Support for SMEs


ERDF logoThe Leicester Innovation Hub is part-funded by European Regional Development Fund.


Free or subsidised innovation and incubation support for SMEs

Qualifying Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based in Leicester and Leicestershire interested in developing new products, services and processes with us can potentially access free or heavily subsidised innovation support. Funding includes Innovation Vouchers of up to £4,000, redeemable only within the University of Leicester.

Qualifying criteria

  • Small Medium Enterprise employing fewer than 250 staff
  • Businesses based in Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Has a turnover of less than €50 million and/or have a balance sheet of less than €43 million
  • Received less than €200,000 in public funded support in the last three years
  • SME must be trading B2B 
  • Wants to introduce and launch new products, services and processes in collaboration with University of Leicester

Support for graduates

Qualifying graduates interested in starting technology-based businesses can also benefit from a range of free or heavily subsidised incubation support.

  • Up to six months incubation space for graduates with viable technology-based business ideas at pre-start-up stage (evidenced through application and investment panel pitch)   
  • Up to £1,000 grant funding available only to graduate companies that have started trading (evidenced through application, investment panel pitch and company accounts)   

Qualifying criteria 

  • Graduates about to finish their degree or recently qualified (last three years) with viable technology based business ideas at pre start-up stage  
  • Graduates planning to start a new technology business