Bradford’s business landscape is transforming the area into a prime location for enterprise growth and opportunity. Responding to this entrepreneurial drive, Digital Enterprise will be hosting an event this month in conjunction with Invest in Bradford. Local businesses from the 2025 City of Culture are invited to attend on the 27th February, to discover how they can accelerate business growth by investing in digital.

Digital Enterprise and Invest in Bradford, part of Bradford Council, offer a number of services to businesses looking to invest and grow. The event will provide information on how more organisations can access funding and support before the programme is due to close in 2025, and showcase how local Bradford businesses have already benefitted from the programme.

Suzanne Bradbury, Programme Manager for Digital Enterprise says “As funding for eligible DE3 projects is due to end on the 31stMarch 2025, applications will need to be in before the end of the year in order to complete in time. Time is ticking along fast, and ambitious, growth minded businesses don’t have very long left to apply.”

Since its launch in 2016, Digital Enterprise has provided over £12 million in funding, helping over 2,700 businesses, with its financial grants and business support programme. Now in its third iteration, Digital Enterprise (DE3) has provided West Yorkshire SMEs with up to 50% funding for projects that have boosted the area’s economic growth. By investing in technology, new jobs and opportunities are being created, and existing products and services improved which is also enabling businesses to enter new markets – both domestic and international.

One business that has successfully accessed funding through DE3 is Bradford-based sign makers, Sign Focus, who will be speaking at this event. As commercial sign specialists who design, manufacture, and install high quality signage throughout the UK, Sign Focus has achieved great success working with diverse range of customers from schools and Local Authorities to small independent businesses and recognisable brands. In 2023, they applied for a Digital Accelerator Grant and were awarded just under £10k. Sign Focus will explain how this grant has allowed them to reduce costs by bringing digital print services in-house, reduce environmental impact by offering eco-friendly products, expand their team and explore new market opportunities for additional revenue streams.

Lee Burnett, Managing Director of Sign Focus says, “Like most businesses we’ve been facing increasing costs for some time, but we see lots of potential for growth over the next two years. We started to explore what we could do differently to improve margins, and we decided to bring services in-house. To enable this strategic move, we needed support and the capital to make the investment, which is why we applied to Digital Enterprise.”

Sign Focus’s Lee Burnett will be speaking to attendees at the event, alongside Aidan Chippendale, Finance Manager and Sam Hudson, Project Manager from Powerrun Pipe-Mech Ltd and Louise Roberts, Director of TF Automation.

The city of Bradford boasts a substantial economy valued at £11.6 billion, ranking it as the tenth largest economy in England and third in Yorkshire. An impressive 19.1% of West Yorkshire SMEs can be found in Bradford, so DE3 is inviting growth-focused businesses to apply for a representative portion of the £4.6million funding available.

Suzanne Bradbury says, “We know that Bradford has some great entrepreneurial talent comprising of amazing, thriving, and ambitious businesses, and we know that they would benefit greatly from our support. We’re encouraging them to step forward and take that leap while there’s still funding available, so that together we can improve the local economy. That’s what this event is all about.”

Invitations to “Unlock Digital Funding: Business Support from Digital Enterprise” are open to eligible SMEs based in Bradford, and digital/technology suppliers who want to learn more about accessing readily available business grants. The event will take place at Bradford University on 27th February 2024, and eligible attendees can reserve free places online via Eventbrite. Event link -