Funding for your Business – Update from event

This morning’s breakfast was held at NFBP member venue Minstead Lodge.

Emily, gave a brief overview of the history of the Lodge to the 30 delegates in attendance and explained how NFBP members can assist in supporting their charity Minstead Training Trust.
There were three speakers this morning, each explaining different areas of funding available to businesses.

New Forest LEADER

Sally Igra detailed how the New Forest LEADER Programme provides Grants for Businesses & Communities in rural areas. She also stressed that you must be quick as the application window closes in January 2019.

LEADER provides EU funds at a local level and there are local people assessing grant applications via the Local Action Group.

Leader can fund capital items (buildings, equipment & machinery) for:

  • business growth
  • new business start-up

These items must be able to demonstrate that they will help the business grow by creating jobs; and be of benefit the rural economy. Along with funding

Sally explained that there are a few checks to make to ensure that your business is funding ready:

1.Before you apply: be clear in your own mind what you need and how it will help your business to grow;

2.Do your sums: what will be the payback period for the investment? what will be the return on investment? Remember to consider additional resources needed;

3.Have a written business plan – the application form isn’t the place to think through your proposal;

4.Remember, every section of the application form will be considered.

For more information on the New Forest LEADER programme please visit

The FSE Group (Finance South East)

Derek Ellis detailed how the FSE Group offers fund management and support to SMEs to meet the funding gap in the South East. They are an Independent C.I.C , established 2002, FCA authorised.

The method of operation is to offer access to finance where conventional funding not available. Focussing on Management, Business Plan & integrated forecasts and less so on historic trading. The over-arching aims of the Schemes under management are to support high growth SMEs and to achieve new job creation.

Derek explained that when assessing applications they look for:

  • Strong management
  • An innovative proposition
  • Intellectual Property
  • Strategy for Growth
  • Existing recurring income streams

Other funding opportunities Derek outlined was the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund and the Equity, Angel Club and Mentoring.

For more information please visit:

Enterprise First

Andy Pringle – Business Development Manager at Enterprise First, gave an overview of the company and what it could offer small businesses and start ups. Andy also talked about his role in signposting businesses to sources of finance and funding. This is information is summarised in the “Start your own business New Forest” book produced by Andy and the Economic Development team at New Forest District Council. A download of the book can be found here.

For more information on Enterprise First please visit:

Members can view the presentation slides in the Member’s Area.

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