The Small Business Saturday Bus Tour is returning again to Brighton on Thursday 22nd November 2018 to support and promote small businesses as part of the national campaign. The bus will be located in Ship Street in front of the Ivy between 10am – 2pm.

Following from the success of last year’s event  same as last year, there are 20 exhibition spaces available to businesses to use to promote themselves. Anyone who is interested in taking a pitch should register on the Small Business Saturday UK website and create a My Small Business account then pre book via the Bus Tour section (see attached press release for website link) and they will send you details.

There is also a free mentoring programme available to small businesses, however these must be pre booked, again via the Bus Tour section of the My Small Business Account.


Small Business Saturday UK, the nationwide campaign to support and promote the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses, has announced it will tour the country to spotlight and support the nation’s top growth businesses.

Now in its sixth year, the Small Business Saturday campaign bus will travel over 3000 miles across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, visiting 30 locations over 25 days.

Launching on Thursday 25 October in Blackburn, the Small Business Saturday UK campaign team will pull into towns across the country, offering free mentoring sessions to small businesses, including mentors from bus tour supporter Xero's network of small business accountants, plus many more.

Up to 20 small businesses per stop can apply to be a ‘Business On Board’. They will be given space to exhibit their business to the passing public and will be profiled across the campaign’s social media channels. Forty lucky small businesses will also win the chance to have their logo featured on the Small Business Saturday bus, via a social media competition.

With an aim to shine a spotlight on the UK’s top small businesses, the campaign will feature its special ‘Blue Sofa’ interview series, where small businesses, entrepreneurs and leading local figures can share their stories about their business or local area, to a Facebook live audience.

Michelle Ovens MBE, Director, Small Business Saturday, said:

“From Birkenhead to Belfast, Glasgow to Carmarthen, The Small Business Saturday bus will travel the country to celebrate the UK’s fantastic growing businesses and shine a spotlight on their success. This tour is a way for us to give back to businesses at the heart of communities – celebrating them, championing them and providing a listening ear and a chance for mentoring. The tour is not just open to businesses, it’s open to everyone – every individual who can take a moment to appreciate the far-reaching impact small businesses have on their community.’

The Small Business Saturday Bus Tour is an important part of the official countdown to Small Business Saturday, taking place on 1 December 2018. It follows the recent launch of the UK’s Small Biz 100 – a daily celebration of 2018’s top small businesses from across the UK.

The bus tour will reach the following towns and cities:

·         Thursday 25th October, Blackburn

·         Friday 26th October, Birkenhead

·         Monday 29th October, Newcastle

·         Tuesday 30th October, Perth

o    Inverclyde (short stop)

·         Wednesday 31st October Glasgow

o    Kilmarnock (short stop)

·         Thursday 1st November, Armagh

·         Friday 2nd November, Belfast

·         Monday 5th November, Leeds

o    Southwell (short stop)

·         Tuesday 6th November, Bury St Edmunds

·         Wednesday 7th November, Colchester

·         Thursday 8th November, Northampton

o    Milton Keynes (short stop)

·         Friday 9th November, Burton on Trent

·         Monday 12th November, Loughborough

·         Tuesday 13th November, Birmingham

·         Wednesday 14th November, Leominster

·         Thursday 15th November, Carmarthen

o    Pontypridd (short stop)

·         Friday 16th November, Cardiff

·         Monday 19th November, Truro

·         Tuesday 20th November, Bristol

·         Wednesday 21st November, Christchurch

·         Thursday 22nd November, Brighton

·         Friday 23rd November, Tunbridge Wells

·         Monday 26th November, Slough

·         Tuesday 27th November, St Albans

·         Wednesday 28th November, Hammersmith

Small businesses can book mentoring sessions during the bus tour via the Small Business Saturday website.

Mentoring is an important and valued source of support for small businesses in their local communities. Recent research from peak b revealed that small businesses play a pivotal role as employers and change-makers in the local communities, with many small business owners stepping up to mentor others and 28% offering training for the wider community.

Now in its sixth year Small Business Saturday is the UK's most successful small business campaign, which last year saw an estimated £748m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday.

A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. American Express remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small.

The Big Debate: 'Do Brighton's businesses give back enough?'


In Brighton, there are a growing number of businesses involved in ‘giving back’ to their local community. And often, the scale of their contribution is significant compared to their core business activity.

Most people who think about corporate and social responsibility (CSR) normally think "big business". These days, however, the concept of CSR is breaking out beyond the walls of big corporates.

Whether it’s being a governor at their kids' school, fundraising for a close-to-their-heart charity, mentoring other businesses, volunteering expertise or providing work experience opportunities – it all counts towards creating a huge bank of support which benefits our economy in so many ways.  

So, what is driving this movement? How do business owners and their employees get involved in these non-cash making activities? What are the results of this social conscience and desire to share skills and experience for good? Does it help the businesses who are doing it and make for happier employees? Can we map what’s happening and work out how to build on? Indeed, can we even quantify its impact?

With funding cuts affecting public sector organisations and reducing support services, and the same cuts hitting charities and the community sector, it is more important than ever to find ways to fill these gaps. We know a lot of businesses are giving back and many more are thinking about it. How can we support these businesses who, together, make an important and vital contribution to the city?

Here in Brighton there is something good going on, but is it the job of business and are they doing enough?

Join our panel to answer these questions at the Big Debate on 20 November, 4:30pm-7pm at the MET.

Our panel includes:

Sascha Koeler, General Manager at Hilton Brighton Metropole
Jo Crease, CEO at Brighton & Hove Impetus
Fiona Martin, Director and Head of Employment Law at Martin Searle Solicitors

Our chair:

Richard Freeman, CEO always possible

To book click here.

Coast to Capital Funding call Promoting Research and Innovation now live

The latest ERDF call from the Coast to Capital LEP is now live: Promoting business investment in research and innovation.

- developing links and synergies between enterprises, research and development centres and the Higher Education sector, in particular promoting investment in product and service development, technology transfer, social innovation, ecoinnovation, public service applications, demand stimulation, networking, clusters and open innovation through smart specialisation

- supporting technological and applied research, pilot lines, early product validation actions, advance manufacturing capabilities and first production, in particular in key enabling technologies and diffusion of general purpose technologies

For more information or to apply, click here.

Sustainable Business Partnership Networking Breakfast Announced

Sustainable Business Partnership Networking Breakfast Announced

Join the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC in Brighton for a Business Networking Breakfast on 18th December.

These events are a great way to build your energy-saving knowledge by hearing from expert speakers, being inspired by real-life case studies, and networking with others over a pastry and coffee! Hear from expert speakers on the theme of ‘sustainable construction’, including Mischa Hewitt of Earthwise Construction, Alaric Wood of Avensys, and John and Charlotte Smith of Cityzen

Find out more and book today!

‘Digital Marketing & Social Media’ Why your Social Media Needs to have a Purpose

‘Digital Marketing & Social Media’ Why your Social Media Needs to have a Purpose

Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers 2018 announce the sixth of the educational seminars.

Venue: Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club, Forest Row, RH18 5JR

Date:     Wednesday 31st October 2018

Time:    09:30 -12:30

Places are limited, so please click here to register - BOOK NOW


More than half (54 per cent) of Brightonians claim to have more online friends now than they did five years ago, with the average person today boasting 554 virtual mates. Yet even in the ‘Golden Age’ of social media, we can count close, ‘real-life’ friendships on just one hand – with only four ‘true and close’ pals in our inner circle.

These figures were released in new research from Pingit – the app that allows for fast, easy payments between friends and family with just a mobile number – that provides a ‘state of the nation’ report on modern British relationships.

The findings reveal two-thirds (67 per cent) of us across Brighton trust our closest friends more than our own relatives and more than a third (37%) say their best buddies are more likely than family to cheer them up in hard times.

A Brighton friend in need is a friend indeed, with over half (61 per cent) saying they would ‘drop everything’ to help a mate. 54 per cent claim they’d be happy to have a friend couch surf at their place indefinitely, 40 per cent would tell a white lie and 13 percent would tell a whopper. But it’s not just furniture and half-truths that are shared – a quarter (26 per cent) would take it a step further and donate a kidney to their cherished Brighton chums.

Many of us are also ‘banking’ on the financial generosity of our friends. More than half (55 per cent) would give a pal their last £10 and in flush times, they’ve offered a lot more – the maximum amount Brighton chums have loaned their buddies is, on average, £3,000.

Finances play a role when getting together with the gang, too. A third of us (34 per cent) struggle to find an activity that works within everyone’s budget, whilst 7 per cent admit that splitting the bill is a challenge.

Pingit released the findings to highlight how the app, which offers instant, easy payments and features such as bill-splitting capabilities, can help us spend less time sorting our spending and more time bonding with our buddies.

According to the study about friendship groups, the most appreciated person within the Brighton ensemble is the ‘shoulder to cry on’ (51 per cent) followed by ‘the organiser’ (23 per cent) – who initiates social events, finds the best deals and splits the bill afterwards and ‘the joker’ friend who lightens the mood (14 per cent).

And it’s old friends that are the best for Brighton. The research shows that we’ve been knocking around with the same set of loyal mates for an average of 17 years. Those who constitute our friends for life are work colleagues (30 per cent), secondary school buddies (29 per cent), followed by those you have met through other friends (24 per cent).

Darren Foulds, Managing Director of Pingit, said: “Even in this golden age of social media, it’s interesting to see many of us consider only a handful of people our closest and most trusted friends. Our research indicates we’d do almost anything for them, but given the busy lives we lead now, it’s no surprise that getting together can sometimes be challenging.

“The rising popularity of meals out, trips together and sharing other experiences means sorting the finances is an inevitable part of modern friendship. Apps like Pingit can help to take away the headache of worrying about the budget, so you can focus on more quality time with your ‘inner circle’.”

Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James, who specialises in analysing group behaviour, said: “The research from Pingit shows just how aware we are that different friends take on different roles within a friendship circle, and crucially, it reveals which of those roles are valued the most.

“Psychological studies have shown that believing you have a reliable and dependable social support network is good for your health – it can even increase your ability to heal and prolong your lifespan. It’s entirely plausible that the dependable friend who you’ve always turned to for support during times of need, could one day save your life just by saying ‘I’ll be there for you’!”

Brighton Chamber Publish Full Summit Rundown

Brighton Summit – your guide to the big day

It’s just under two weeks to go until this year’s Brighton Summit on 12 October. Brighton Summit is a conference that brings together our city’s diverse business community for a day of inspiring talks, practical workshops and new experiences.

This year’s theme is Look Up. Look Up means finding opportunities where others see problems. It means engaging with the world – next door, the next community, over the sea – not closing ourselves off.

Brighton Chamber has curated a brilliant line-up to help you get a fresh perspective on your business. With over 360+ attendees, Brighton Summit 2018 is a day well spent away from the office.

Three keynote speakers

Claire Mason Founder and CEO of the award-winning Man Bites Dog and her session ‘Look Up, scale up!’

Misha Glenny global expert and author of McMafia will answer the questions ‘How the hell did we get here? And how do we get out!

Katherine Courtney former CEO of UK Space Agency in 2017 will share how she was ‘Bitten by the Space Bug’

Five expert workshops

What does it mean to lead a 21st century business? Led by Nicole Bradfield.
Powerful and purposeful storytelling for businesses Led by Sam Knowles.
The secret of getting your price right  Led by Julia Chanteray.
How to navigate the MarTech maze Led by James Dempster.
Problem thinking, problem solving Led by Chrissy Totty.

Four speaker sessions

Stephen Boobyer CEO at circular economy and tech business World of Books.

Andy Winter CEO of Brighton Housing Trust.

Rosy and Ed  from Lewes FC.

Neil Gibb consultant, writer, speaker and social advocate.

Eight Event Horizon hours - inspiring sessions that will challenge your perspective, change your view or make you look anew.

Where will the rhythm take you?

The big knowledge share networking session

Come and be herd


Find the magic in the mundane

Believe that

Mix, blend and taste

The Lego® Serious Play® Challenge: 3D modelling to evoke new ideas

Explore the full programme at

Passengers reminded to check ahead for weekend closures on the Brighton Main Line in October

Weekend rail passengers are reminded to check before travelling on the southern part of the Brighton Main Line in October as work to improve one of the least reliable parts of the South East’s rail network steps up in intensity.

Network Rail engineers are carrying out the first major overhaul of the railway between Three Bridges and Brighton in more than thirty years.

The work includes upgrades to track, signalling and tunnel drainage which will lead to fewer delays owing to equipment faults or problems caused by flooding inside Victorian tunnels.

The £67m Brighton Main Line Improvement Project is part of a wider £300m programme to improve the reliability of some of the busiest and most congested lines in the South East, including the recently expanded Thameslink network.

The line will be closed between Three Bridges and Brighton and Three Bridges and Lewes on all four weekends in October while teams of engineers work inside the tunnels at Balcombe and Clayton.

Paul Harwood, Network Rail’s director of South East route investment, said: “We want to make the least reliable part of our network better for passengers and our work to upgrade the southern end of the Brighton Main Line is now well underway.   

“We know there’s never a good time to close the railway, which is why we’re working closely with our train operator partners to keep disruption to passengers to an absolute minimum. I’d advise passengers to keep an eye out for the information that’s available to them in stations and online and plan ahead if travelling at weekends in October.”

Keith Jipps, Govia Thameslink Railway’s Infrastructure Director, said: “Network Rail’s works to upgrade the Brighton Main Line really are vital for us to continue to improve our service and we appreciate many of our passengers who use the railway at the weekends will be inconvenienced.

“I’d remind travellers that Brighton and surrounding towns remain open for business and there will be an extensive bus replacement service and trains running via the longer route through Littlehampton.”

Brighton business leader wins national award

Darren Fell, CEO and Founder of Brighton-based accountancy firm Crunch, has won the Practice Pioneer of the Year award at this year’s Accounting Excellence Awards.

This national award celebrates service innovators, marketing strategists, technology gurus and inspirational leaders in the accounting industry.

Darren founded Crunch in 2009 and has led the company’s transition from an online accountant into an all-encompassing service that aims to simplify the lives of self-employed people.

In addition to marking Darren’s achievements at Crunch, building a £9.4million turnover business which grew by 18% last year, this win recognises his work supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs through partnering with the Albridge Academy and running community platform Crunch Chorus.

The awards ceremony took place in London’s InterContinental Hotel and was hosted by Countdown’s Rachel Riley.

On winning the award, Darren said: “The world of accounting has changed dramatically since I set up Crunch, but at its heart is great customer service and value for small businesses. We started out as a bit of an outsider doing things differently by combining technology with the insight that chartered accountants bring, so it’s brilliant to be recognised by our peers like this.

“This award is a testament to the hard work of everyone at Crunch. Our team has now grown to 185 employees and we now look after more than 10,500 clients. I‘m really proud of how we’ve worked together to grow the company and help so many small businesses to thrive.”



·         Failing to reach a Brexit deal could cost food retailers and their supply chain £9.3 billion, according to a new Barclays Corporate Banking report

·         A no-deal, Brexit model would create an average tariff of 27% for food and drink supply chains

·         With grocery margins typically around 3–5%, additional cost is likely to end up being passed on to consumers

As Brexit negotiations continue, a new report shows retailers could face additional tariffs totalling £9.3bn per year for food and drink products imported from the EU if a settlement isn’t reached. The new Barclays report, Scale, Disruption and Brexit – a new dawn for UK food supply chains? shows that in a no-deal Brexit, food retailers would be affected by a new average tariff of 27% on food and drink goods entering from the EU, significantly more than the 3-4% levy that would hit non-food products.  Additionally, every consignment of goods from the EU will require a customs declaration which starts at a minimum of £50.

Last year, the UK imported £48bn worth of food and drink, approximately 40% of the total UK market. Of these, 71% originating from within the EU entered the UK free of customs duties and other trade costs. While a free trade deal or the Chequers option, would help the food industry avoid tariffs and related duties, a no-deal Brexit could mean significantly higher costs for retailers and consumers.

Ian Gilmartin, Head of Retail at Barclays Corporate Banking, comments: “The food and drink industry is one of the country’s most important sectors, employing millions of people across the UK.  For the good of both UK business and consumers, the potential impact on our producers and grocery retailers should be front and centre of Brexit negotiations.

“Some products would avoid tariffs, even in a no-deal scenario, but for most goods the effect of an increased tariff burden would be extremely damaging, and cheaper goods would be the hardest hit.  71% of our imported food and drink comes from the EU, and 60% of our exports go to the EU. A positive agreement on trade is essential if we are to protect UK exporters and avoid significant price rises for UK consumers.”

The cost of a no-deal Brexit

Food retailers are waiting to see whether a ‘Brexit deal’ can be reached that keeps costs down for the sector. A full customs union, for example, would maintain the current tariff-free trade enjoyed by the UK and the EU but would limit the UK’s ability to trade unilaterally with other countries.  A free trade agreement (FTA) would be likely to minimise the amount and cost of new tariffs imposed on trade. Though an FTA would still require extra fees from logistics, such as customs declarations, it would also free the UK to make other trade deals.

However, a no-deal Brexit would impose significant costs on food retailers, with varying tariffs for different types of products. For example, the Barclays report shows that fully processed food and drink products, such as orange juice, will attract the highest tariff rate of 31% compared to 29.5% for semi-processed food and drink such as white sugar, and 9.7% for primary products and raw materials like bananas.

Beyond such category based surcharges, some products also attract ‘specific duties’, which are tariffs levied on a per unit basis; that is, by weight or volume. The Barclays report shows specific duties disproportionately target certain products including meat, cereal, olive oil, wine and sugar-based foods. By their nature, these tariffs place a higher burden on lower-value transactions.

Hardest hit will be those products that attract both a category tariff as well as a specific duty tariff, such as frozen beef with a specific duty of 298%. Common cooking products also face steep duties including beef cuts at 101%, cream at 81% and garlic at 71%.

Further costs could also mount under a hard Brexit.  In addition to customs declarations, comes the burden of complying with stringent EU Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) regulations, which could be the equivalent of paying an extra 8% in duty tax on EU food and drink imports.

Backdrop to Brexit

While Brexit is currently the most pressing issue for food retailers, wider consumer trends are also providing new challenges and opportunities. As the pace of life becomes busier, shoppers are visiting stores more often, with trips up 14.3% from 2013 to 2018, but buying less per visit, with average spend down 8.5% during the same period². According to the Barclays report, the convenience sector has been growing at an above-average rate, at 10% over the past four years compared to 7.1% for the industry – and is now worth £40bn³. Likewise, the online food market has grown by an average of 12% since 2010⁴.

At the same time, as wider economic upheaval has pinched household budgets, consumers have turned to discount food retail outlets such as Aldi and Lidl, leading to the ‘Big Four’ facing a nearly 10% decline in market share since 2011. With many food retailers already struggling to adapt to a changing British market, Brexit negotiations could be adding an extra layer of uncertainty.

Brighton Based Tech Company, Paxton, Identified in London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Europe’ Report

Brighton Based Tech Company, Paxton, Identified in London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Europe’ Report

Paxton, the UK market leader of electronic IP access control and video door entry solutions, has been identified as one of London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe. The report is a celebration of high-growth and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses across Europe.

To be included in the list, companies needed to show consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years, significantly outperforming their country peers. This report demonstrates critical importance of high-growth, private, small and medium sized companies (SMEs) to future European economic growth, innovation and job creation.

This follows Paxton’s inclusion in this year’s Sussex Super Growth Award, these awards recognise the fastest growing businesses in Sussex. This in conjunction with appearing in the London Stock Exchange report highlights the company’s growth in the local and global security market. Paxton also celebrated ranking 49th in the 2018 Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For, the annual survey run by the ‘Best Companies’ organisation. In the survey 96% of employees said they believe they can make a valuable contribution to the success of the company.

Paxton strive to be the employer of choice locally and invest in their local community through various initiatives and in 2017 launched the Paxton Scholarship. The scholarship, in conjunction with the University of Brighton, aims to invest in the bright minds of the future. The scholarship offered three students studying Engineering and Product Design related courses a 3-month work placement worth £10,000. The scholars will participate in technology research projects at Paxton, that will then form the final year project of their degree course. The scholarship is due to launch again later this year, this time offering four places for students at University of Brighton or Sussex.

Founded in 1985, Paxton employs over 300 people and operates mainly from its head office in Brighton with several international sales offices. All products are manufactured locally at the Paxton factory in Eastbourne and exported to over 60 countries worldwide. Being included in the London Stock Exchange report also marks one year since the Paxton Technology Centre opened, the 29,000-sq. ft. building houses Paxton’s Research and Development departments along with the installer training suite. You can the building coming together here: 

Commenting on the news, Adam Stroud, Paxton’s Chief Executive, said: “We are thrilled to, once again, be part of this prestigious list.  It is another milestone on our journey to become world-class in all that we do. Paxton aspires to provide innovative products, industry-leading customer support, high-quality and efficient manufacturing, along with being one of the country’s best companies to work.  We are taking full advantage of the opportunities provided by new technology to fulfil customer‘s requirements for secure, convenient and energy efficient buildings“

Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "Thanks to dynamic and innovative, high-growth SMEs, employment has reached new record levels with almost 240 million people in jobs. We need to continue on that path and create a favourable business environment enabling cutting edge innovators and solid manufacturing SMEs to grow and reach their full potential. Stock exchanges, such as London Stock Exchange Group, are an essential part of our Capital Markets Union, helping those with ideas to meet their financers."  

Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange Plc, said: “The economic potential of Europe’s fastest growing companies is clear in ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Europe’. The report shows high-growth SMEs are the innovators, job creators and drivers of economic growth. They have the potential to transform the European economy and give the next generation of young people the future they deserve.

“So, it is vital that we give these companies, and companies like them, access to suitable growth finance. London Stock Exchange Group is committed to supporting the job creators of tomorrow, increasing their access to long-term patient capital to fund their continued success.”

Paxton invest significantly in the training and education of their customers and are proud to offer free training to all their installers globally, to ensure its products are sold and installed with confidence. So far, 5,692 installers have been trained globally this year.

A full searchable database of all of the companies along with a downloadable pdf of the publication can be found online at

The Platform Social Enterprise Folds

Sadly, the fantastic Brighton based Platform has closed.

The organisation has released the following statement:

“Due to funding constraints, we have taken the difficult decision to close our current activities. 

Unfortunately this means that the Social Enterprise Network will no longer be continuing in its current form. However, we are looking at a number of options that will enable this work to continue. 

If you would like to be kept informed about Social Enterprise in Greater Brighton then please click here 

We are grateful for all the work taken forward by staff, partners and associates who have made substantial changes in shaping the Social Enterprise landscape in the City and beyond. We sincerely hope that our work will find a new way forward to continue the evolution in recognising Business for Good and escalating the appreciation of Social Enterprise as a major business influencer and ideal.

It has been an incredible journey connecting and working with everyone in the network. We thank you for all your involvement with our organisation in assisting us with our vision and hope to work with you in some way in the future.

You are truly an inspiration….and watch this space!

The Platform Social Enterprise Team

Please note that our social media accounts are no longer active.



Need Support today?


There is an incredible ecosystem of business support providers in and around Brighton:

- Social Enterprise UK
- Unltd.
- School for Social Entrepreneurs
- Happy Startup School
- Sussex Innovation Centre
- Always Possible
- Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce
- Green Growth Platform
- Natwest Entrepreneurs Accelerator
- Brighton Barclays Eagle Lab

Lewes FC at Brighton Summit, 12 Oct

Lewes FC at Brighton Summit, 12 Oct

Lewes FC is a 100% community-owned and not-for-profit football club. The club has recently launched Equality FC, with the aim of paying their men's and women's teams the same. They are currently the first and only professional or semi-professional football club in the world to establish equal pay.


Director Ed Briggs and Marketing Manager Rosy Matheson are speakers at this year’s Brighton Summit on 12 October.


Their talk Stay united is about how a fan-owned football club became financially sustainable

Rosy and Ed will outline the club’s journey from private ownership back into community ownership and the challenges they have faced on the way.

Who’s the Brighton Summit for?

Brighton Summit is for anyone in and around Brighton who wants to evolve and grow their business. It’s relevant for all kinds of enterprise: from SMEs to start-ups; from multinationals to social enterprises and charities. Whether you’re a business owner, a CEO, or a manager. And whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee.


What will I get from the Brighton Summit?

Fresh perspective. Approaches and ways of working that are genuinely new to you. Skills and techniques that will help your organisation thrive. The tools and confidence to do things differently. And the most productive and beneficial day out of the office all year.


Brighton Summit – Look Up

This year’s theme is ‘Look Up’. The Summit is a conference that brings together our city’s diverse business community for a day of inspiring talks, practical workshops and new experiences.


Tickets and more information:
Friday 12 October - 8:30 am-6:00 pm
The Clarendon Centre, 47 New England Street, Brighton, BN1 4GQ



Fifth educational seminar, supporting Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers 2018 announced

Maximising the Gatwick Purchasing Opportunity

Venue: The Orchards Events Venue, New Road, West Malling, KENT, ME19 6BJ

NB: *Sat Nav Postcode - ME19 6BH*

Date: 2nd October 2018

Time: 09.30am - 12.30pm

GTR and Network Rail launch site to support business during line closures

With a calendar of line closures for the Brighton line already begun, rail bosses have launched an online toolkit to support businesses during the closures. With links to information, posters and advice to keep your workforce in the know, it’s the go-to site to help keep you open for business during the works.

To find out more visit

The Brighton line will be closed on the following dates:

Rail Closure timetable.jpg

Coast to Capital LEP Area Announces Growth Grant Programme 2018-2019

The Coast to Capital LEP area Growth Grant Programme is a capital equipment (capex) grant.  The grant provides last resort investment to part-fund projects undertaken by innovative, high growth small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises in the Coast to Capital LEP area. Eligible projects will result in an increased turnover of at least 20% per annum and improved productivity in the company and wider economy.

Applications from all sectors are welcome, but the Programme would particularly like to see applications from companies in the following sectors (identified as key for the Coast to Capital region economy):

•              Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing

•              Environmental Technologies, Goods and Services

•              Creative, Digital and IT (CDIT)

•              Healthcare, Medical Technology and Life Sciences

•              Professional and Business Services

•              Food and Drink Manufacturer

The proposed new activity must be additional to existing business activity.

Businesses must be able to incur the total project costs in full by 31 March 2019. The grant may only be used for capital equipment items.

Please note: start-up businesses and those in the retail/wholesale sector are not eligible for this programme.

Eligibility Criteria

·         Grants of between £10,000 and £170,000 (subject to de minimis) can be available to businesses, on a match-funded basis

·         Equivalent to a maximum of 40% of the total project costs

·         Only capital expenditure items are grant eligible

·         Applicant businesses will need to provide at least 60% of the total project costs and confirm they have these funds available.

This is a grant of last resort. Applicants will be expected to evidence that they cannot source the gap in project funding from other sources.   

To be eligible businesses must:

-      Show how the grant will lead to improved productivity resulting in business growth of at least 20% per annum, over the next three years

-      Introducing an innovative product or exploiting new technology to access new markets

-      Be able to demonstrate that they have fully explored other sources of funding, without success

-      Show other investment alongside the grant. The grant can provide up to a maximum of 40% of the total project costs (to a maximum £170,000). Businesses will need to provide the remaining match-funding.

For example, for a total project costing £850,000, the grant could contribute £170,000 (20%) towards the project. The business would need to provide the remaining 80%. Other forms of investment could be; retained profits, loans, shareholders’ investment or equity finance.

-      Show how the proposed new activity is additional to existing business activity and  to the local economy

-      Social Enterprises must show they are adding social value and priority will be given those that can evidence some of the above criteria as well

-      Have premises in, or be planning to re-locate in the Coast to Capital LEP areas of:

o   Adur & Worthing Borough

o   Arun District

o   Brighton & Hove

o   Chichester District

o   Crawley District

o   Croydon

o   Epsom and Ewell Borough

o   Horsham District

o   Lewes District

o   Mid Sussex District

o   Mole Valley District

o   Reigate and Banstead Borough

o   Tandridge District Council  

For more information on the eligibility criteria, please read the Expression of Interest (EOI) Guidance Note which can be found on the C2C website.

To discuss potential projects, please contact the Growth Hub Team on 01403 333840 and speak to your local Account Manager.

Alternatively, you can email your enquiries to

Eligibility criteria and terms and conditions will apply.


Stephen Boobyer from World of Books joins Brighton Summit speakers

Stephen Boobyer is CEO of the World of Books group in Goring-by-Sea. In just ten years, the business has grown from a start-up into one of the largest sellers of used and rare books in the world and one of the fastest growing companies in UK. World of Books is a perfect example of the circular economy in action. Over 70 million books each year are reused and recycled and in 2013, was launched to purchase books directly from the public. World of Books has featured in the Sunday Times Fast Track, the LSEG ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’, and was named Recycler of the Year in 2016 and received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2017. 

Stephen’s session is called ‘Reuse, recycle and grow’.

He will talk through the World of Books story, from the beginnings of an idea to a start-up in a bedroom, to one of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses with 600 employees – all in ten years. There have been challenges and headwinds, inevitably, but Stephen will show how management techniques and strategies have turned them into opportunities that have helped shape the group’s future. The vision, for Stephen and the team, is for to become the leading seller of used books globally, while helping people to reuse and recycle for less through innovation and technology.

Who’s the Brighton Summit for?

Brighton Summit is for anyone in and around Brighton who wants to evolve and grow their business. It’s relevant for all kinds of enterprise: from SMEs to start-ups; from multinationals to social enterprises and charities. Whether you’re a business owner, a CEO, or a manager. And whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee.

What will I get from the Brighton Summit?

Fresh perspective. Approaches and ways of working that are genuinely new to you. Skills and techniques that will help your organisation thrive. The tools and confidence to do things differently. And the most productive and beneficial day out of the office all year.

Brighton Summit – Look Up

This year’s theme is ‘Look Up’. The Summit is a conference that brings together our city’s diverse business community for a day of inspiring talks, practical workshops and new experiences. 

Tickets and more information:
Friday 12 October - 8:30 am-6:00 pm
The Clarendon Centre, 47 New England Street, Brighton, BN1 4GQ

Applications for 2019 Techstars ‘Anywhere Accelerator’ Open to Companies across the World


Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market, wherever they choose to build their business. With numerous mentorship-driven accelerator programmes worldwide, Techstars exists to support the most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey.

The initiative provides access founders, mentors investors, and corporate partners. Techstars makes entrepreneurship more accessible by providing access to capital, guidance, marketing, business development, customer acquisition, and recruitment.

The funding provider believes that successful founders can come from anywhere and appreciates that relocating to a new city for an accelerator programme can be disruptive, owing to personal or business constraints. Techstars Anywhere is a Virtual accelerator, which means participating businesses are not required to relocate. Founders follow the standard Techstars approach to accelerate their business.

The investment made in each company in terms of capital, time and network will be the same as other Techstars accelerators. Techstars companies will receive a US $100,000 of funding as a convertible note upon acceptance and US $20,000 in exchange for 6% equity stake.

Anyone from anywhere can apply. Techstars funds technology oriented companies, typically web-based or other software companies.

The application deadline for the next round of Techstars Anywhere is 14 October 2018.

The programme will commence on 4 February 2019 and the Demo Day will be 2 May 2019.

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