Research shows more than a third of small firms have frozen growth plans due to soaring energy costs

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Small businesses urgently need seed investment to survive

Brunel University London’s Co-Innovate team today responded to the Federation of Small Businesses recent energy survey about:blank [[1]], which determined that the impact of the energy price crisis is seriously affecting the future growth plans of Britain’s small businesses.

Whilst the FSB has warned of a potential ‘cliff edge’, Brunel University London’s enterprise support programme ‘Co-Innovate’ recently launched the Business Investment Accelerator programme (in collaboration with NatWest) which is designed to get ambitious smaller firms ready for investment. Being ‘investment ready’ is important for small firms seeking investment funding, which will allow them to survive before they can proceed to thrive. The UK Government’s current phase of EBRSabout:blank [[2]] is scheduled to come to an end on 1 April 2023, and the survey states that twenty-four per cent of small businesses anticipate that they would need to close, downsize or radically restructure if that were to happen.

Naima Omasta-Milsom, Co-Innovate Innovation Director says: “It’s a tough environment for small business owners, especially when it comes to finding the funds to grow. That’s why Co-Innovate has joined forces with leaders in the field who can build the knowledge and capacity of London’s owner managers to have the right approach to investment.”

The Business Investment Accelerator programme is open now for registrationabout:blank [[3]]. The first of four workshops begins on 17th January 2023.

Marta Jordan, Founder of Raise Designabout:blank [[4]] was one of the first to sign up for the Business Investment Accelerator programme and commented “As a bootstrapped startup founder, this programme is a perfect opportunity to grow my business with strategic support, to help me get ready for investment and to develop my skills to pitch for funding.”

Places for eligible small companies are fully subsidised. Funding for this programme is provided through the GLA and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In addition, Brunel Business School will work with owners on a business review to determine the kind of support and assistance needed.

Stewart Smith, Local Enterprise Manager with NatWest adds: “We are delighted to be working with the Co-Innovate team at Brunel on the Business Investment Accelerator. Given the pressures on both start-ups and ambitious smaller firms to find the right funding, these workshops will really help. It’s also about starting the search for the right investor for the business, someone who understands you and your business.”

High profile investor, entrepreneur and millionaire mentor Sukhi Wahiwala, of Business BoardRoom, has collaborated with the programme to offer participants the chance to win a Business BoardRoom 12 month scholarship of one to one mentoring worth £12,000.

Mr Wahiwala said: “You may have a fabulous product or service that people appear to want, but without the right mindset you won’t succeed. Nor will investors take notice if you lack the determination to overcome obstacles and seize new opportunities. Something I have learned in my business career.”


Media contact: Louise Third, Co-Innovate PR Consultant:
E: /
M: 07773 288342

Registration for the event is via Eventbrite
Date: Tuesday 17 January, 2023 10am-1pm Venue: The Beldam, Eastern Gateway, Brunel University, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH
More information: Email to reserve a place.

About Co-Innovate
Jointly funded by Brunel University London and the European Regional Development Fund, Co-Innovate provides support to London-based small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups for new product, service and process innovation. Connecting businesses to the academic expertise, innovation specialists and knowledge resources found within Brunel University London. This is supplied through two programmes; Co-Innovate Journeys & BRIDGING the GAP.

Co-Innovate Journeys provides support to London-based SMEs with academic expertise and research practices at Brunel University London. The project provides the tools and support necessary to help your business innovate, differentiate and compete successfully in the market through collaborative projects with academics and students.

BRIDGING the GAP supports early stage London SME’s to grow and reach their business goals, Our goal is to connect businesses with specialist expertise, mentors and the academic resources of Brunel University London.

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Louise Third, Co-Innovate PR Consultant

Sarah Brockwell