Business Hothouse

The Business Hothouse offers free support to pre-start and established businesses in the Coast-to-Capital area. From workshops to grant funding, we provide the expert guidance to get your business growing.

Business Hothouse logo

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.

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

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:

You can choose to attend our workshops online or you can attend our workshops 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 here, which we broadcast once a fortnight, or follow us on social media.

We are funded through the European Regional Development Fund and HM Government so we are able to offer all of our expert support for free.

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HM Government logo

Commercialising Innovation

A free intensive programme for entrepreneurs

We offer free intensive workshop support to help businesses and entrepreneurs take their product ideas forward into a tangible launch-ready entity. We also offer access to our Invest4 Grant Fund to provide capital to help to launch new products.

Now, more than ever, ambitious organisations need to build innovative products that customers can’t live without. The global pandemic has changed our world forever: how people work, travel, socialise, exercise, create, educate and entertain are unlikely to return to their pre-COVID states. Explore how your business can tap into insight, knowledge and trends, so that it can respond with a new product offering that fills the gap in the market.

Delivered through our expert partner the Sussex Innovation Centre, our free intensive workshop program Building Products Customers Crave lets you choose from a range of six support modules that are led by experienced management consultants. Each of the modules offer clear, insightful advice that will help you to shape your product idea and make it attractive to potential investors and/or shape it for a successful launch.

You can book your place on this program by emailing or by phoning them on 01273 704400.

Sussex Innovation Centre

Developing Leaders and Managers

Improving your management skills

All business owners can benefit from developing their own leadership & management skills, as well as those of their team of people. Effective leadership & management skills are critical to the success of your business growth strategy and post-pandemic survival. We encourage Managing Directors and CEOs to access our Invest4 Grant Fund where we award up to £170,000 to help SMEs to grow.

The free Leadership & Management program is delivered by the University of Chichester Business School. Sessions will start to be delivered when COVID-19 restrictions are fully lifted and will comprise:

  • Lectures from guest speakers from business school academics and business leaders
  • Networking with other business start-up and SME owners from across the coast-to-capital area

When the progam begins you will be able to book your place via The Business Hothouse Eventbrite Page.

Finding Finance and Funding

Funding your business

Understanding how to find and access business finance and funding and then learning how to write and submit successful funding applications will help provide the capital that you need to start or to grow your business. We offer free workshops and intensive programs that show you the range of finance options that are open to your particular business or business idea. These workshops also show you how to fill out our Invest4 Grant Fund application form line-by-line and help you to produce any further documentation – such as a business plan - that you might be required to submit with your application.

The workshops are delivered by our two business finance expert partners and you can book your free place on their workshops via their Eventbrite Pages: WSX Enterprise Eventbrite PageGet Set For Growth Eventbrite Page.

Both WSX Enterprise and Get Set For Growth also provide free, confidential 1-2-1 follow-up support sessions and workshop sessions that will help you to develop general business money sense. These sessions can also be booked via their Eventbrite Pages.

Get Set for Growth and WSX enterprise logos

Invest4 Grant Funding

Startup funding for new businesses

The Invest4 Fund has been created to help new businesses to start-up, and to help growing businesses to grow more quickly. It is a match-fund meaning that, where a business agrees to pay (or raise capital) for 60% of their expenditure cost, the Invest4 Fund will agree to pay the 40% balance of that cost.

The Invest4 Grant Fund can award funding of between £2,000 and £170,000 to start-ups and established businesses in the coast-to-capital area that meet the eligibility criteria. You can discover quickly if your business or start-up will be approved for an award by attending one of our free remote workshops that are held regularly through both WSX Enterprise  and GetSetForGrowth. Over 90% of applications to the fund are successful.

To help you to understand the application process you can view our infographic and you can request an application form from our Grant Fund Manager (

To field a strong Invest4 Grant application, you will need to include your business plan and we offer free, remote workshops to help you to develop a plan that is specifically geared towards gaining funding. You can book your free place on this workshop through The Business Hothouse Eventbrite Page.  WSX Enterprise  and Get Set For Growth  offer workshops and intensive boot camps that will help you to fill out the Invest4 Grant application form to a high standard by taking you through the form line-by-line. They also offer business planning workshops.

If you would like to speak with a member of The Business Hothouse team, you can book a phone appointment with us via our Facebook Page and we will advise you on how The Business Hothouse can support your business or business idea.

Invest4 and Righton and Hove City Council

Perfecting Productivity and Going for Growth

Managing the challenges of lockdown

We’ve designed our new Productivity workshop program in response to the challenges that the lockdowns have imposed on businesses. Improving productivity, regaining revenue and responding to new and emerging customer needs are pivotal to ensuring that your business will survive and then thrive again. Our Invest4 Grant Fund can contribute up to £170,000 to help your business to become more productive through the use of new technology, staff training or hiring more staff.

Our free workshop program is offered via our expert partner, the Sussex Innovation Centre, as six separate modules. You can select the modules that are most relevant to your particular business challenges . The modules are delivered through a combination of Zoom coaching, bespoke research and Zoom workshops with the objective of helping you to emerge from lockdown with an action plan. You can find full details of each module and book your free place on the Sussex Innovation Centre website.

Young people-led SMEs and start-ups

Businesses at an early growth stage and which are led by young people aged 18 – 30 should attend free workshops delivered by the Princes Trust Enterprise Growth Program.

The workshops are delivered in Chichester and in Brighton and the Princes Trust also offers free on-going business mentor support. Workshops and support focus on:

  • Improving business performance and accelerating growth.
  • Additional job creation.

The Princes Trust develop business network forums to help build young business communities to provide peer-to-peer marketplace support. They also signpost opportunities for young people-led businesses to gain specialist finance and growth support.

The Princes Trust also deliver a free support program for young people aged 18-30 who are thinking about starting a business.

You can book your place on The Princes Trust workshop by telephoning 0800 842 842.

Prince's Trust logo
Sussex Innovation Centre

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