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Business support organisations

Organisations that provide advice, information and support in the Stroud District.

Business is Great

The Business is Great website brings together all the support from across Government, making it easy for businesses to access services and products they need to grow.  

Start and Grow Enterprise (SaGE)

Offering free business support to new businesses in Gloucestershire, Start and Grow Enterprise (SaGE) is a University of Gloucestershire project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). SaGE supports the growth of Gloucestershire-based entrepreneurs and start-ups (trading up to 3 years) through free training, events, networks and resources. Please visit to find out more and to sign up.

A number of events are already scheduled for the Stroud District, in collaboration with Make it Studios Fromehall Mill, Lodgemore Lane, Stroud, including:

Start-up Weekend (for unregistered individuals with a business idea), 10am - 4.30pm Sat 3rd & Sun 4th March   

Start-up Mondays course (as above), 9.30am - 2.30pm on Mon 5th, Mon 12th, and Mon 19th March

Grow your Business course (for registered businesses/sole-traders, trading up to 3 years), 10am - 4.30pm Fri 16th & Sat 17th March


Fastershire is a partnership between Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council, established in 2011, to bring faster broadband to the two counties, with funding from central government’s Broadband Delivery UK matched by the local authorities.

The Fastershire vision states that “by the end of 2019/20 all residents and businesses in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire will be able to order the broadband service they need and a high percentage will be using faster broadband to do more online, boost business growth and achieve their potential”

As the conduit for public funding to overcome market failure, to provide superfast broadband, support has been broken down into stages as funding became available.

Phase 1 of the project, included identifying where commercial providers were committed to investing and procuring BT to bring the county to circa 90% coverage.   

The current phase has seen Gigaclear contracted to extend fibre coverage across the rural areas of the county, including Stroud District. On the ground already the Gigaclear build sequence works through to 2019 and once complete should see coverage in the district rise to almost 97%.

The Fastershire team have already identified further funding to extend coverage while also focusing on encouraging the adoption and exploitation of broadband.

For businesses the Marches & Gloucestershire Business Broadband Grant is now available. The grant, up to £25K per business, can provide up to 100% of the capital installation cost to deliver high speed connectivity.

Further information and eligibility criteria can be found at  

The Fastershire website contains full details of the various programmes and also allows visitors to search by premise to find out what the plans are for particular areas.

Do More Online

The Do More Online campaign aims to help micro businesses and sole traders find customers, be more efficient, and sell their goods and services online.


Now into its 7th year The Festival of Manufacturing and Engineering Digital & Cyber (Festomane) has grown from its Stroud roots to become a celebration of Gloucestershire’s rich heritage and modern-day strengths in manufacturing and engineering.

Festomane aims to help build a strong manufacturing and engineering economy throughout the county by providing businesses with the opportunity to showcase their company and by inspiring young people’s interest in science and engineering.  

Stroud District Council has supported Festomane since the beginning. The Stroud district has been a powerhouse of innovation and cutting edge technology for hundreds of years and the sector continues to flourish, employing twenty-four percent of the local workforce.

For 2018 Festomane are running two major events, an Apprenticeships & Careers Show, on 8th March 2018, 4pm to 7pm at The Growth Hub, University of Gloucestershire, Oxstalls Campus and a Festomane Interactive Exhibition at Berkeley Green UTC on 18 July 2018, aimed at 10-11 year olds. 

For further information please visit

Fredericks Foundation

The Fredericks Foundation provide loans and business support for those that have failed to secure funding, for all or part of their requirement, from mainstream lenders, such as banks and building societies.

Businesses can be at any stage: you may require money to start-up; capital to expand your business; or funds to bridge a gap. Whether you are a sole trader, in a partnership or have a limited company you may be eligible for a loan. Loans can range from £2500 to £35,000.

For further information and case studies of businesses Fredericks has supported  please visit

Gloucestershire Enterprise

Gloucestershire Enterprise Ltd (GEL) provide high quality training and business support services to individuals and businesses in Gloucestershire. A member of the National Enterprise Network, GEL provide a comprehensive range of affordable and accessible support with high levels of customer service. Support includes business advice sessions, mentoring and a range of business start up programmes.

Stroud District based individuals and businesses can currently access subsidised support from GEL through funding provided by Stroud District Council. For more information please visit

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

The Federation of Small Businesses is the UK 's largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. Non-profit making and non-party political the FSB was formed in 1974 and now has 215,000 members.

For further information please visit

At the local level the Cotswold branch of the FSB is under the chairmanship of Russell Warner. Email: for further information.

Department for International Trade (DIT)

The Department for International Trade (DIT) helps businesses export and grow into global markets. They also help overseas companies locate and grow in the UK

Open to Export

A not for profit social enterprise backed by Government and business, Open to Export is the online community helping UK businesses get ready to sell overseas, helping UK companies grow through export.


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