FREE 121 Support

The BEST Growth Hub is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to provide a free and impartial signposting service for business support. As a Growth Hub we can support Businesses or Individuals based within and Essex, Southend or Thurrock Local Authority Area. So whether you are a registered start-up business or you are an established business, you are eligible for support. Each business / individual is eligible for up to 21 hours of funded support under one of our programmes in any one year period.

We currently have two programmes of support live:

  • 121 signposting service – free to meet with our business navigator team – Jacqui or Karen who will carry out a needs assessment and signpost you to the most relevant support available.
  • Business skills workshop programme – funded but with a small registration charge for each workshop (not including online) you can see our current workshop programme here (LINK)

Therefore, if eligible, you are entitled to 21 hours of each support. To ensure that we can support as many businesses or individuals wishing to start a business, as possible we can only offer 21 hours of funded support under each programme outlined above. If you would like to receive more than 21 hours of support then there is a charge for this. These charges are as follows:

 Support  Funded support  Post- funded support
Workshops 21 hours £50 per 3 hour workshop

£90 for 6 hour workshop per attendee

121 support 21 hours* £50 per hour

If you would like more information about the post-funded support then please email

*Please note that we record the time we have spent supporting your business. For example, a diagnostic equates to 3 hours of support with research, meeting time and follow up.