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About us

Government funded support for business

What is The Business Hothouse?

The Business Hothouse is a free business support program that runs until September 2022. We offer a range of free workshops, intensives and 1-2-1 mentoring sessions that are led by experienced business coaches and management consultants. We also offer access to the Invest4 business grant fund.

Who is The Business Hothouse program aimed at?

We welcome any U.K. resident aged 18+ with a business, a start-up or just a business idea.

What topics are The Business Hothouse free workshops and intensives on?

The objective of our program is to bridge the business knowledge gaps that many business or start-up owners have. We offer expert support across these six key areas:

Where are our workshops and intensives held?

You can choose to attend our interactive online workshops or you can attend our workshops that are held in physical spaces. We deliver these in key cities and towns across the coast-to-capital area. The best way to find out when we’re delivering workshops in your area is to sign-up to our Emailer which we broadcast once a fortnight. You can also follow us on Social Media.

What is the Invest4 Grant Fund?

Invest4 is a business grant fund. We award cash to businesses and start-ups to help them to grow faster. You can find out more https://www.chi.ac.uk/business-services/business-hothouse/invest4-grant-funding

Why is there no fee to attend our workshops and intensives?

We are funded through the European Regional Development Fund and HM Government. This enables us to offer all of our expert support for free.

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Workshop & Boot Camp timetable

Until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted most of our support sessions will be held remotely. We offer workshops, 1-2-1 mentoring sessions and boot camps on an almost a daily basis, with new events announced every fortnight. Sign-up to our Emailer to be kept informed of all of our support sessions.

You can book your free place on our sessions by:

  1. Clicking the Eventbrite page links on our workshop pages
  2. Contacting our delivery partners directly
  3. Through the Coast-to-Capital Growth Hub

Who delivers the Business Hothouse Program?

The program of boot camps and workshops is delivered by seven expert partners:

Who is eligible for support?

The Business Hothouse program aims to support as many entrepreneurs and businesses as possible across the Coast-to-Capital area. Our program is designed to support the majority of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as entrepreneurs who are developing pre-trading ideas.   

To be eligible for support the business must:  

Size: 

Be classified as micros, small or medium in size or pre-start;   

  • Less than 250 employees  

  • Turnover of less than 50m Euros 

  • Balance sheet of less than 43m Euros 

Geography: 

Ideally you or your business needs to be located in the Coast-to-Capital area: 

  • All of West Sussex 

  • Brighton and Hove  

  • Lewes District  

  • Epsom and Ewell 

  • Tandridge 

  • Mole Valley  

  • Reigate and Banstead  

  Not be an ‘undertaking in difficulty’: 

  • A business in difficulty is an organisation that is unable, whether through its own resources or with the funds it is able to obtain from its owner/ shareholders or creditors, to stem losses which without outside intervention by public authorities will almost certainly condemn it to go out of business in the short or medium term. 

  • The above requirement has been relaxed due to the challenges in business caused by the Covic-19 Pandemic closures. This rule now applies pre 31st December 2019 and will commence again December 2020 

Not received more than 200,000 Euros in State Aid in the last three years 

  • This has been temporarily increased to 800,000 Euros until 31st December 2020 due to Covid-19 support from governments 

Business start-usupport 

  • Pre-trading: you are welcome to attend the boot camps and learn about starting a business even if you do not yet have an idea. 

  • Less than 12 months trading 

  • Fit Princes Trust young person criteria 

If you have any questions on your eligibility to join the Business Hot House business support program please email hothouse@chi.ac.uk.