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Business support organisations

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

Start and Grow Enterprise is a fantastic programme of support for freelancers, entrepreneurs and new businesses in Gloucestershire. The programme can support anyone with a business idea, and established early-stage firms. Start and Grow Enterprise offers free training, networking, courses, coaching, and resources, plus the opportunity to apply for grant funding. This is a University of Gloucestershire programme, part-funded by ERDF, and will run until 31st March 2023. It is based at The Growth Hub in Gloucester.

Please visit to find out more and to sign up.


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.

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.

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.