Our Success Stories

As economic opportunities and challenges evolve, so has the Chamber’s business support offer. We have assisted businesses to remain resilient in the face of changing economic conditions, backed others in their pursuit of growth, and helped individuals to get a foot on the career ladder.

Much of our work, like the examples below, is part-funded publicly.

These examples are delivered in partnership with other East Midlands organisations, putting us at the heart of business support delivery in the region.


East Midlands Accelerator

The East Midlands Accelerator project was led by East Midlands Chamber through a collaborative partnership including our region’s universities and business support agencies.

It was awarded a total of £5.27 million funding from the UK Community Renewal Fund*, with the Chamber and its partners matching funds of £491k to the project. Qualifying areas were: Derbyshire Dales; High Peak; Mansfield; Bassetlaw; Newark & Sherwood; Nottingham City and Leicester City. Retail, manufacturing and the visitor economy were treated as priority sectors.

The project was delivered as five different Accelerator strands.

*This project was part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

net zero accelerator

Promoting green business skills, investment in net zero business practices, and offering financial support for net zero or carbon neutrality practices.

Digital Transformation Accelerator

Helping businesses implement digital and e-commerce solutions, become online bookable, and drive market town footfall.

Start Up to Scale Up Accelerator

Providing specialist mentoring and financial support to help businesses to launch or develop a product or process.

Kickstart Accelerator

Offering training and mentoring support to improve job retention, including a wage subsidy to convert a Kickstart or Graduate placement into a new sustained job.

Financial Accelerator:

Providing grants and growth vouchers with the aim of recruiting and retaining staff.

East Midlands Accelerator

What was the impact?

The project offered businesses the funding, training and support needed for growth and entrepreneurship; creating and safeguarding jobs; and aiding recovery from the Covid pandemic.

The project supported 2,153 businesses and delivered 5,351 business support interactions. Some 391 grants were awarded – valued at £2,89 million – and 415 specialist Consultancy projects brokered. A total of 148 unemployed people were supported into work.

  • People into employment/ self-employment: 185
  • Jobs safeguarded: 521
  • Businesses using new products: 179
  • Employment increase in businesses: 423
  • New businesses created: 98
  • Decarbonisation plans: 231

Through the project, the services of the Chamber and its partners have been wide-ranging. They included (but were not limited to):

Carbon emissions
Helping businesses take their first steps to understanding their carbon emissions, produce a sustainability plan, transform to an electric fleet and secure Investors in the Environment accreditation.

Digital solutions
Helping businesses implement new digital solutions such as e-commerce websites, social media strategies and CRMs.

Connecting businesses
Connecting businesses with a wider network through the Chamber’s peer networks and the East Midlands Manufacturing Network.

Kickstart subsidy
Helping young people secure permanent employment and bring much-needed new resource into small businesses through the Kickstart wage subsidy.

Develop skills
Developing skills amongst leaders through the Help to Grow: Management training subsidy.

East Midlands Accelerator

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Derbyshire Accelerator

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Leicester City

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North Nottinghamshire

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Nottingham City

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supporting ambitious high-growth businesses

Digital Upscaler

The Digital Upscaler project was designed to support ambitious high-growth business across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire by providing them with the knowledge, investment and capacity to scale-up through embracing new technologies.
The project was led by East Midlands Chamber and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The project ran from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2023 and delivered intensive one-to-one digital adviser support:

  • Fully-funded consultancy to support new technology
  • Digital strategy programme and technology forums
  • Dedicated Peer Networks
  • A comprehensive programme of 2-hour awareness-raising events and 3-6 hour strategic action-planning workshops supported by specialist advisers and grant funding.

Project Deliverables

The project:

  • Supported 1,068 businesses
  • Delivered 7,598 hours of business support interactions
  • Awarded 20 grants – valued at £1.6million
  • Brokered five specialist Consultancy projects
  • Secured 1,877 bookings on its Events programme which resulted in attendance figures of 1,363 (73% attendance rate)
  • Supported 272 businesses in accessing over 12 hours of support
  • Enabled a further 15 businesses to introduce new products/services through the grant scheme.

Digital Upscaler

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helping high street businesses

Bassetlaw High Street Business Support Programme

The Bassetlaw High Street Business Support Programme was designed to help high street businesses implement modern forms of online trading to complement, rather than replace, their high street presence.

A total of 90 retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses across the district benefitted from one-to-one support from a High Street Adviser, and 78 businesses received grant funding of up to £2,000 to help implement business improvement actions.

The project was funded by Bassetlaw District Council through HM Government’s Welcome Back Fund which was supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and delivered in partnership with East Midlands Chamber.

Delivered in partnership with


D2N2 Growth Hub

With the shift from European to Government funding, the business support landscape is undergoing something of a transformation. What stays the same, however, is the valuable role that D2N2 Growth Hub plays in signposting businesses to the support they need, when they need it.

Sign up for weekly news on the D2N2 Growth Hub website.

The project for a long time, was funded by the European Regional Development Fund.