Contract Programmes

In addition to the many hundreds of enterprise support programmes and projects which our membership undertake in their own right, from time to time National Enterprise Network undertakes to manage national contract programmes and channel the delivery through its membership.

On this basis, our membership has been involved in a wide range of additional enterprise support programmes. In the past we have had involvement in some of these contract programmes…


Ambition to Employ

Funded through the European Commission and supported by Erasmus+, NEN are one of six European partners on this programme. Ambition to Employ aims to equip sole traders with the knowledge, ability and confidence they need to transition from a sole-trader to hiring a first employee. A new training model will be developed which will strengthen and update VET systems to ensure that practical assistance and education strategies are available to solo entrepreneurs – enabling them to capitalise on their ability to create jobs and deliver wider economic growth. Other programme partners include Banbridge District Enterprise Limited (BDEL). Brussels based innovation centre – Centro Europeo de Empresas e Innovación de Burgos (CEEI Burgos), Irish training organisation – Momentum, creator of online, immersive educational environments – European E-Learning Institute (EUEI), and a Polish organisation aiming to promote entrepreneurial thinking and mindset – Szersza Perspektywa (Broader Perpsective).


Barclays Get Ready for Business seminars

A free, tailored seminar, delivered across England, targeted at those who are looking to set up in business.

Barclays Get Ready for Business seminars were aimed at those almost ready to start their business. Content covered areas such as writing a business plan, finance, marketing and social networking, time management, negotiating skills and networking. The event had a specifically developed core content delivered by experienced trainers from organisations in membership of National Enterprise Network and delegates received a free workbook to supplement their attendance. Managed nationally by the National Enterprise Network, the seminars were delivered by enterprise support organisations across England for approximately eight years to March 2015, with more than 28,000 potential entrepreneurs attending.


Digital Change Makers

NEN are one of six partners on this Erasmus+ funded programme. Working across Europe, the programme aims to harness the digital revolution by ensuring that the potential of these technologies, particularly among early-stage entrepreneurs and SMEs, is fulfilled. Business Advisors and Trainers will be up-skilled to become Digital Change Makers. Entrepreneurs and SME clients supported by a Digital Change Maker could achieve greater success in growing their businesses, potentially leading to direct economic benefits such as increased employment opportunities and broader economic growth. Led by local enterprise agency Omagh Enterprise, other programme partners include one of the largest VET college in the northern Netherlands – Noorderpoort Vocational Training College, creator of online, immersive educational environments – European E-Learning Institute (EUEI), Irish training organisation Momentum, and SME loan fund provider Louth County Enterprise Fund.


Growth Vouchers

– helping businesses access strategic advice by match funding up to £2,000

The Growth Vouchers programme was established by the Government to help deliver support to up to 20,000 small businesses in England, until March 2015. The programme focussed on engaging with small businesses who had never sought business advice before and encouraged them to do so by offering grant support of up to £2000 to contribute towards the costs of appropriate strategic advice.

National Enterprise Network was proud to be recognised as an approved professional and/or trade body for the Growth Vouchers marketplace during the term of the programme. In addition, organisations in membership of National Enterprise Network were also involved in the delivery of the diagnostic sessions to identify clients to receive a voucher; as well as some others also delivering the consultancy support.


Ready for Business

– an investment readiness programme, specifically designed to improve the chances of success and providing expert help to raise funding where required.

Ready for Business ran between April 2012 and March 2015, offering a unique package of support to help the transition from employment to business start up, including one to one advice, mentoring, access to finance support and business planning. The programme was delivered by the Cavendish Consortium and was funded by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills via the regional growth fund initiative, in association with Barclays. The consortium is made up of six of the largest enterprise agencies across England, together with National Enterprise Network; who joined together specifically to develop and run this programme, based on their many years experience in the enterprise support sector. More information about the programme is available from the Cavendish Consortium.


Start & Grow

Start & Grow is a programme run by Cavendish Enterprise and funded by the Regional Growth Fund that provides a range of pre and post start support to individuals across England looking to start a business. The programme is available to those looking to start a business which expects to employ people from its early stages and where start-up financing is required to get the venture off the ground.

National Enterprise Network is responsible for the programme in the West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber regions, working with local members to deliver support tailored to the individual needs of the owner and the business idea; including one to one support and advice, workshops, training, mentoring and help finding funding.

Cavendish Enterprise is a group made up of six of the largest enterprise agencies across England, together with the National Enterprise Network. They are longstanding members of the business support community and are respected for their independent and impartial advice and their impeccable probity. Cavendish Enterprise has a reputation for working in close partnership with a variety of organisations from the private, public and third sectors to achieve excellent results in business enterprise.