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Accelerating growth of East Midlands creative businesses

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Create Growth is here to get regional creative businesses ready for scaling up.

Department for Culture Media & Sport logo EMC² is offering high-potential organisations like yours funded mentoring, access to peer networks, and more.

We are an East Midlands creative consortium funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

EMC² has £1.2m of funding to help regional businesses prepare to accelerate ahead.

This is a big opportunity for creators in the East Midlands. They can tap into expertise, mentoring and funding while also helping to raise the profile of the region's creativity and innovation.

Dawn FooteCEO, Katapult, Derby
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What you get

EMC² will be offering bespoke development packages.

Our aim is to grow business skills, as well as understanding of different finance routes to business growth.

It means you will gain:

  • free business support tailored to the specific needs of high-growth potential creative businesses
  • a blend of workshops and masterclasses
  • peer-learning opportunities
  • 1-1 mentoring from with a focus on investment readiness.

EMC² will be focussed on areas where specific advice is needed.

For example, we may cover intellectual property, business models, revenue streams, and access to new markets.

There will also be the chance to bid for funding from Innovate UK.

Accelerate your growth

Accelerate your growth

Accelerate your growth

Accelerate your growth

Accelerate your growth

Develop innovative and creative ideas

Develop innovative and creative ideas

Develop innovative and creative ideas

Develop innovative and creative ideas

Develop innovative and creative ideas

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Who is eligible for Create Growth?

EMC² wants to develop innovative and creative ideas.

We will use Create Growth funding to help you form winning strategies needed to expand operations, attract finance, and create jobs.

Our programme launched in November 2022 and is open to businesses in:

  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Derby and Derbyshire
  • Lincoln, Lincolnshire, and Rutland

To take part, you will need to demonstrate high-growth potential – as well as the ambition to scale up.

Winning this bid has already brought together innovative and gifted organisations from across our region. The next step for EMC² is to hasten the growth of our creative businesses of the future.

Andy Reed OBECo-Chair of the LLEP

Industries that are included

EMC² wants to hear from growing creative businesses operating in creative sectors including:

  • advertising and marketing
  • architecture
  • crafts design and designer fashion
  • film, tv, video and radio
  • photography
  • IT, gaming, software and computer services
  • publishing
  • museums, galleries and libraries
  • music, performing and visual art
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When is it happening?

EMC² began accepting applications in January 2023.

The programme started in Spring 2023 and runs to 2025.

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Funding for creative businesses

Our targeted support will prepare East Midlands creative businesses as they apply for funding.

Participants can also aim to tap into a £7m pot being managed by Innovate UK, as well as introductions to local and national investors.

Support will be provided to selected businesses who can demonstrate that funding will act as a stimulus for growth and further investment.

Who we will support

EMC² aims to support 100 creative businesses across three years. We are opening applications across four cohort groups, each of up to 25 businesses.

The investment is aimed at creative businesses in the East Midlands with high-growth potential which have yet to reach the scaling stage.

Eligible businesses have:

  • Turnover growth of 10% year-on-year, over approximately 3 years
  • Employed a minimum of 2 people over the last 2 years (full-time, part-time or freelance)
  • Created a revenue generating product, launched a new platform or service, or reached a market of scale
  • Generated sales revenue in the last 2 years
  • Trading or registration within Leicester, Leicestershire, Derby, Derbyshire, Lincoln, Greater Lincolnshire, or Rutland
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Who are EMC2?

East Midlands Creative Coalition (EMC²) is a community of organisations from the East Midlands. Members include local authorities, universities, local enterprise partnerships, and many other organisations in the private, public and voluntary sector.

We were accepted for inclusion in the Government’s Create Growth Programme following a successful funding bid led by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

Apply for East Midlands Create Growth

You can register an interest in the programme now.

It will be considered for inclusion in future cohorts.