Items of Interest

1.  The Bright Ideas Fund supports new community business ideas through the start-up and planning stages with tailored business support, to the implementation stage with grants of up to £15,000. The fund reopens on Wednesday 26 February until Tuesday 7 April. Find out more, including how to register for an application guidance webinar, here.

2.  The Future of Festivals Summit 2020 is this Thursday 27 February at M Shed, Wapping Road BS1 4RN. If you currently work on a festival or live event, or hope to do so in the future, join Bristol Festivals and Bristol City Council Arts & Events Team to discuss the future of festivals in the city and wider region; more here.

3. And facilitated by Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District (BID), the Bristol Light Festival beginning this Thursday 27 February will bring colour, light and play to city centre spaces each February for three years. Designed to make the city more enjoyable for residents, attract visitors and boost the economy during a traditionally cold, dark, quiet month, the festival is an exciting addition to Bristol’s winter calendar; more here.

4. Enterprise Nation’s next Bristol small business meet up takes place on Thursday 27 February (10am-11.30am) at Bocabar, Finzels Reach BS1 6JQ; more here.

5. As part of a new campaign, UK Government support for businesses will be advertised across a range of media, from billboards and newspapers to radio and social media, with business support schemes accessible via the new Business Support site.

6.  Workforce for the Future, an £8m programme co-funded by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and the European Social Fund (ESF) will work with SMEs to help them develop their future workforce, meeting their current and future needs. It will help them understand, navigate and benefit from the region’s developing skills system, connecting them to the future workforce through apprenticeships, internships and placements; read more here and here.

7.  The Great Bristol Spring Clean is just under a month away. Last year, an incredible eighty-five separate events took place across the city with well over a thousand volunteers involved. Find out more – including how to request a litter picking kit – here.

8.  Read the Bristol & Bath Fintech ecosystem report for 2019-20 here.

9.The West of England Green Business Grants fund is due to reopen later this year. Grants can be used for capital works to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and/or capital purchases to improve the energy efficiency of your business operations. Find out more and register your interest here.

10. Nominations for the Bristol Life Awards 2020, celebrating the best of the city’s businesses, are open. There are numerous categories including Cafe, Retailer, Restaurant, Arts, Technology & Innovation and New Business; full details here.

11. Lloyds Bank’s Bristol Digital Academy provides free face-to-face training to both businesses and individuals. Courses are due to recommence next month; in the meantime view a video of what the Academy achieved in 2019 – including testimonies from local businesses that took part – here. 

12.Innovate UK’s Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP), delivered by Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), is inviting innovative advanced manufacturing and advanced materials SMEs to join them on a 5 day tailored programme of activities in South Korea on 23 – 30 May, including participation at 2020 Eureka Korea Day, with the aim of initiating and building research, technology and innovation partnerships and developing project ideas. Find out more and how to book here.