Growing a Business

MEU institutions have a longstanding reputation of delivering enterprise support, with a key focus on supporting local businesses to grow.  Models of support include both virtual and physical facilities designed to meet a range of business requirements, including incubation facilities focussed on supporting the needs of different sectors.  Services include consultancy and professional development programmes, access to equipment & facilities, student placements/internships, and Knowledge Transfer Programmes. 

MEU HEIs delivered over 1.2 million days of Continuing Professional Development in the past 3 years

All of the MEU institutions work with their local LEP as key partners delivering large high growth business support programmes, including the examples below:

STEAMhouse: More than a Maker Space

STEAMhouse, powered by Birmingham City University is a unique new space for interdisciplinary collaborations between creatives, technicians, academics, business specialists and SMEs.

STEAMhouse provides free business support from experts,  and STEAM workshops, including STEAMlabs, in which you’ll meet fellow innovators and potential collaborators, build new relationships and access trusted advice.

STEAMhouse offers eligible SMEs access to grants and funding to help you bring your product to market, including the possibility of qualifying for a grant worth up to £2,500 to fund materials for early stage prototypes.

Birmingham City University is proud to power STEAMhouse, providing the region with an exciting new concept that is much more than just a makerspace. The European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England fund the STEAMhouse project, with the intention of driving innovation and research to create business solutions that fuel long term economic growth.

Enabling Innovation

Enabling Innovation is a three year collaborative programme involving Nottingham Trent University, the University of Derby and the University of Nottingham, which will provide support to over 2,000 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) over three years. Focusing on ‘enabling technologies’, it aims to stimulate an innovation ecosystem designed to commercialise cutting edge R&D, support product and process innovation within SMEs and drive innovation through supply chains.


The Big House Project

The Big House Project helps start-ups and SMEs operating in the creative and digital industries to grow.

The Big House Project extends across the entire D2N2 region and is delivered through seven partners including The Creative Quarter Company, Derby QUAD, Derby Theatre, NBV Enterprise Solutions Ltd, New Art Exchange, Nottingham City Council’s Growth Hub, The Hive, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Derby’s School of Arts.

The project offers professional advice, grants and tailored business support during four key phases of the business lifecycle: Pre-start-up, start-up, growth –having been trading for 12 months, and established – for businesses that have been trading for 5 years or more.

The Big House Project also offers a range of workshops and networking events specifically designed to meet the needs of creative and digital businesses.


Black Country Growth Hub

The Black Country growth Hub is an initiative set up in partnership with The University of Wolverhampton and other organisations.  By offering support to businesses in the Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton area the Black Country Growth Hub signposts and assists business during start-up and growth.

Further information of business support programmes can be found on our University websites: