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Business support programmes

Find out what support's available for your business based in Lewisham.

Changes to energy support announced by the Government

On 9 January the Government announced a new Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) for 2023/24 to support businesses with rising energy costs. This replaces the time limited Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) which was introduced for non-domestic energy customers, including the public sector, from October 2022 to March 2023.

Some details about the new scheme are yet to be published by the Government, such as what they define as an energy intensive industry. The EBDS will be managed by utility companies, so they are best placed to offer advice on the new scheme in the first instance if you have any queries.

Business support for entrepreneurs with BIPC Lewisham

BIPC Lewisham aims to extend the provision of business support in the Borough of Lewisham, by helping aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and established businesses to increase their entrepreneurial skills and confidence, as well as providing access to business information and resources.

BIPC Lewisham will also facilitate a variety of expert led workshops, one to ones, and networking events within the local business community. Lewisham Libraries card holders will be able to access the following Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) services locally:

  • business information and resources, for example free access to high quality UK and global market intelligence, customer insights, and company data
  • intellectual property advice and guidance
  • free one-to-one support and training
  • topical business networking events
  • access to the latest business books and eBooks, digital newspapers, magazines and journals
  • business databases: COBRA, IBIS World and Grant Finder
  • conference equipment and room hire

Business databases

COBRA (Complete Business Reference Advisor)

COBRA contains all the information you need to turn your idea into a business. Access remotely or in any library branch and find more than 4,000 factsheets, market reports, contacts, and sources of funding and support plus hundreds of practical guides to starting up more than 350 types of business. Access through the link above with your library card number and PIN.

Grant Finder

GrantFinder is the leading funding database in the UK covering local, national, and international sources of funding. Thousands of funding sources are included such as charitable trusts, societies, research councils, national government, the EU and corporate sponsors. Access at Lewisham Libraries' hubs: Catford Library, The Library at Deptford Lounge, Downham Library and Lewisham Library.

IBIS World

Trusted industry research covering thousands of global industries. Get a quick and intelligent overview of any industry. In every report, you’ll find actionable insights, comprehensive data and in-depth analysis. For any queries relating to the BIPC Lewisham, please email BIPC@lewisham.gov.uk.


Enterprise Nation

Whether you’re launching a new business or developing an existing one, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed. Enterprise Nation exists to shortcut your route to trusted business support. With a business community of over 120,000 people it is a great way to network. Business support services include:

  • funding hub
  • business advice from industry experts
  • workshops, training and e-learning
  • guides and templates
  • networking events online and in person
  • opportunities to showcase services.

London Business Hub

London Business Hub provides a number of options for businesses to explore further support with the Cost of Living, this includes practical guides on managing cash flow and unpaid debts, and insurance cover for businesses.

Energy bill relief scheme

Find out about the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) for non-domestic customers and how you can get support this winter.

Business Debtline

Business Debtline offer a number of services to help businesses during the cost of living crisis, these include specialist advisers and a cost of living hub that will help you to:

  • find out how to make the most of your money
  • understand how the cost of living can affect how you deal with your debts
  • get advice about dealing with high gas and electricity bills
  • find out about help from other organisations
  • understand what to do if you can't afford your living costs.

British Business Bank

The British business bank is a government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. There are a number of business loan options available:

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

Business membership organisation offering a wide range of products, services, advice, information as well as resources and tools that will help you grow your business and save money.

Benefits include: legal advice, tax protection insurance, health and safety, HR online support, pension planning, business banking, as well as networking opportunities:

South East London Chamber of Commerce

Business membership organisation offering a wide range of products, services, advice, information as well as resources and tools that will help you grow your business and save money.

Benefits include: practical business support, training, excellent networking opportunities and access to new markets and services.

Support for Lewisham Businesses

If you need support for your business, we may be able to help. Please complete our form, and a member of our team will be in touch.

Lewisham Business Newsletter

For current news about businesses in Lewisham and to keep up to date on current and emerging business support sign up for our business newsletter.