Business support that solves growth challenges in 2021


Are you looking to find new ways of implementing growth into your business?
The ALPHAS project is a channel for Knowledge Exchange between Universities and SMEs in order to solve business problems.

By creating space within the business for further employment while supporting the regional aim to retain graduate talent within the local area.

This will be achieved by connecting Business Owners with Specialist Support and Training from Business Growth Experts.

How does it work?
If you are interested in plugging skills gaps by upskilling or developing a new venture, then the ALPHAS project is for you.

Not many people know about the ALPHAS project, but it’s a game changer for small businesses.

The business support provided by universities is free of charge and accessible to those who are eligible.

Businesses who join the ALPHAS project will have access to free of charge workshops from associated universities.

These workshops are delivered in the form of webinar sessions that help you learn new skills and fine tune existing ones!

There’s also the opportunity to get discounts on business equipment and academic support for your SME business.

Our expert advisors will guide you through the process in your free needs assessment, and point you and your business in the right direction.

So what’s in it for me?
Grants of 30% towards the cost of equipment or academic expertise.
The chance to upskill current staff through a free 12-hour workshop programme on leadership & management, digital technology, staffing for the future and financing your own growth.
Academic expertise from the University of Bedfordshire, University of Northampton or The Open University.
Funding to cover 60% of salary costs for graduates for 3-6 months – including free academic consultancy to set your plans in motion.

Who is eligible?
The ALPHAS Project is designed for:

Limited companies, charities or CIC’s with 5-250 employees.
Businesses registered in the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) area.
Businesses that are looking to expand their knowledge base and grow their company.

ALPHAS Project Case Studies
MHF Creative

Matt and Ciara sought help from the ALPHAS programme, funded by the European Union’s regional development fund.

The programme was administered in Luton by the University of Bedfordshire.

Through ALPHAS, Matt and Ciara completed virtual training workshops on a variety of topics – including digital tools, leadership and strategic planning.

They used this knowledge to successfully bid for a grant in order to launch a new website to tackle the problems their business experienced during the pandemic.

“The ALPHAS project has enabled us to better understand the problems we were facing as a business and helped us focus on the best solution to resolve this.”

“We have since engaged with a local marketing agency who is specifically working on improving our SEO presence, our digital footprint and our website.”

“The funding provided by the project has also enabled us to work with a company specialising in lead generation, helping us get in front of our target customers to increase awareness of our services.”

The ALPHAS project’s goal
The goal of the ALPHAS project is to support local SMEs in improving their leadership team, thus making the business more profitable.

Offer your business an advantage by getting involved with the ALPHAS project today!

What if I am outside the SEMLEP region?
Digital Future First is funded by the European Social Fund to provide access to Government support for SMEs located in the SEMLEP region.

If your SME business is located outside of the SEMLEP region you can find out more about the available support in your area by visiting the LEP network website.

Once on the LEP site simply select your region’s Growth Hub from the menu and follow the link to your local Growth Hub website.

Here, you can register your interest to talk to a growth advisor who will help you access Government support.

How do I get started?
The University of Bedfordshire, in partnership with The Open University and The University of Northamptonshire, is running a series of eight webinars.

Focusing on Leadership, Digital, Finance and Staffing for the future with their business experts.

For more information about upcoming webinars, register and a team member will contact you with further details.

The value of these sessions is usually £1,000. But if you are part of an eligible business they will be completely free.

Register your business
It all begins with the registration process, you will be asked if you would like to meet with an advisor.

This is your opportunity to get a free needs assessment to find out how government support can help you grow your business.

Visit to register your business today.

To find out more about the ALPHAS project once registered on our website you can book a free needs assessment via

Follow our socials to stay up-to-date with future government business support developments or explore some of the recent blogs we’ve published for in-depth government support information.

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