Start-up Support

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80% of businesses fail in their first year...

Studies have shown that 80% of businesses fail in their first year without business support.

‍Because in your first year of business, you don't know what you don't know, so you need trusted, impartial, up to date support and expert advice.
We are proud that 90% of businesses that we work with continue to trade into their second, third and fourth years.

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Becoming Self-Employed

If you are thinking about becoming self employed, contact us.  Subject to location, we can arrange two hours 1-2-1 advice, a one day workshop or a full start-up programme including workshops, webinars, 1-2-1 business coaching and a 'Dragons' Den' to win a £2,500 cash grant to get your business started.

To develop a successful business or to find funding, email us and take the first step to becoming a successful entrepreneur​.

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Marketing workshop
Funded Start-up Workshops

According to Natwest, 80% of businesses fail in their first year of trading if they don't receive business support.  It is crucial when starting up your business you get impartial advice from experts.

Our one-day workshop is designed to give you all the basics you need to run a successful business including the key guidelines to writing a good business plan, managing cash flow, marketing skills and how to meet your legal obligations.

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1-2-1 Mentoring

With over 350 years of experience our business mentors have seen it all and have a range of specialisms.

So, regardless of whether you need to discuss your next business idea or you want guidance on any area of your business, we will be able to help.

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Social Media

Social media is becoming increasingly important to businesses of all sizes as customers increasingly look at a business online before deciding whether to buy. Our 1-2-1 training includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. We will analyse what you are doing well, areas that need improvement and show you how to do it! And if you don’t have a social media presence, we will help get you online!

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Business Networking

Often it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and 'people buy people'. Networking allows you to stand out, make an impact and build relationships. We host regular networking events to help you meet new contacts, clients and generate new business leads.​

Access to Support

Are you looking for finance through loans and grants?
Maybe you are looking to expand or move into the area?
​We work with other support agencies to get you the best advice and support available.

LEAP Scheme

Exclusive to the residents in the Lewes District Council area, including Seaford, Newhaven, Chailey, Peacehaven and everywhere in between, take part in the LEAP enterprise programme for your chance to win a grant of £2,500 cash to develop your new business.​

Young businessman
Start Your Own Business

If you are thinking about starting your own business, contact us.  Subject to location, we can arrange 2 hours 1-2-1 advice, a one day workshop or a full start-up programme including workshops, webinars, 1-2-1 business coaching and a dragons den to win a £2,500 cash grant to get your business started.
To develop a successful business plan and find funding, email us and take the first step to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Contact Us
Win £2,500 cash to help get your business idea started!

“Have you got a business idea you’d like to turn into a reality?”

Williams Sara was taught to knit by her aunt when she was eight-years-old and as a result she spent many happy hours creating lace, cross-stitching and sewing tapestries. As an adult, she wanted to develop her passion into a business she could share with other people, so she created The Patchwork Cat Café & Shop in Newhaven. Whether you need a pin, colour coordinated materials or a large cutting mat, Sara and her team can help at The Patchwork Cat; you can learn how to create amazing patchworks, purchase materials and enjoy tea, coffee and homemade snacks.

Sara at the LEAP Awards 2018
Customer Testimonials
Don't just take out word for it. See how we've helped others.
Start-up Workshops

Verbalising our business ideas and hearing the ideas of others was excellent.

Social Media 1-2-1

The trainer responded to all the points I raised and helped find solutions.  The time was used very well. She also checked other things and explained changes to Facebook which were upcoming.

Social Media 1-2-1

Very welcoming and friendly. Amazing session and learnt so much. Tailored the session to my needs. Answered all my questions. Lots of demonstrations on her computer.

LEAP Programme

I really enjoyed the quality of the teaching, materials and content in the workshops; Being in real-world face-to-face sessions with other local entrepreneurs from different sectors; The sessions with a business mentor who was not only of practical help but also helped to motivate me and made me feel accountable to someone; Having a deadline, which made me complete my business plan. The kind and helpful LEAP team who were very supportive (especially Sandra who I liaised the most with). The Celebration event was very generous and had a great atmosphere.

1-2-1 Advice

I found the business advisor very intuitive and can read a person very well, this in turn made it easy to connect and understand what we were discussing.

1-2-1 Advice

I was feeling overwhelmed by the whole process (especially financial side) and didn’t know where to start. The advisor was great at putting everything into an orderly structure and guiding me in the right direction.

Christina Ewbank
Christina Ewbank, the Chief Exec of Edeal Enterprise Agency said:
Whenever you start a new business, always choose to do something you love. The Patchwork Cat café and shop does just that and so Sara won £2,500 to help her share her passion for creativity with all her customers.”

Statistics show approx. 660,000 new start-ups register in the UK every year; sadly 80% of businesses fail in year one. The reason is simple: starting up a new business can often lead to unexpected surprises. You might be the best designer, florist, chef, or film maker, but you will need legal advice, marketing guidance and financial support? Who can you turn to for impartial, honest advice? More importantly, at the very start of your journey, it is crucial to create a business plan that outlines who you are, what you do, who your customers are and how your business works.

That’s why the LEAP programme has been so valuable for so many business people in the Lewes District.

This free, comprehensive business start-up programme provides workshops, seminars, 1-2-1 mentoring and a chance of winning a cash prize of £2,500.

Since 2013, residents have been supported to turn their business dreams into reality including massage therapists, haberdasheries, gardeners, handymen, social media gurus and health and safety consultants, to name a few.

The LEAP programme starts in January with a one-day workshop in Lewes or a virtual workshop across two days in February. Following this, candidates are selected to attend further workshops and access 1-2-1 mentoring support with a dedicated business coach to help them create a robust business plan. This plan is then judged by a team of experts and finalists are invited to pitch their plan to the judges at a mini–Dragons Den style event. The overall winner receives the accolade of LEAP Entrepreneur of the Year and a £2,500 cash prize which will be presented at a Business Awards Dinner.

Networking group
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Who Can Benefit?

The programme is fully funded by Lewes District Council and is open to any resident in the Lewes District or any individual who is looking to set up a business in the area. This includes towns and villages like Ringmer, Newhaven, Seaford, Lewes, Peacehaven, Telescombe Cliffs, Chailey, Plumpton, Newick and Ditchling. Businesses trading within the last six months are also eligible to apply.

Key Facts
  • LEAP is open to all residents in the Lewes district over 18 years of age.
  • LEAP starts with an initial one-day business start-up workshop in Lewes in Jan or a virtual workshop across 2 days in Feb.
  • 15 candidates are selected to attend interactive workshops on marketing and finance. These take place in the morning and evening - perfect for those with childcare commitments or jobs.
  • Candidates are assigned a dedicated mentor who will work with them to develop a business plan which will be judged by an expert panel of judges.
  • The winner will receive £2,500 cash and the title ‘LEAP Entrepreneur of the Year’ at a celebration  Awards Dinner.
  • LEAP is an annual programme run once a year – registration opens in November and closes in early Feb.

You can register for the programme via the LEAP website Alternatively, you can call Edeal on 01323 641144 or email for more information.

Leadership meeting