As we emerge from the pandemic, businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs are being encouraged to make the most of the Invest4 Grant Fund – a cash award designed to help new businesses launch and to help businesses to grow more quickly.

The government scheme is there to help businesses which need to invest in something to help them grow and are already planning to make this purchase. This could be anything from a new website or marketing campaign to paying for more staff or staff training, or investing in new software to boost productivity, green technology or high-cost equipment or machinery.

Up to £170,000 can be awarded to start-ups and established businesses in the coast-to-capital area which meet the eligibility criteria. Thankfully, help with this is available through the Business Hothouse support programme, which is part of the Business School at the University of Chichester.

The Business Hothouse runs free workshops and one-to-one sessions to help business leaders complete the Invest4 Grant application form to a high standard, line by line, and to produce a good business plan, which they need to demonstrate to get the award.

More than 90 per cent of those who apply are successful – and the scheme has already helped all kinds of Sussex businesses grow, from bakers and brewers to film production companies and beauty product manufacturers.

Roisin Meredith successfully applied for an Invest4 Grant with support from the Business Hothouse for her business, Roisin’s Water Kefir

When chemist Roisin Meredith decided to set up a drinks company, Roisin’s Water Kefir, she needed support to develop a business strategy. Thanks to one-to-one support and business planning sessions from the Business Hothouse, Roisin was able to develop a three-year cash forecast plan and successfully applied for the Invest4 Grant Fund. Her cash award allowed her to employ a sales and marketing consultant to promote her product, increase her customer base and develop the Roisin’s Water Kefir brand. Roisin has since moved into a larger brewery with bigger fermenting equipment, allowing her to quadruple production.

There is no business too small or too large to apply for the Invest4 Grant. It is a match-fund, where businesses pay for 60 per cent of their expenditure cost and the Invest4 Fund will pay the remaining 40 per cent balance. Businesses can pay the 60 per cent of their expenditure cost through other grants too – the aim is to speed up the growth process.

The Invest4 Grant Fund is currently available until September 2022.

To find out more, visit the Business Hothouse webpage.

To request an Invest4 Fund application form from the Business Hothouse Grant Fund Manager, email