Free two day Innovation and bid writing workshop for SMEs

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Dates:  Wednesday 7 July and Thursday 8 July 2021

Develop a digital innovation business idea and get micro funding for your project. This 2 day in-person course (based at UWE Frenchay) offered by the Digital Innovation Fund (DIF) is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is free to SMEs in the West of England area.

This course is aimed at ambitious businesses working on a digital innovation project. We are looking for SMEs that want to develop their innovative ideas. This would suit those that want to develop their narrative and are working towards further funding and investment. We offer SMEs that have completed the course the opportunity to bid for micro grants of up to £5,000 to implement their ideas. Places are limited to 20 SMEs.

Book your place now. 


As markets and conditions recover, investing in innovation is key to helping businesses future proof, grow their markets and adapt to opportunities. This intensive 2-day workshop is for SMEs that are responding to new opportunities and looking to disrupt the market through digital innovation.

You may already have a great idea that needs developing or you are looking for some headspace to figure it out. This comprehensive course helps you to define your proposition in terms of innovation; familiarise you with the funding landscape, develop your pitch and hone your bid writing skills. We also have a limited number of micro grants (up to £5,000) available through an application process for participants who complete the full course.

What will you get from this course?

This course is available to SMEs working towards a digital innovation project.

We will:

  • Introduce you to the fundamentals of bringing innovation into your business.
  • Give you practical innovation tools to help you generate creative ideas, evaluate and test them for your business.
  • Help you understand how innovation projects can be funded and how to write winning bids.
  • Give you the confidence, practical skills and techniques to pitch your idea.
  • Get a chance to bid for up to £5,000 to get your project going.

Because places are limited, we request that you commit to the full programme.  We expect participants to work in small collaborative groups and engage in peer-to-peer learning.

Is this course for you?

This course is designed to be relevant for SMEs or small charities that are developing innovative ideas and to turn these ideas into successful new products or services. We will help you to articulate your innovation projects and take your ideas to the next stage. 

This in-person course is funded by the ERDF and is free to SMEs in the West of England.  We have limited spaces as the sessions are designed to be interactive.  Apply here stating your business, area of interest and why you should be selected for the programme.


Doors open at 9:00 for coffee and networking. Lunch will be provided at 12:30pm-13:30pm.

Day 1:
  • Morning 9:30 – 12:30: Innovation and Ideation: how to solve your challenges with Aimee Skinner
  • Afternoon 13:30 – 16:30: The Innovation Narrative: Pitching your idea with Lucy Paine
Day 2:


  • Available for SMEs in the West of England LEP region (Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire).
  • Open to SMEs that have not already attended a workshop or previously received a grant from the DIF programme.
  • Places are limited to 20 SMEs.
  • Only SMES that complete a business assist evidence form may apply for a micro grant.

Get in touch if you have any questions Click to here register your interest in this workshop.


This event is delivered by the Digital Innovation Fund and funded by the ERDF for the benefit of SMEs in the West of England. We will be guiding SMEs and Social Enterprises through the enterprise innovation and ideation process, creative design sprints and agile working practices to support new product design, improve resource efficiency and R&D activities. Your attendance at this event will count towards to State Aid and by participating, you are agreeing to ERDF business support and accompanying documentation

European Regional Development Fund:

The project will receive funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit here.

West of England region: All organisations with a presence in Bristol, Bath, BANES and South Gloucestershire.

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