New Business Support

Business Support

Do you have a new business in Exeter?  Do you need help?

Exeter City Council’s direct funding of business support through a scheme called Business Boost ended on 31 March 2017.  However, there are a number of organisations, support suppliers and businesses that can help you, some of which are free to the end user.

1. Heart of the South West Growth Hub

The Heart of the South West Growth Hub launched in March 2016 and is available for all businesses, whatever size or sector, in the Heart of the South West area that covers Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. The Growth Hub is a single point of contact, completely free at the point of access, for all businesses seeking advice and support on any issues relating to the operations and aspirations of their business; signposting to international, national or local resources.

Get in Touch with the Growth Hub team and they can help to identify the right support for you.

2. Business & IP Centre (BIPC), Exeter Library

As a Business and Intellectual Property Centre, this organisation follows a programme developed by the Business and Intellectual Property Centre at the British Library, London.

There are currently ten Business and Intellectual Property Centres across the UK so Exeter is very fortunate to have one based here.  The BIPC Exeter provides free support to business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors.

Go to their website via the link on the right of this page to find out more.  Or pop in to Exeter’s Central Library and see what help is on offer.

3. Business Information Point (BIP)

Business Information Point’s business advisers are experienced at identifying the stumbling points that prevent new businesses going on to be successful.  They have provided tailored, small business advice in Devon and Somerset for over 20 years. During that time they have helped thousands of people to start and grow their own business by providing high quality support and advice.

BIP business advisers can help whether you are struggling with identifying a market for your product, whether you need advice on promotion or balancing the budget, if you need help in protecting your intellectual property, or if you have other issues that you would like to discuss.

Contact them on Freephone: 0800 592872 or email them at

4. Cosmic

Cosmic has an excellent local reputation for their digital workshops.  Attendance at one of these could make a real difference to the success of your business.  Their trainers work across the South West to deliver support to both businesses and communities in order to help them understand the importance and benefits of technology.

Cosmic works with people in a number of ways such as 1-2-1 mentoring (both face to face and virtually), group workshops or seminar style talks.

Go to their website via the link on the right of this page to find out more or email them at

5.  Major Banks

Even though you may almost always use an ATM machine, your bank probably knows you better than think.  Most banks offer facilities such as a free financial health check service in the form of a face to face review with a business or relationship manager.   

At a time when you may be considering leaving paid employment to set up on your own, it can be helpful to discuss your needs and goals and receive help to enable you to plan your next steps. 

Find out what help is on offer for free.

When this content has been updated

Last updated 30 May 2017