Author: Amelia Grant

Co-Innovate is an innovation support programme for London-based SMEs, entrepreneurs and start-ups as part of Brunel University, London. They connect SMEs to academic expertise, innovation specialists and knowledge resources within Brunel to support new product or service innovation. They are hosting a series of events in the month in May-June for targeting businesses.


Bring your packaging along and get advice from leading industry experts about how to design innovative and sustainable packaging, reduce waste and protect your intellectual property. The session is lead by Professor Rob Holdway, innovation, design and Life Cycle Analysis expert, Dr. Hayleigh Bosher, Senior Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law and Associate Dean at Brunel University, and Marta Siera, 4iP Council, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at 4iP Council. Register here


Dates: 15th May – 20 June

Venue: Goldsmiths, University of London

Are you running a London based small business and need inspiration and guidance to grow? Co-Innovate has appointed Goldsmiths, University of London to run two days’ workshop on Growing Your Business and on Product and Service Innovation. Check out more details here

3. Marketing Sparks – Series of Online Workshops

An exciting new programme of online sessions, designed to help you improve your marketing. Delivered by award-winning business coaches,

Key areas includes:

* Marketing strategy

* Digital marketing

* Public relations

Learn more and Register here.


WLB member Libra Careers are offering London based businesses the opportunity to work with and develop some of the world’s most elite and versatile graduates actively seeking opportunities to grow within a more agile environment in London.

After another successful cohort in which 24 candidates were selected from a group of over 1,000 applicants from some of the UK’s top universities, the programme has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2022.

Libra Careers provide a business-ready pool of some of the world’s most impressive graduates and young professionals for local businesses to employ.

Every six weeks, Libra select and qualify candidates, and invite them to take part in an intensive 25-hour training course. Candidates then come onsite to their Fulham office and take part in seminars in which they interact with fellow peers and some of the clients Libra are currently working with.

The service focuses on a ‘hire-train-and-retain’ model. The purpose of the course is to equip participants with the fundamentals of contributing positively to a successful ground up operation. Each candidate will be allocated a mentor by Libra for 6-months to make the introduction as seamless as possible.

Currently hiring for Generalist, Operations, Marketing, Business Development and Data roles, the Libra Careers team are happy to tailor your search for your specific needs.

All of this is available at a flat rate to compete with traditional recruitment agencies. West London Business members will receive further discount. We have our next cohort running on 22nd June and West London Business Network members can advertise any roles in our brochure at zero cost.

For more information reach out to

London West Innovation Network is excited to share some open funding opportunities available for businesses out there.

Net Zero living digital accelerator round one

Closing Date: 7th June 11 am

The aim of this competition is to support ambitious, early stage digital focussed businesses in developing and delivering net zero in relation to challenges based on place. This must be done through data driven digital applications and by collaborating with potential customers and product users.

By accelerating their journey, the aim is to create high growth businesses that will drive forwards digitalisation across the UK and globally in Net Zero sectors, creating jobs, growing a customer base and delivering customer value.

Your proposal must focus on two or more net zero challenges across:

  • power
  • heat
  • mobility
  • product manufacture and usage

Total Fund: £1,500,000 – Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £150,000 and £300,000. Apply here.

Advancing precision medicine: round two

Closing Date: 28th June 11am

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £20 million, over two rounds of this competition, in industry-led collaborative R&D innovation projects. Up to £10 million has been allocated to this round of the competition.

The competition will fund projects aiming to develop digital and data-enabled tools as well as multi-modal approaches for more accurate diagnosis and treatment stratification.

The aim of this competition is to award innovation projects that focus on novel digital and data-enabled tools to:

  • more accurately diagnose conditions and stratify patients to the most appropriate treatments
  • increase the application of integrated and multi-modal approaches to determine risk and diagnosis and to predict prognostic outcomes

Your proposal must demonstrate how it addresses an unmet clinical need or responds to NHS demand signalling. Apply here.

Round 2: a focus on oncology, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions

Total Fund: £20m – Your project’s total costs must be between £500,000 and £1 million.

Innovation loans future economy competition: round nine

Closing Date: 7th July, 11 am.

Innovate UK is offering up to £25 million in loans to micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Loans are for highly innovative late stage research and development (R&D) projects with the best potential for the future. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

Your project must lead to innovative new products, processes or services that are significantly ahead of others currently available, or propose an innovative use of existing products, processes or services. It can also involve a new or innovative business model.

Your project must focus on one or more of the future economy areas included in the Innovate UK plan for action.

You must be able to show that you:

  • need public funding
  • can cover interest payments
  • will be able to repay the loan on time

Total Fund: £25,000,000 – Loans can be between £100,000 and £2 million. Apply here.

Upstream is hosting their first Social Impact Fair, where one will have the opportunity to learn about and connect with charities and other organisations making meaningful change in our community.Upstream is a partnership between Hammersmith & Fulham Council and Imperial College London, a result of an Industrial Strategy co-produced by the two organisations. They have been connecting, supporting and shining a light on the science, tech and creative sectors since 2018.

The Social Impact Fair is happening at two locations, on different dates, so pick the one that suits you! Throughout the day, you’ll have the chance to talk with representatives from local charities and community groups and discuss how you and your organisation can support them.

Whether you’re looking to volunteer, donate, or simply learn more making a difference locally, the Social Impact Fair is the perfect opportunity to get involved and connect with others who share your passion for creating positive change.

Grab your Free Tickets here: 16th May23rd May 

Social Impact Fair ( White City)

Date: 16th May, 12 – 4 pm

Venue: Imperial College White City Campus I-Hub, Map

Social Impact Fair (Hammersmith)

Date: 23rd May, 12 – 4 pm

Venue: 245 Hammersmith, Map


Business leaders and Borough representatives will come together on Tuesday, the 16th of May for a one-off free webinar organised by LWIN to provide tips and tricks to SMEs on growing and expanding your business by throwing light on the different opportunities in the supply chain and customer landscape in public and private domains.

The webinar, Growing your Business: Finding New Markets, Partnerships and Expanding your Customer Base,  will happen online via Zoom and is scheduled for Tuesday, the 16th of May from 10:00 – 12:00 pm. The session is chaired by Heathrow and the panel includes speakers from Heathrow, AWS, Fujitsu and the London Borough of Hounslow.

The session will provide you with:

  • Best practices on networking and building partnerships to access new supply chains linked and expand your customer base.
  • Insights on popular avenues to identify and engage with public and private sector tendering opportunities.
  • An overview of how best to demonstrate your capabilities and competitiveness, to secure right contracts and contacts.

Andrew Dakers, CEO, West London Business, and Co-chair of LWIN, will also be speaking at the online event, and explains:

“The London West Innovation Network is proud to be able to bring this incredible line-up of speakers together at this free event to assist the growth of London startups and SME’s in these challenging times.  LWIN’s focus is on the long-term success of London’s businesses, so this event is a fantastic way to support and galvanise the type of businesses that are the lifeblood of our capital city.”

Know more about the webinar and book your free place here.


Libra Careers provides expert training and mentorsh and matches the UK’s most talented graduates with the world’s most innovative, fast-growth StartUps. They have offered limited slots to LWIN members to pitch their brand to candidates.

Libra Careers recruit candidates from top universities who are looking for opportunities in fast growth start-ups. Candidates learn from industry experts and business coaches on their start-up programme. Mentors work 1-2-1 with their new employees for 6 months, to accelerate induction and reduce bedding-in time.

They are holding a careers panel on the 12th of May and they have two slots remaining, which they have offered to LWIN members. Reach out to if you are an LWIN member and would like to book a slot, or for further details.

London West Innovation Network (LWIN) has launched the Heathrow Portal, in collaboration with Heathrow, for innovative and high-growth SMEs to engage with the UK’s only international hub airport. Heathrow is a longstanding member of West London Business, and a board member of London West Innovation Network.

The new Heathrow Portal is available now and contains a wealth of information from doing business with the airport and gaining insights into future strategies to simply planning your journey.

Some of the recently opened opportunities at Heathrow include the Lift Off, a new concept developed as an additional way for Heathrow to attract and work with Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to be a part of their partner supply chain organisations. Competefor is a free supplier platform that enables businesses to compete for contract opportunities linked to large-scale public and private buying organisations.

You can use the portal to:

  • Register your interest in the Heathrow’s new programmes like Lift Off and Competefor
  • Find out more about the annual Heathrow Business Summit and register to attend
  • Get access to Heathrow Careers and discover upcoming job fairs and aviation careers guidance
  • Read strategic documents around Heathrow’s future including the Heathrow 2.0 Sustainability Startegy
  • Plan your journey to Heathrow from anywhere in the UK

Amelia Grant, Head of LWIN Membership, said of the new portal:

“When Heathrow approached us wanting to support LWIN Members in how to engage with the airport and its major suppliers, we jumped at the chance. The LWIN Heathrow Portal provides a one-stop-shop for our members to see all that is on offer from Heathrow in one place. The portal not only provides helpful information and facts, but also actionable opportunities for our innovative SMEs to develop a relationship with a view to becoming part of Heathrow’s supply chain.”

Leeds Innovation District, a member of UK innovation District Group, is all set to host Climb23: the UK’s new festival of innovation, industry and investment. On 23rd-24th May a gathering of 3000 will assemble at Leeds dock to create an event like nothing the UK has seen before. On 23rd-24th May a gathering of 3000 will assemble at Leeds dock to create an event like nothing the UK has seen before.

The Leeds Innovation District or the Leeds Innovation Arc brings together the Leeds NHS Trust, University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds City Council in an ambitious partnership to create a hub of innovation right in the centre of Leeds. It provides a base for entrepreneurs, start-up and scale-up companies to mix with established hi-tech businesses and tap into the expertise of world class education institutions, to create innovative new products and services.

Investor Ladder is bringing the international innovation and investment
ecosystem together to look at the global challenges and opportunities through the next five years. They will be connecting investors, showcasing businesses, industry leaders and international ecosystems from multiple sectors in an informal, festival style symposium.

The event will feature international speakers, round table discussions and amazing showcases, all centered around high-quality networking, great food, and a celebratory atmosphere. Check out the agenda here.

Following the successful launch of Lift Off in March, Heathrow’s procurement team is calling for applications from innovative SME’s for the next Lift Off event, which will take place end of June. Register your interest by Friday 28 April – 5.30pm

Heathrow’s Lift Off is a new concept as an additional way to attract and work with Small to Medium EnterprisesLift Off will provide the opportunity for selected innovative SMEs to present their products and services to a panel made up of Heathrow and their largest supply chain partner organisations. The first ever Lift Off event took place on Monday 13 March at the Compass Centre. The event focussed on the theme of sustainability for SMEs who applied through Heathrow’s recently launched CompeteFor platform. The events will run on a quarterly basis focused around chosen themes that differ at each event throughout the year.

CompeteFor is Heathrow’s chosen supply chain opportunities platformThe platform advertises opportunities from Heathrow and their wider supply chain. It is also used by other national organisations and governmental departments to advertise tenders. All organisations wishing to participate in Lift Off are required to complete registration on the CompeteFor platform. You can expect initial registration to take around 30 minutes.

If you have a focus on innovation which could benefit Heathrow’s focus on passenger experience then register your interest via CompeteFor by Friday 28 April – 5.30pm. Once you have registered, or if your organisation already has a CompeteFor profile, you can login and select the Lift Off Event Q2 2023 opportunity.

If you would like to revisit the March Lift Off event and find out more about the Lift Off panel and participating SMEs, you can read the March information brochure. To view the full range of current Heathrow procurement opportunities, visit 

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, has announced its new Business Support Partners (BSPs) – three national partners and a number of regional support partners. The new appointments will work with the Start Up Loans programme to deliver funding and support for small businesses across the UK over the next two years.

The Start Up Loans Company provides personal fixed-interest loans and support to aspiring and early-stage business owners from across the UK who might be struggling to access other forms of finance. The programme supports employment, enables economic growth and has a transformational impact on the lives of thousands of people. The scheme has a 10-year old legacy of delivering funding at a fixed interest rate of 6% and mentoring to recipients in their first year. Since inception, the scheme has delivered over 100,000 loans worth more than £960 million to business and its delivery partners (now renamed as Business Support Partners) have always been critical to its success.

When you apply for a Start Up Loan, they assign you to one of their business support partners. Where possible, they try to match you with a business support partner that operates in your local area. The business support partner will pair you with a business adviser who will help you move things forward and be your key point of contact throughout the process. Their business support partners operate in various regions and industries across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and they work closely with them to ensure that responsible lending decisions are made.

The new national BSPs will support businesses across the UK and target specific demographics traditionally in need of additional support. They are a network of leading business support organisations with the expertise to help our customers secure a loan to start or grow their business. Some of them include:

  • GC Business Finance: A responsible lender with a proven track record in providing alternative finance products to support growing businesses achieve their goals. To date it has loaned in excess of £150m and supported over 30,000 growing businesses throughout the UK.
  • X-Forces Enterprise: A specialist organisation that helps members of the Armed Forces and Emergency Service communities, including their family members, nurture their entrepreneurial ambition, secure funding and make their business plans a reality.
  • The Prince’s Trust: A youth charity that helps young people aged 13 to 30. Its Enterprise programme helps turn young people’s big ideas into fully fledged businesses. It has helped over 90,000 young people to start their own business.

To make sure you are supported effectively, you will only be able to work with one business support partner and you won’t be able to change this once you’ve submitted your application: Business Support Partners, Specialist Partners or Post Loan Support. Learn more here.