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Centre for SME and Enterprise Development

The Centre for SME and Enterprise Development responds to the needs of the SME community to stimulate enterprise, innovation and business growth. Recognised in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) for its support for businesses, we work together with you and your business for a more productive and innovative SME Sector in Lancashire.

Joining is quick and simple:

Membership offer (free to join)

SMEs make up 99% of UK businesses. Our award-winning Centre for SME and Enterprise Development provides a free membership where you can connect and learn together with over 1,200 SME members. The Centre provides a gateway to our internationally recognised research centres, the expertise of staff, students and graduates, and the outstanding facilities we have to offer.

  • Funded business support – £10million of funding to support Lancashire SMEs.
  • Access a wide range of expertise, knowledge and facilities.
  • Develop your workforce through higher and degree apprenticeships, CPD and short courses.
  • Recruit our students and graduates – you can post job vacancies for free.

Masterclasses and workshops

  • We invite speakers with a passion for helping organisations to share their knowledge and expertise with the membership.
  • Events will focus on key issues. Past events have included GDPR, digital marketing and workplace wellbeing.

Quarterly business breakfast and twilight networking events

  • Expand your knowledge – expert speakers from industry
  • How can we help your business – an update on available business support
  • Make new connections – network with the membership community
  • Share and learn best practice – round table discussion on ‘hot’ topics

Members’ Knowledge exchange meetings

  • Make new connections – share knowledge and best practice and seek support

Good practice discussion groups

  • An opportunity for members to set the topic for a round table discussion and seek help from the membership network.
  • Interested members attend the sessions to discuss the issue/challenge, share thoughts, ideas and good practice.
  • Outcomes are shared with the wider network.

Phoenix project

UK businesses of all sizes are being invited to feedback their experiences of working through the pandemic in a survey designed to improve future business support.

Phoenix project

Related news

Survey calls for UK businesses to share impact of Covid

UK businesses of all sizes are being invited to feedback their experiences of working through the pandemic in a survey designed to improve future business support.

Wednesday 9 March 2022

Building networks to collaborate with SMEs, students and Regional government, creating mutual benefit and impact

The Centre for SME and Enterprise Development (CSME) is a business-led response unit for the needs of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) community.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

The Preston Model: Driving wealth generation, community investment and national policy

Preston City Council funded Dr Julian Manley and Professor Lynn Froggett to conduct research into how co-operative developments in Preston could help to increase local economic investment.

Wednesday 8 September 2021

Launch of Remote & Hybrid Working Principles guide for SMEs

Northern SMEs business owners are being encouraged to embrace new principles to support staff working remotely, whether full-time or in a hybrid model.

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Anne-Marie Craven praises the University of Central Lancashire's business support

A woman from Preston who chose to pursue her dream of running her own coffee business has praised the support that she has received from the University of Central Lancashire’s Centre for SME Development.

Thursday 2 July 2020

Student Katie starts new business with UCLan support

A local student has turned her hobby into a business, with support from a programme run by University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), which is partially funded by the U Start ERDF programme.

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Contact us

Centre for SME and Enterprise Development


Tel: +44 (0)1772 894321

Twitter: @UCLanBusiness