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Businesses invited to find out more about becoming green entrepreneurs

Published: 10 March 2021

If your business is interested in developing and investing in green energy and carbon reduction schemes then we want to hear from you.

Small and medium sized businesses across Derbyshire are being invited to a free virtual launch event on 17 March 2021 to find out how they can apply for grant funding to support new initiatives as part of our £2 million Green Entrepreneurs Scheme.

The scheme is designed to help support green economic recovery across the county and Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis and University of Derby’s vice-chancellor Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL will be speaking at the event to explain the benefits for local businesses interested in getting involved.

Businesses will be able to apply for grants delivered through 3 separate funds:

  • Green Entrepreneurs Demonstrator Fund – £1.2 million set aside for a small number of high quality projects from entrepreneurs wanting to establish green, alternative energy or low carbon initiatives in Derbyshire to provide community heat and power schemes. The minimum grant available through this fund would be £100,000.

  • Green Entrepreneurs Small Grant Fund– Grants of £10,000 - £20,000 for new and existing businesses with game changing proposals in alternative energy, clean fuel and carbon reduction. £500k will be made available through this fund.

  • Green Entrepreneurs Scholarship Fund– A training fund to support individuals to retrain with skills to enable them to enter the field of alternative energy. £100,000  will be made available through this fund.

The programme, which is being funded through our COVID Recovery Fund, is being set up in collaboration with the University of Derby as part of our COVID Economic Strategy and climate change commitments.

Small and medium sized businesses in Derbyshire with up to 250 staff and micro-business with up to 10 staff are invited to apply for the grants which will be awarded by the Green Entrepreneurs Fund Programme Board, which will include representatives from the county council and University of Derby. Decisions will be based on the recommendation of assessing officers.

Businesses can book on to the virtual launch, being held from 9am to 10am on 17 March 2021, by visiting the East Midlands Chamber’s website.

Councillor Tony King, Cabinet member for Clean Growth and Regeneration, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to apply for grants designed to kick-start the county’s carbon reduction and alternative energy agenda and boost the local economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would urge any business looking for support to invest in alternative energy, clean fuel and carbon reduction projects to book a place at our virtual launch and find out how they could get on board."

Councillor Lewis added:

“We’re championing business innovation and want Derbyshire to become a leader in the field in the development of green energy as part of our bold ambition to cut the council’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2032 and that of the Derbyshire economy by 2050.

“We believe there is a unique opportunity to bring greater benefits to local communities and the local economic conditions to create high quality jobs driven by utilising the local skills base in engineering and manufacturing.

“We’re excited to be able to offer businesses the financial support needed to help turn their ideas into reality, through game changing proposals that help to tackle climate change and impact positively on the way we all live in the future both in Derbyshire and further afield.”

Professor Mitchell said:

“The long-term recovery of our county’s economy from the impact of the pandemic depends greatly on sustainability. The low carbon economy has been growing steadily for some time, with the number of businesses in the East Midlands that provide pro-environmental goods and services doubling over the last 5 years.

Increasingly, academic research is also showing that companies putting environmental sustainability at the heart of their operations are more successful and more likely to survive.

“The University of Derby is helping to drive forward programmes, such as the Low Carbon Business Network and DE-Carbonise, which help SME businesses in a range of different sectors across our region to adopt these principles. We are delighted to be a partner in this new initiative, which presents an opportunity for businesses of all kinds to build back greener in Derbyshire.”