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Ambitious Growth Ambitious Growth

If you want to create a high-growth, innovative business with the potential to reach national and international markets, you’ll need investment and specialist support to scale up your business.

Durham Start-ups includes programmes, resources and links to useful information to help you grow.

Have big ideas?

We’ve compiled a list of key resources to take your business to the next level.

View the checklist

Business support iconBusiness Support Programmes

Durham Ambitious Business Start-ups

An ERDF-funded programme that helps high-quality start-ups in County Durham start trading. Offers premium quality support during the critical first 12 months in business.

Visit Durham Ambitious Business Start-ups website (opens in a new window)

Durham City Incubator (DCI)

Durham City Incubator (DCI) is an accelerator programme for entrepreneurs and growing businesses in County Durham. This six-month fully funded accelerator programme supports any ambitious entrepreneurs in Durham with the vision to start and scale up their business. We particularly encourage student and graduate talent from Durham University and New College Durham to apply.

Visit Durham City Incubator (DCI) website (opens in a new window)

Business Durham - Digital Drive

Provides workshops and funding to purchase IT equipment, software and digital consultancy to businesses in County Durham. Grants of up to £2000 (40% intervention).

Visit Business Durham - Digital Drive website (opens in a new window)

Funding icon Start up Funding

Virgin Startup

Virgin StartUp supports founders and future founders as they get their startup ideas off the ground, all the way through to raising investment and scaling up.

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Transmit Growth

The Transmit Growth Fund directly supports companies who are looking for some help in raising the finance they need to make advances in their business, and for whom finance from traditional lenders is not an option. This fund provides the affordable, ethical finance that entrepreneurs need and deserve to pursue their opportunities. So whether it’s a new contract, taking on staff, expanding premises or new products and services, our team will look pragmatically at your application to support you.

Visit Transmit Growth website (opens in a new window)

Start Up Loans

The Start Up Loans Company are a subsidiary of the British Business Bank and deliver the Government’s Start Up Loans programme providing finance and support for businesses who struggle to access other forms of finance.

Visit Start Up Loans website (opens in a new window)

Business Durham - Digital Drive

Provides workshops and funding to purchase IT equipment, software and digital consultancy to businesses in County Durham. Grants of up to £2000 (40% intervention).

Visit Business Durham - Digital Drive website (opens in a new window)

NBSL

NBSL operate the North East Business Support Fund – part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – and are able to provide project-specific grants to growing businesses in County Durham. The fund can support business projects including business planning, strategy development, product development, process improvement and marketing planning and strategy, website development/design amongst other things. The current grant delivery programme is closed for applications but businesses are invited to visit the website below to express their interest in grant support and will be contacted when new funding becomes available.

Visit NBSL website (opens in a new window)

North East Business & Innovation Centre

Funded from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) the SME Innovation Programme is designed to help North East SMEs realise their innovative possibilities, by offering: Access to industry experts and suppliers which match your needs; Up to 40% Project Funding (project value between £5k-40k)

Visit North East Business & Innovation Centre website (opens in a new window)

North East Fund

This Development Capital Fund provides a range of funding packages up to £2 million, investing in established small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) looking for capital to help them unlock their growth potential.

Visit North East Fund website (opens in a new window)

Innovation Super Network - Grants

Are you a local SME with a project to develop a new product or service, and looking for funding?

Visit Innovation Super Network - Grants website (opens in a new window)

Region icon Other regional support

High Potential Startups

If you’re an entrepreneur with a big idea, the High Potential Startups accelerator programme will help you to bring your idea to life, bigger and better than you can alone.

If you’re an existing business owner, High Potential Startups can help you to encourage intrapreneurship in your business – encouraging employees to operate like entrepreneurs whilst still working for your business can be a great way to enter new markets and develop new products.

Visit High Potential Startups website (opens in a new window)