‘Enabling net zero’ webinar from the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge

On Thursday 7 December, the IDC will host a webinar about a new report from UKRI and Innovate UK – ‘Enabling net zero: a plan for UK industrial cluster decarbonisation’.

The report highlights the UK’s potential to harness the power of its industrial clusters. It explores how to drive the next phase of emissions reductions, while contributing to a stronger economy and energy security.

The webinar will give an overview of the report, and discuss the key findings, outcomes and recommendations. There will also be a live Q&A with IDC experts.

You can download a copy of the report from the event web page.

Free energy efficiency assessment and funding for your Sandwell SME

Get a free energy efficiency assessment for your SME. Eligible businesses can then apply for a grant to implement measures to reduce energy demand. 

We’re sharing details of a new government-funded scheme that is providing free energy efficiency assessments to SMEs across the Black Country. 

As part of the Decarbonisation Net Zero Programme, the scheme aims to help small businesses transition to net zero by improving competitiveness and energy efficiency and enhancing business resilience. It is being delivered in affiliation with the Business Energy Advice Service.

Grant funding 

After a free energy efficiency assessment, your eligible business will be able to apply for between £1,000 and £100,000 of 50 per cent net zero grant funding. The funding is available to enable businesses to implement recommended measures to reduce their energy demand and provide energy savings. 

These measures could include investment in new machinery and equipment, improved manufacturing processes, or LED lighting and insulation. 

Energy intensive engineering

Manufacturing experts will also be delivering specialist assessments for energy intensive engineering firms located across the West Midlands.

Register now for your energy efficiency assessment and subsequent funding

Many SMEs faced challenges last winter with rising energy bills, so don’t miss this opportunity to access support and funding.

To learn more about the Decarbonisation Net Zero programme, you may wish to attend this launch webinar on Wednesday 15 November.

You can also get more ideas for energy savings and efficiency on our climate resilience page:

How smaller businesses in the West Midlands can thrive with diversity: British Business Bank event

On Tuesday 7 November, the British Business Bank will bring together an expert panel to share advice about debt and equity options for smaller businesses. This event is particularly relevant to entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.

The event will be a great opportunity to hear from guest speakers, network with the presenters and ask your own questions. The speakers will include:

  • Tracy Sherratt – senior manager at British Business Bank
  • Harinder Kunor – regional ecosystem manager at NatWest
  • Jim Shirley – founder of Funding Hero
  • Steve Parry – director at Q Commercial Finance
  • Surlender Pendress – co-founder of Love Writing Co.

British Business Bank is hosting it, in partnership with NatWest, Funding Hero and Q Commercial Finance. The event is free, and includes a networking lunch and refreshments.

For more information, and to register your place, visit the Eventbrite page.

Birmingham Black Business Conference: an event from Legacy Centre of Excellence

The Black Business Conference provides knowledge, services and networks to businesses of all kinds. It takes place on Saturday 14 October at the Legacy Centre of Excellence in Birmingham.

This year, NatWest is the headline sponsor. Actor and presenter Richard Blackwood will host the event, alongside journalist Merisha Stevenson. The day includes a business networking expo, industry-focused workshops and panel discussions featuring renowned black business leaders such as:

  • Paulette Simpson
  • Beverly Johnson
  • Corey Weekes
  • Craig Pinkney
  • Karl George MBE
  • Kenneth Gray
  • Deirdre LaBassiere LL.B (Hons) FTLS
  • Sophie Marie Bennett
  • Yetunde Dania
  • Natalie Scarlett
  • Zoe Bennett, BEM.

There will be plenty of advice, links and resources for both start-up and established companies.

For more information, and to book your free place, visit the Eventbrite page.

Join the launch of Business Growth West Midlands

West Midlands Combined Authority is launching Business Growth West Midlands (BGWM) on Tuesday 12 September at Coventry Building Society Arena.

BGWM will provide comprehensive business support services to help your West Midlands business grow and succeed.

The launch event is for West Midlands business leaders, entrepreneurs and business support providers.

At the event, the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street will give the keynote address, showing his commitment to promoting business growth in the region. He will explain where this new service fits into the economic development of the West Midlands.

The aim of the event is to raise awareness about the support packages available through BGWM, fostering economic development and empowering local businesses (including WMCA business programmes, such as its decarbonisation programme).

You can gain valuable insights on navigating business growth, AI-driven digital transformation, financial management, funding options and building a skilled workforce.

The launch event will also offer networking opportunities to connect with business support providers, stakeholders, and fellow attendees, encouraging active engagement with BGWM’s support services.

Why attend the launch?

  • Attendees at the event will be among the first to hear about the £100m of new support programmes and grants launching for West Midlands businesses.
  • You can find out how the new fully funded service can help businesses navigate the wide range of support available across the region.
  • There will be opportunities to network with business support professionals and fellow business leaders,
  • You can access free business support opportunities in the exhibition area.
  • There is a free lunch for all attendees.

Other inspirational and expert speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. You can follow @BizGrowthWM on Twitter or LinkedIn for speaker and programme updates.

When? Where? How do I register?

  • When? Tuesday 12 September, 9.30am –  4.30pm (come along for all or part of the day)
  • Where? Coventry Building Society Arena, Judds Lane, Longford, Coventry CV6 6AQ
  • Register: Sign up here to attend.

Email businessgrowthevents@wmca.org.uk if you have questions. Or you can use the following links for more information about BGWM and the official launch event:

Learn more about Business Growth West Midlands.