OxLEP join forces with small businesses to discuss European funding

The heads of numerous top Oxfordshire small businesses and social enterprises came together earlier today (6 July), to help shape support for the county’s SME community through forthcoming European funding.
The 'Promoting Business Support Opportunities in Oxfordshire' workshop – held at Said Business School in Oxford – saw over 30 leading figures come together to discuss future support programmes in the county, set to be buoyed by the European Regional Development Fund.

The funding will be available to schemes supporting the growth of Oxfordshire social enterprises, as well as helping small businesses to access additional finance support.

OxLEP will work directly with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) – who are the Managing Authority in England – supporting applications for funding streams.

Applications for funding are set to close on 8 September.

Delegates at the event represented a variety of sectors, already making an impact in Oxfordshire – including science, education and digital marketing.

Projects benefitting from the ERDF will need to be 50 per cent-matched by an organisation's own funding, which can either be public or privately-backed.

Dawn Pettis – Strategy Manager at OxLEP – said: “The funding available through the ERDF – promoting and supporting SMEs and social enterprises in Oxfordshire – ultimately encourages strong economic growth within the county.

“In Oxfordshire – a total of 45,000 new jobs have been created over the past five years, representing over 50 per cent of a 2031 target of 85,600 new jobs.

“The growth of small business plays an important role in the creation of new Oxfordshire jobs and this funding opportunity will be essential in continuing that growth within our many SMEs and social enterprise set-ups.”

For more information on the European Regional Development Fund – click here for details on SME access to finance, or here for details on social enterprise growth.