South East Business Boost (SEBB)

South East Business Boost (SEBB)

Support available:

  • 12 hours funded business advice with our start up advisor of business growth advisors
  • Growth grants of between £1,000 and £10,000

SEBB is available to support businesses in the SELEP region to grow. Its focus is on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’s) and start-up companies.  The objective is to boost companies and increase employment through support, guidance and grants. The project will improve business resilience, profitability and competitiveness.

The Offer:

Business advice:

You can access up to 12 hours of fully funded business advice to help your business to start or grow. Advice could include:

  • Starting your business – business planning, carrying out market research, cash flow forecasts, pricing, marketing etc. Please download the form HERE and email it to John Sargant, Start-Up Business Advisor
  • Growing your business – marketing, finance, strategic planning, process improvement etc.

If you are interested in accessing this service, then please email to register your interest.

Growth grants:

The programme can fund up to 30% of the cost of qualifying projects, with the remaining 70% being met by the business.

The minimum grant that can be awarded is £1,000. The maximum grant amount is £10,000.

Projects must demonstrate that they will lead to business growth.

Grant funding from SEBB may be used to cover the following types of expenditure:

  • Plant, Equipment, Machinery and Tooling: Purchase of machinery and hardware
  • Premises: Business related extension and improvement (total project must be under £25,000)
  • Specialist IT Equipment and Software: software development, website improvements, design software (total project must be under £25,000)
  • Consultancy costs: Growth based subjects such as; business strategy, marketing, product diversification, market research etc. (total project must be under £25,000)

Your application can include a mixture of the above items of expenditure.

Eligible area for the SEBB programme of support:

Businesses in Essex, Southend and Thurrock regions (SELEP area) can apply for support from the SEBB project.

Who Can Apply?

To be eligible for a business advice or a grant, businesses must:

  • Be considered small or medium enterprises (i.e. employ fewer than 250 people, and have an annual  turnover not exceeding €50 million or a balance sheet not exceeding €43 million);
  • Spend the full value of the SEBB grant on a project taking place within the SELEP region (East Sussex, Essex, Thurrock, Southend-on-Sea, Kent or Medway)
  • Secure 70% of the costs of the project in cash from private sector sources before the SEBB grant agreement is concluded;
  • Not be engaged in a restricted sector according to the state aid regulations and ERDF requirements. Sectors that are not eligible are:
    • Fishery and Aquaculture
    • Agriculture
    • Coal, Steel and Shipbuilding
    • Synthetic Fibres
    • Education
    • Banking and Insurance
    • Membership organisations that are politically affiliated
    • Charities and voluntary sector organisations, that are not using a trading arm
  • Not exceeded the de minimis state aid limit (€200,000 over three years) or to be in a position where the de minimis state aid limit would be exceeded were the application to be approved.

Documents to download:

If you are interested:

Contact the BEST Growth Hub team today on 01702 417765 or

The SEBB programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020. It is a partnership between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Kent County Council and Medway, East Sussex County Council, Essex County Council, Thurrock Council.

The government’s Department for Communities and Local Government has authority for management of the European Regional Development Fund programme. The fund was established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects that will support local businesses and create jobs.

Support Scheme:

  • - Grant and Loans