. Taking part in ICL can help develop a junior colleague’s confidence, business acumen and leadership.

We run two cohorts a year: January to June, and July to December. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is of no cost to eligible businesses.

Find out more

The participants have really enjoyed the programme, networking and thinking through new ideas. The presentations and activities have really developed their confidence and each week you could see visible improvements.

Grant Whitt, Manager, Freshcut Foods

Who is eligible?

Most small and medium organisations in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are eligible for support.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are defined as:

  • less than 250 employees and either:
    • annual turnover less than EUR 50 million or
    • annual balance sheet less than EUR 43 million.

Still need help?

Employability Business Development Team
+44 (0)115 848 2189