Home News Business Hothouse helps 1,300 businesses and over 900 entrepreneurs across Sussex

Business Hothouse helps 1,300 businesses and over 900 entrepreneurs across Sussex

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A pioneering business support project based in Chichester has been celebrating the legacy of its three and a half year programme. The Business Hothouse, run by the University of Chichester Business School, has generated over £144 million in benefits to the regional economy and created 437 jobs since its creation in late 2019.  The service has also successfully helped over 1,300 businesses and 900 start-up entrepreneurs across the region to start and grow businesses in industries as varied as skincare, construction and video production.

The Business Hothouse was funded by the European Regional Development Fund with match funding from other key partners including a number of local authorities in West Sussex, Mole Valley District Council and Brighton and Hove City Council.

It provided 12 hours of free tailored support to start-ups and entrepreneurs looking to develop their businesses in an often-challenging economic climate. Any business across the Coast2Capital Local Economic Partnership region, which stretches from Chichester in the West to Crawley in the North and Newhaven in the East, could apply for free help.

Gareth Sear, Programme Manager for the Business Hothouse said: “I’m proud to have been part of the team that created and delivered such a powerful business support programme to the region, during a period of massive challenges to businesses. What the project has achieved is testimony to an incredible group of expert delivery partners, supporting businesses with knowledge and skills development as well as supporting their growth projects through the Invest4 grant fund.”

One of the businesses which benefited from the Business Hothouse’s support was Red Pigeon Media. Founder Jayac Heal said: ‘’My experience with The Business Hothouse has been fantastic. We were at a point in the business whereby we had to turn down larger jobs because we didn’t have the appropriate equipment. The Business Hothouse helped us to upgrade our equipment and rethink our business plan which has now resulted in us working with multinational companies on large scale video production jobs.’’

Professor Jane Longmore, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chichester acknowledged the achievements of the Business Hothouse programme: “This has been an outstanding example of the commitment of the University to businesses across our region. We have been providing this commitment for over 180 years and will continue to do so by working with business to support innovation and providing a wealth of high-skilled graduates to power economic growth in West Sussex.”

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