Ready2Grow

The Ready2Grow project can help your business achieve its potential, whether you’re an entrepreneur who’s starting out or an established company planning for growth.

We support eligible Northamptonshire-based SMEs to enhance their skills and apply for funding, dependent on their specific needs and stage of business development. Our experienced business advisers will provide you with 121 advice, highlighting relevant workshops and identifying the most appropriate grant funding with you, as you progress through the project.

Running until March 2019, Ready2Grow is delivered by the Northamptonshire Growth Hub partners and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

So far as part of the Ready2Grow project, we’ve:

  • received 535 enquiries to be part of the project
  • awarded £225,000+ of grants
  • recorded a 94% customer satisfaction rate from the workshops

How does Ready2Grow work?

When you call us to register your interest for Ready2Grow, we will talk to you about the project, asses your eligibility and send you some Terms & Conditions.

When you have returned this document to us, you will be contacted by one of our business advisers, who will arrange an in-depth diagnostic analysis of your business.

Following the diagnostic discussion eligible businesses will be registered as either Enterprise Club members – for start-up and early stage businesses, or Growth Academy members – for those businesses who are looking to grow and create new jobs in the county.

Both member groups are offered one-to-one adviser support, workshops and the potential to apply for grant funding.

For Enterprise Club members, support is delivered through Northamptonshire County Council’s procured partner, Building Business Consultancy Ltd.

Growth Academy member support is delivered directly by Northamptonshire Growth Hub advisers and procured workshop providers.

First of all you’ll need to register your interest in the Ready2Grow project by calling us on 01604 212696 or emailing us  at R2G@northamptonshiregrowthhub.co.uk

What happens when I apply for a grant with Ready2Grow?

All applications are assessed against their fit with project objectives, value for money, and economic impact. Please note that the application process is competitive in all instances.

As part of our appraisal process, we have a Grants panel including external business professionals whose role is to consider and ratify the recommendations of the project teams. They are required to sign terms of reference which includes a confidentiality clause, thereby protecting applicants’ intellectual property.

Applying for a grant can sometimes appear to be a confusing and lengthy process – the below information summarises approximate timeframes and processes.

Please note that grants are payable retrospectively – you must pay out the costs first and then reclaim the grant with accompanying evidence of your payment.

Start-Up Grants

  • Deadline for applications: 3rd Monday of every month
  • Appraisal timeframe: 4-6 weeks dependent on queries
  • Decision process: Project team review
  • Decision timescale: 1 week following appraisal
  • Grant Funding Agreement issued: 1-2 weeks following approval

Business Support Grant

  • Deadline for applications: Last working day of each month
  • Appraisal timeframe: 4-6 weeks dependent on queries
  • Decision process: Project team review ; endorsed by panel member
  • Decision timescale: 1 week following appraisal
  • Grant Funding Agreement issued: 1-2 weeks following approval

Major Growth Investment Grant

  • Deadline for applications: Next deadline 01/12/17 ; 2018 dates tbc
  • Appraisal timeframe: 6-8 weeks dependent on queries
  • Decision process: Panel review
  • Decision timescale: 1 week
  • Grant Funding Agreement issued: 1-2 weeks following approval