Conference aims to unlock green funding for Norfolk firms

A conference is being held in Norwich next month to help small businesses unlock potential funding streams to support sustainable development.

The organisers decided to stage the event after sensing that SMEs were being left confused or uncertain about the levels of funding available to help firm improve their environmentally-friendly credentials.

Students from the Norwich Business School MBA strategic carbon management course have staged the event on July 14 in conjunction with the Low Carbon Innovation Centre.

Called 'What's New in Funding and Business Support Opportunities?', the event is being held at the Thomas Paine Study Centre at Norwich Business School at the University of East Anglia.

Organiser Keagan Rubel said: 'We hope it will give SMEs an opportunity to understand the different funding opportunities that are still available and help clear up some of the uncertainty over the funding.'

Liam Barry, who has also help arrange the event, said: 'There have been changes in funding and when we did some research we found that businesses were uncertain about these changes. People think that much of the funding has now gone but there are still large amounts of funding available, both nationally and from Europe.'

It is expected that up to 50 representatives of SMEs will attend the event sponsored by Green Home Energy Solutions.

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It will provide an opportunity to: understand changes in funding and support services; learn about new opportunities; gain a competitive edge; network for potential clients and business partners; contribute to regional sustainable development; stay up to date with renewables regulation; and make sustainability profitable.

There are six key speakers lined up for the event. They are Adnams chief executive Andy Wood who is also chairman of New Anglia LEP; public funding consultant Derek Macleod; Ali Naini, who will talk about private funding opportunities for low carbon innovations; Mark Aspinall from Thurton Ethical Investment will examine what SME's need to do to access public funding; David Martin from Business Link will look at sustainable development in a support-constrained market and Simone Sullivan (project manager of the Low Carbon Development Initiative) will be talking on the topic of 'Low carbon and renewable energy opportunities for SMEs'

The session is free and runs from 9am-12.30pm. For more information or event registration call Lucie Waterman on 01603 591366 or email L.waterman@uea.ac.uk

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