Business Surrey launched by the Chancellor of the Exchequer

Man speaking with microphone in front of a blue backdrop to a group of people

Business Surrey – a new Surrey County Council service offering free and accessible support to businesses across the county – has officially been launched by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt.

From start-ups to longstanding SMEs, Surrey companies of all sizes, sectors and stages of their business journey can access expert support for no cost via the new Business Surrey website.

The Council developed the offer to coincide with the transfer of strategic powers to grow the economy previously held by the county’s two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

It means for the first time there is a single, co-ordinated business support offer for the whole of Surrey – something which is welcomed by local leaders.

Matt Furniss, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Economic Growth, said: “Surrey has a fantastic economic story to tell – with more than 100,000 businesses, a highly-skilled workforce and world-leading sectors helping generate more than £50 billion a year to the UK economy.

“But we know there’s more that we can do – which is why I am delighted we have developed Business Surrey, providing a simple and easy way for companies of all sizes to access the support they need to grow.

“By being in a position to support businesses from day one of being handed these functions from LEPs, we are ahead of the national curve – something which can only be positive for our 1.2 million residents and 110,000 businesses.”

Business Surrey provides free and accessible support for all businesses in Surrey – such as targeted bespoke support for high growth companies, highlighting networking events, promoting the county’s innovative sectors, and hosting a live directory of more than 100 national and local initiatives.

The new website also brings together of the business-facing aspects of the Council’s work, including trading standards, Greener Futures and Surrey Fire & Rescue.

Business Surrey went live in April and was officially launched at Huskins in Godalming by the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt last week (Friday May 17).

Also speaking was Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council; Shahid Azeem, the High Sheriff of Surrey; and local tech entrepreneur Terence Naidu.

Representatives from Surrey County Council, business groups, universities and the county’s 11 district and borough authorities were among those attending.

Business Surrey launch – what they said

Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP for South West Surrey, said: “Surrey is a fantastic place to do business. The innovation and ideas of its residents, combined with sector strengths in creative industries, and tech and life sciences, make it a pivotal region in driving growth for the whole of the UK.

“That’s why it’s great to see Surrey County Council using the newly transferred powers formally held by LEPs to develop a clear offer to support businesses.

“I would urge businesses at all stages of their journey to contact the Business Surrey team to access expert help and support.”

Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “Growing the economy in a sustainable way is a priority for the Council, which can only be achieved by working and engaging with our fantastic business community. Growth is not only good for business; it also generates opportunities for local people, supports investment in our communities, and improves the lives and wellbeing of our 1.2 million residents.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with our universities, businesses, and local authority partners to capitalise on our enhanced strategic economic role, as it is only through shared expertise that we stand the best chance of growing our economies.”

Smiling man in a suit jacket and shirt talking to another person

Business Surrey roadshow

As part of the Business Surrey launch, Surrey County Council has teamed up with Surrey Chambers of Commerce to hold a series of Business Surrey Roadshow events next month.

The sessions will include practical ways for business owners to access support to grow their enterprises, as well as opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals.

The events take place on:

  • June 4 in Camberley – Login Lounge from 8am
  • June 6 in Egham – Royal Holloway, University of London from 6pm
  • June 13 in Horley – Langshott Manor Hotel from 8am
  • June 21 in Leatherhead – Fetcham Park House from 8am

Pre-booking for the events is essential. Secure your space via the Business Surrey events page.

Branded water bottles on a table with a window at the background and pot plant to the left

Business Surrey roadshow: book now to attend

Come and experience the Business Surrey roadshow, an exciting series of dynamic business events which could help your business grow and prosper.

Following the successful launch of Business Surrey – which offers free accessible support to all businesses in the county – Surrey Chambers of Commerce is partnering with Surrey County Council to showcase a wide range of support available to local businesses.

The interactive sessions are a fantastic opportunity to learn about available support, connect with like-minded professionals and discuss challenges to the future success of your business and the wider economy.

Places are FREE but must be booked in advance on the links below.

When and where is the Business Surrey roadshow taking place?

The Business Surrey roadshow will take place at various locations throughout June.

Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance via the above links.

Why should you attend?

Join us at the Business Surrey Roadshow for a personalised experience, where you can:

  • Connect with the Business Surrey team for expert guidance and support.
  • Explore valuable resources tailored to your business needs.
  • Engage in insightful discussions with industry specialists.
  • Network with like-minded business owners and expand your connections.

Don’t miss this opportunity to accelerate your business success. Whether you’re seeking advice, connections, or inspiration—our roadshow has something special in store for you!

Our partners

Business Surrey wants to thank a range of partners for helping us host these events, including:

  • Surrey Chambers of Commerce
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council
  • Runnymede Borough Council
  • Mole Valley District Council
  • Reigate & Banstead Borough Council
  • Federation of Small Business
  • Institute of Directors
  • Gatwick Diamond Business

Surrey Women’s Entrepreneurship Network applications welcomed

The Surrey Women’s Entrepreneurship Network (SWEN) is a burgeoning network which fosters innovation and investment-readiness through mentoring programmes, expert business support and links with the local ecosystem of funders, policy makers, investors and other stakeholders.

It is a collaboration between Surrey Research ParkSETsquared Surrey & University of Surrey, aiming to improve opportunities for business growth and innovation.

This includes access to information and support for women entrepreneurs, creating positive impact locally and beyond.

Surrey Women's Entrepreneurship Network

In addition to bringing people together, its focus is on:

  • Championing women
    • Spotlighting and promoting the contribution of women in the innovation ecosystem, raising the profile of entrepreneurs and companies across all sectors who are underrepresented
  • Investor-readiness
    • Supporting women to access funding for their businesses and source and prepare for investment raises and grant applications
  • Growth opportunities
    • Creating opportunities for women to grow their networks, build interest in their ideas and receive expert business advice

The network launched in December 2023 at the Surrey Research Park in Guildford.

The audience heard a keynote by Nathalie Hinds delivered beautifully by Monique Raats on “Three Powerful Words”, before two inspiring panels took to the stage.

The panelists – Tobi EyinadeFiona SwenyShelley Coleman – MarshSusannah McClintockDr Alison Callwood and Matthew McCann – brought a wealth of experience and were incredibly generous with their advice and guidance for the women entrepreneurs in the network.

Kathy Slack OBE closed the event with great energy and a clear message to the audience to “feel that buzz in your belly” and keep the momentum going forward.

SWEN Co-founder Kat Mack says, “It was wonderful to see so many people in the room committed to the support and pursuit of women’s entrepreneurship. The community is vibrant and poised! I can’t wait to see the network flourish!”

To apply to join the SWEN network click here.

Surrey Women’s Entrepreneurship Network

Nominations open for the Runnymede Business Awards 2024

Businesses in Chertsey, Addlestone, Egham and surrounding areas are being encouraged to submit their entries to the 2024 Runnymede Business Awards.

Organised by Business Runnymede and Runnymede District Council, the annual awards have nine categories for companies and individuals to enter.

It is free, quick, and easy to apply, with the deadline for applications Wednesday 24 April 2024.

Shortlisted businesses will be invited to a gala lunchtime awards ceremony in the Founders Dining Hall at Royal Holoway University of London on Friday 21 June. 

A spokesman for Business Runnymede said: “Winning an award is a fantastic way to raise the profile of your business and to build contacts with other leading businesses in the area.  

“All you have to do to enter is choose an award category, read the relevant judging criteria, and write no more than 500 words on why your business deserves to win the award.” 

The nine categories are: 

  • Growth Award
  • Sustainability Award
  • Entrepreneur and Innovator Award
  • Community Hero Award
  • Best New Business
  • Best Town Centre Business
  • Best Neighbourhood Business
  • Employer of the Year
  • Outstanding Contribution (Individual or Team)

Businesses can enter more than one award category, but they must submit an application for each award category you enter.  

The overall winner will be awarded Business of the Year.

The headline sponsor for the event is Royal Holloway, University of London with additional sponsors including Tesco, Thorpe Park, and Surrey Careers Hub.

Apply and find out more here.  

Runnymede Business Awards

2024 Surrey Festival of Skills

Businesses and training providers across Surrey can now sign up to showcase their opportunities at the 2024 Festival of Skills.

The first ever Surrey Festival of Skills took place in November 2023 and left hundreds of young people fired up about their futures.

More than 1,300 people from schools and colleges across Surrey attended the free one-day event, engaging with 80 exhibitors, including Samsung, British Airways, Pfizer, Haleon, and BAE Systems.  

The event was organised and funded by Surrey County Council, with support from the Association of Learning Providers Surrey (ALPS) and Surrey Event Professionals.

Planning for the 2024 event is now underway with the festival set to return in the autumn. Businesses, training providers and educational settings who wish to attend can register their interest via https://surreyfestivalofskills.co.uk/

Man trying helmet on at Surrey Festival of Skills

The Festival of Skills is open to young people 14 to 18 who are in education in Surrey. 

Those attending access inspirational talks and interactive displays, while also learning about potential career opportunities.

Sectors represented included the creative arts, construction, cyber security, health and social care, technology, engineering, public sector, and hospitality.

Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, described the 2023 event as “a big success”.

In opening the 2023 event, Cllr Oliver said: “We have a vibrant, thriving, and diverse economy in Surrey, which generates roughly £50 billion a year for the UK.  

“With a skilled workforce, high business success rate and enviable location, there is huge potential to grow the economy of Surrey sustainably in years to come.

Young people at Surrey Festival of skills

“The single most important component to achieving that growth is the individual contributions of our workforce. It’s their talent, their ideas, their passion which makes organisations thrive and prosper.  

“That is why the Festival of Skills is so important. Because it provides opportunities for our local young people to experience, to connect, to be inspired about their future.”

Star attractions on the day included a prototype supercar worth more than £2 million created by Guildford-based Gordon Murray Automotive and a robotic dog, which construction firm Balfour Beatty utilised on the M25 improvements and other major schemes.  

Matt Furniss, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport & Economic Growth, said: “The first-ever Festival of Skills was a day to remember for all involved – providing young people with the chance to rub shoulders with major employers and be inspired about their futures.

“Providing opportunities for employers to connect with the county’s future workforce is integral to our wider Skills agenda and achieving our mission to ensure No One is Left Behind.”

Man presenting at Surrey Festival of Skills