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West Midlands Create Growth Programme

Does your business have creativity at its heart?

  • Does your business have creativity at its heart – design, fashion, architecture, film, broadcast, createch, gaming, immersive, publishing, music, theatre, art, heritage, craft or media? 
  • Are you operating in the West Midlands Combined Authority area?*
  • Do you need help building your confidence as a founder to make decisions on investment, IP, business structures and growth plans? 
*Priority will be given to businesses trading or registered within one of the following areas: Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell, Dudley, Coventry, Walsall, Wolverhampton. They will also consider applicants from certain wider region areas, however a smaller proportion of businesses will be selected from these areas: East Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth, North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Wyre Forest.

Applications for the Create Growth Programme in the West Midlands are now open. The programme is designed to support growing creative businesses to develop the skills to secure investment and achieve ambitions for growth. It is tailored to the needs of different creative disciplines, their respective markets, governance and distribution models.  Take a look at the website to find out more.  Follow this link to read FAQs before submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI).

The programme has two stages running in parallel:

  • Stage 1: 6-month programme starting in April, ‘preparing for investment’ Deadline 1 April  
  • Stage 2: 9 month programme starting in May, ‘get ready for investment’ – Deadline 4 March  

The Create Growth Programme is funded by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and aims to support creative businesses in planning for growth and exploring and securing commercial investment opportunities. The programme will be delivered by Creative UK in partnership with West Midlands Combined Authority and Create Central.

Stage 1

Stage 1 application deadline: Monday 1st April 

Stage 1 activity will begin in May 2024.

Stage 1 has been designed for businesses who want to grow and explore commercial investment pathways. Over six months, you will be placed in a cohort of businesses with access to: a course of workshops designed to unlock your commercial capacity and describe routes to investment and growth; two one-to-one mentoring sessions to define and refine your business ambitions; access to the Ethical Equity Simulator – a unique piece of software that enables users to learn about the different types of investment from a practical point of view. Stage 1 closes with a diagnostic session with investment mentors to help you plan the next steps on your investment journey. 

Stage 2

Stage 2 application deadline: Monday 4th March

Stage 1 activity will begin in April 2024.

Stage 2 is an intensive investment readiness programme for businesses who are ambitious to get commercial investment. Over nine months, you will receive: on-going one-to-one mentoring to address your challenges and craft a bespoke nine-month journey for your business; a course of workshops covering business foundations and sector-specific challenges; opportunities to meet and pitch to investors.

How to apply

Fill in the EOI form to express interest in Get Investment Ready (make sure to read the FAQs before starting and reach out to the team if still you have any unanswered questions). 

Once the team has looked at your EOI they will be in touch to discuss if they think you are eligible for Stage 1, Stage 2, or to discuss different options and opportunities. Please allow up to 4 weeks for a response to the EOI.  

Businesses may be invited into a diagnostic process, which will allow for their investment and business mentors to look at the potential of your business and its future invest-ability. 


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