Dorset LEP Announces Funding Accelerator Support for Local Businesses

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is calling on local businesses, that are looking to raise equity investment, to get in touch.  The LEP is partnering with Dorset-based funding specialist, Focused For Business, to offer heavily subsidised places on their Funding Accelerator programme starting in January 2024.

The tailored 3-month online programme supports startups in preparing and gaining feedback on all their investment documents, including pitch decks, financial forecast and business valuation.  Participants learn how to develop and run a funding campaign, including how to identify and pitch to the right investors, and receive an investor “hit list”.  They also gain invaluable insights into selecting investors, negotiating the terms based on evidence and benchmarking and banking the cash.

Announcing the partnership, Shelley Collins-Trevett, Head of Business Growth and Inward Investment, said: “We are thrilled to extend an exclusive opportunity, providing heavily subsidised places on the esteemed Funding Accelerator programme in collaboration with Focused for Business. This initiative is specifically tailored for start-up and scale-up SMEs operating within the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area. This initiative invites four ambitious Dorset SMEs to invest in their businesses, bolstered by the support of Dorset LEP. Together, we aim to secure essential funding that propels these businesses toward their next significant milestone. Embraced within the broader framework of Dorset LEP’s “Funding and Investment Readiness Programme,” the funds allocated originate from the Department for Business and Trade, solidifying our commitment to fostering growth and prosperity in the region.”

Hatty Fawcett, founder of Focused For Business and the facilitator of Funding Accelerator, said: “Research shows that it is harder for businesses based outside of London to raise equity investment but, at Focused For Business, we believe startup investment should be available to everyone, and the process shouldn’t be over complicated or unnecessarily time consuming. We’ve secured over £5 million in investment for businesses that have been through our programme in the last 12 months –despite a challenging funding climate – and as a Dorset-based business owner myself, I am delighted to be supporting other local businesses in accessing the investment needed to grow their business.”

Dorset LEP is heavily subsidising the online accelerator programme, paying two thirds of the total £3,000 fee per business.  Successful applicants will need to fund the remaining £1000 +VAT themselves.

Funded places are limited and, as the programme starts in January 2024, businesses interested in joining are encouraged to apply immediately to confirm their eligibility, by completing the Startup Investment Scorecard, which quickly and easily assesses how “investment ready” their business is, highlighting where they need support.  Only businesses that apply and receive confirmation of their acceptance onto the programme will receive the part-funding.

Any questions about the Funding Accelerator programme should be directed by email to

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