Business Support for Creative Enterprises

*DSC_0123The Creative Industries are the fastest growing business sector in Hampshire, with nearly 5,000 businesses and employing just under 30,000 people.

The numbers employed in the sector have doubled in the last ten years.

The creative sector is full of exciting business opportunities which offer potential for significant income generation and an excellent quality of life.

CNS, in partnership with the Solent Growth Hub, aims to provide a gateway for creative entrepreneurs and business owners so that they can access support from a range of sources which will help them to:

  • Establish a new business
  • Grow their business
  • Network with other creative entrepreneurs
  • Find appropriate workspace
  • Develop their own and their employees’ skills
  • Access new markets
  • Access new investment opportunities

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce act as the lead organisation for CNS work on business support.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is owned and led by its membership, comprised of local business organisations of all sectors and sizes.

The Chamber also manages the Solent Growth Hub on behalf of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

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 One-stop support for businesses

The Solent Growth Hub provides a one-stop-shop for all businesses seeking support and guidance in the South Hampshire Area. Support includes access to a business navigator who can assist you in finding the help you require and guidance on funding and support in accessing new markets.

For more information, visit:


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 Creative Finance Initiative

Creative Industry Finance is a programme designed to assist creative and cultural enterprises in securing the finance and investment they need to successfully develop and grow into sustainable businesses. The programme offers tailored, FREE, one to one advice with a focus on supporting businesses through the process of applying to one of our lending partners for a business development loan.

Since September 2014 the Arts Council England funded Creative Industry Finance programme has

supported over 140 creative enterprises and arts and cultural organisations to achieve growth and sustainability

through delivering free, 1-to-1 business advice and investment readiness guidance. 20 of these supported

companies have accessed finance totaling £341,500 from the programme’s Lending Partners.

For further information:Email  0r  Telephone 020 7759 1114


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Funding Advice for SMEs

Portsmouth City Council provide a range of support for businesses including creatives.

The council has also recently published a helpful funding guide for SMEs.

For more information visit


Digital Hampshire run regular events to showcase Hampshire’s digital talent. These events provide  a chance to connect and share expert knowledge about developments within the industry. We hope to inspire creativity and critical thinking through a series of professional talks and discussions.

Workspace and Studio Provision

Start-ups often benefit from growing and developing with similar enterprises. Affordable, supportive workspace is key in their establishment, development of creative practice and finding new markets.

  • PUSH’s investment has supported development of:
  • Southampton – The Arches; Tower House studios
  • Eastleigh – The Sorting Office; Tec Hub
  • Portstmouth – The Cell Block; The New Theatre Royal Minghella creation space; The ARTches

For Aspace’s full Studio Providers directory, visit:

Skills and Workforce Development

The success of a creative business is driven by the skills and knowhow of the workforce; therefore, maintaining and updating skills is vital.

The Universities in South Hampshire work closely with creative businesses by exchanging knowledge in order to help them reach their potential.

Artswork run various work-based learning initiatives to enable businesses to develop a skilled and effective workforce, grow new markets and assist in succession planning.

To find out more about how you can bring a new dynamic, energy and ideas to your organisation, visit:


Meeting new people, sharing ideas and gaining new contacts is an essential if you would like your creative business to grow. Creative Network South and our partners have developed a range of networking opportunities which both help open new markets and promote professional development.


Hampshire Chamber of Commerce run a wide range of general business networking events. These provide a key opportunity for creative businesses to open new markets in the wider business sector . For more information click here.



Digital Hampshire run events to inspire challenge and raise debate among Hampshire’s growing community of Digital Entrepreneurs and Professionals. For more information click here.



City Eye are a not for profit organisation Providing support and Training for Film Makers. For more information click here.



The innovation space at University of Portsmouth run a wide programme of networking and training events targeted at creative businesses and freelancers. For more information click here. 

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Creative Eastleigh run training and networking events targeted at individuals and businesses in and around Eastleigh. For more information click here.