Skip to main content

What is Create Growth?

Create Growth is a business support programme for the creative industries, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The aim of the programme is to support businesses to become investment ready through a combination of workshops, peer support and mentoring.

At least four cohorts will run across the programme, which runs from 2023-2025. Each business will attend 6 workshops whilst also receiving bespoke mentoring. The overall aim of the programme is to make businesses investment ready and businesses will have the opportunity to meet investors where appropriate. However, a business may feel that the programme has supported organic growth, helped to reach new markets or scale-up without investment. These would also be good outcomes for the programme.



The programme is open to creative sector businesses based in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Rutland and Lincolnshire.

Creative Sector businesses are defined by the DCMS as:

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Architecture
  • Crafts
  • Product design, graphic design and fashion design
  • Film, TV, video, radio and photography
  • IT, software, video games and computer services
  • Publishing and translation
  • Museums, galleries and libraries
  • Music, performing arts, visual arts and cultural education

However, we understand that sometime work doesn’t fall neatly into a category, so please contact us at: if you are unsure.

Timeline for first cohort :

Application window: Mid-Jan to mid-Feb 2023

Feb -March: evaluation of applications. This could involve follow-up interviews or questions.

March: First successful applicants notified

Programme commence – May


What happens if I am not invited to join the first cohort?

Create Growth will be running at least four cohorts during the programme as well as a variety of supporting events and workshops.

If your application meets the eligibility criteria, it will be considered for a future cohort. Each cohort will have a limited capacity so we are unable to enrol everyone. However, there will be other opportunities to benefit from the programme.

Different training providers will be engaged during the programme so it may also be the case that your application would benefit from a particular provider.

Create Growth programme objectives

The programme aims to increase the capacity of organisations to access investment by providing them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to become attractive to potential investors.

The programme begins by identifying organisations that have the potential to scale their impact through investment, but may not have the necessary skills or resources to do so.

The programme then provides targeted training and support to these organisations, covering topics such as financial planning, business planning, and pitching to investors.

As the organisations develop their investment readiness, the programme helps them to identify and connect with potential investors, if appropriate, either through its own network or through external resources.

The programme works with the organisations to develop strong, compelling pitches and proposals, and provides ongoing support as they engage with investors and work towards securing investment.

Overall, the theory of change for this investment readiness programme is that by providing targeted training and support, organisations will be better equipped to access investment and scale their impact, ultimately leading to a positive social, economic or environmental impact.

However, obtaining investment would not be the only successful outcome. A business may experience organic growth, reach new markets or scale-up without external funding. These would all be successful outcomes for the programme.


Download the advice