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Portsmouth City Council has a dedicated business team to help you find support to help get your business started, grow and develop. For more information including:

  • Business intelligence and news
  • Intellectual property
  • Patents, trademarks and copyrights
  • Starting up and expansion
  • Funding
  • Relocation
  • Events and discussion groups
  • Additional training needs and apprenticeships


Tweet: @portsmouthbiz

Visit the Invest Portsmouth website for details of opportunities.

Call: 023 9284 1074

Sign up for our business update bulletin.

Business and Growth Guide is available here.

Your council support and contacts

Sources of support for your business

A number of organisations can help you with developing your business case, financial planning and completing a successful application form to access funding.

Solent LEP Growth Hub

The Solent LEP Growth hub is a free business support service available to all Solent based businesses with advisors who are here to simplify and signpost you to opportunities, both locally and nationally.

Visit the Solent Growth Hub website or call 023 9268 8055.

PCC – Shaping Portsmouth

Crowdfund Portsmouth is an innovative partnership between Shaping Portsmouth, Crowdfunder UK and Portsmouth City Council. We’re keen to support new business start-ups and SMEs looking to grow.

Visit the Crowdfunder website.

PCC Business Support

Friendly business support service: referrals to specific business advice agencies, funding support, premises search, support with other council services eg. Planning permission, business rates, licensing etc.

Email, call 023 9284 1641 or visit the business section on the council website.

Portsmouth Central Library

Advice about IP, patents and business information.

Call 023 9283 4118, email or find more information about Central Library’s business support on our website.

PCC Markets Team and Retail advisor

Advice about market information. Call 023 9284 1068.

PCC Business Update Newsletter

To receive bi-monthly PCC business electronic newsletter for alerts on business news, funding and events. Sign up on GovDelivery.

PCC Business Premises

Help with finding commercial property. Call 023 9282 6225.

PCC Business Rates Team

Advice and information about paying non-domestic rates. Visit our business rates page for more information, call 023 9268 8588 or email

Enterprise Business South

Business Startup Advice and loans (part of Business South and part of Cavendish consortium of business advisers) are agents for the Virgin Start-Up loan scheme – £25,000 loan per director, up to £100k. Loans can be as little as £1k to qualify for 15 hours free mentoring from Virgin or Enterprise First for first 12 months.

Call 0800 652 6254 or visit the Enterprise Business South website.

Business Support Bank (Shaping Portsmouth)

Offers free peer to peer mentoring, advice and guidance on how to develop a business to recent start-ups and established businesses in the PO1 – PO6 postcode area.


Offers business start-up advice. Visit the Abri website or call 0300 123 1 567.

University of Portsmouth Innovation Space & Biz School

Offers workshops, advice and workspace.

University of Portsmouth Business services

The University offers a wide range of services to help support and grow your business, including business events and programmes.

Visit the University of Portsmouth website for more information.

Cathedral Innovation Centre

Offers advice and workspace. Email

The GREAT Business Website

Government services to businesses. Visit the Gov.UK website for more information.

The Hive Portsmouth

Support Provided – Social Enterprise start up support, Charity information, Funding search, Workspace, Networks.

Visit the Hive Portsmouth website, call 023 9268 8880, or email


Innovate UK

UK’s national innovation agency supports innovative businesses taking a new idea to market. Funding is available for SMEs with game changing or disruptive innovations with significant potential to impact the UK economy.

Any technology can apply, including arts, design, media, creative. Funding is available through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund £4.7bn over 4 years, bringing research with business to meet major industrial and societal challenges

View the ongoing programme of competitions on Gov.UK. You can also get in touch with the University of Portsmouth contact at

Innovation Vouchers

If you are an academic or a business (SME) that has an idea for an innovative business project and you want to look at ways to develop these ideas through a collaborative partnership, then the University of Portsmouth’s Innovation Voucher scheme may be the right tool for you. This is facilitated through matched funding of up to £5,000

Visit the Research and Innovation services website, or contact the Collaboration Managers through the Business Engagement Team at

Greentech South: EMphasis3

EMphasis3 CO2 Reductions Project is an ERDF funded SME support project. It combines the expertise and experience of the University of Portsmouth – lead partner, the University of Winchester and the cleantech cluster, Greentech South. SMEs can access:

  • Free energy efficiency audits
  • Energy efficiency grants, up to £25,000
  • Research and innovation grants, up to £25,000

Visit the Greentech South website.

Gigabit Broadband Voucher

The Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme provides vouchers up to £2500 to contribute to (and in many cases fully fund) the installation cost of a full fibre gigabit capable connection.

Visit the Gigabit Broadband Voucher website.

Kickstart programme

Kick-start scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

Funding is available following a successful application process. Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If you are unable to offer this many job placements, you can partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number.

Visit Gov.UK’s kick-start scheme page, or email

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with a university and a graduate to work on a specific project.

Part grant funded If you are a small to medium-sized business, you will need to contribute a third of the costs. The average annual contribution to a project for an SME is around £23,000.

View Gov.UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership guidance. You can also get in touch with the University of Portsmouth contact at

Employment Allowance

Small Business employers can get £2,000 by claiming this relief on National Insurance bills. View Gov.UK’s employment allowance guidance.

New Enterprise Allowance

Unemployed people, who have a business idea, can be ready to trade in 8 weeks and who are receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), ESA or IS. Provides 8 weeks mentoring and a NEA for up to 26 weeks.

View Gov.UK’s guidance on New Enterprise Allowance.


Funding is available up to 90% of the cost through the levy scheme. View Gov.UK’s information about employing an apprentice.

New levy – All Companies with a pay bill under £3m will attract an initial voucher value of £15,000. Find more detailed apprenticeship information on Gov.UK.

Apprenticeship funding for SMEs

The funding, from Portsmouth City Council, can be for new employees or existing staff looking to boost their skills. Companies can get funding for one or more apprenticeships.

The offer is open to firms in the city with an annual payroll of under £3m. Email

Better Business Finance

Provides support to businesses looking to raise finance. Visit the Better Business Finance website.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

Provides grants for new entrepreneurs to travel to other EU countries on an ‘exchange’ basis. No age limit but you must be a planning a business or an entrepreneur who started a business within the last 3 years.

Hosts or entrepreneurs can apply. Visit the Erasmus Entrepreneurs website for more information.

UK Community Renewal Fund

The call is now closed for Community Renewal Fund projects. Thank you to everyone that has applied.

We will now appraise and prioritise a shortlist of projects based on the UK government assessment criteria and submit to government. Please note that there is a cap of £3 million per place.

The Community Renewal Fund will provide £220 million pilot project funding to support local areas to trial imaginative new approaches and prepare them to take full advantage of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund when it launches in 2022. The scheme is designed to replace EU funding.  As a Lead Authority, Portsmouth will be submitting a shortlist of projects on the 17 June 2021.

If you have any questions you can contact, you can also register for further updates via this address.


School for Start-ups

Start-up loans up to £25,000 at 6.19% fixed APR. Visit the start-up loans website for more information.

Transmit Startups

Government start-up funding available from Enterprise First in partnership with Transmit Startups loans; up to £25,000. Visit the Transmit Startups website for more information.

Prince’s Trust

For those aged 18-30 interested in being self-employed. Low interest loans of £5,000 with additional one-to-one support, training and mentoring. Visit the Prince’s Trust website for more information.

Start Up Loans Company

Start-up finance (around £2,500) for over 18 year olds looking to start and grow their own businesses and for companies up to 12 months old. The loan must be repaid within 5 years at a fixed rate of interest.

Visit the start-up loans website for more information.

Fredericks Foundation

Loans for disadvantaged people looking to set-up or expand their own business. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have made a genuine application for funds to their bank or a mainstream lender and been turned down. Max £10,000 for start-ups, £20,000 for established businesses.

Visit the Fredericks Foundation website for more information.

Let’s Do Business

Business loan finance for start-ups and existing businesses who have experienced difficulties in accessing mainstream finance. Visit the Let’s Do Business Group website for more information.

British Business Bank ‘StartUp’ ‘ScaleUp’ ‘Stayahead’

A loan guarantee scheme to facilitate lending to viable businesses. The British Business Bank is a state-backed economic development bank that supports economic growth by simplifying access to finance for SMEs.

Visit the British Business Bank website for more information.

Funding Circle

Funded by the British Business Bank, loans are available for SMEs at competitive rates. Visit the Funding Circle website for more information.

Big Lottery Fund

Reaching Communities – visit the Lottery Fund website for more information.

Better Business Finance

Help with business planning, accessing finance, and finding a mentor. Visit the Better Business Finance website for more information.


Some grants are available – visit the UnLtd website for more information.

Arts Council Prosper Fund

Creative United funding loans – visit the Creative United website for more information.

Portsmouth Lottery

Set up to support community projects in the local area, the Portsmouth Lottery operates on the principle of raising money within the community for the community. We empower local good causes to raise money in a fun and effective way.

Visit the Portsmouth Lottery website for more information.

Other financial support and advice

Help to start up and grow

Offers ways of obtaining finance – email

Small business rates relief

Get advice on business rates relief by calling 023 9268 8588.

The Heritage Alliance

An easy-to-use guide to potential sources of support, financial and otherwise, for anyone seeking to undertake projects related to the heritage of the United Kingdom.

Visit The Heritage Alliance website for more information.

Angel Co-Fund (British Business Bank)

Makes equity investments of between £100,000 and £1 million alongside syndicates of business angels to support smaller businesses with strong growth potential. Business applicants must have secured a strong group of private angel investors who are interested in make a good commercial investment in the business.

View the Angel Co-Fund information on the British Business Bank website.

Crowd Cube

Offers exposure to thousands of potential investors. Visit the Crowd Cube website.

The Business and Finance Support Finder tool

An in-depth database of information about grants, loans and other financial assistance available to businesses in the UK. View Gov.UK’s business and finance support finder.

The Business Finance Guide

The main things to consider and finance options available to businesses, from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Visit the Business Finance Guide website.