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Your One-Stop Shop For Welsh Business Support Programmes

With only 86% of new ventures enjoying a 5-year lifespan (or less), early business support is crucial for survival. Keep reading to discover 21 start-up/scaleup business support programmes available here in Wales.

Your One-Stop Shop For Welsh Business Support Programmes

We understand that starting a business is no small feat, and with only 86% of new ventures enjoying a 5-year lifespan (or less), early business support must be there for survival. 

Luckily, there are numerous support programmes aimed at helping and guiding Welsh startups and scaleups through this exciting, yet challenging journey. 

To help, we’ve put together this guide highlighting the many business support services we offer here at Tramshed Tech, as well as other programmes available across Wales from the likes of Barclays Eagle Labs, Tech Nation, Plexal, Welsh Ice and more. Think of this as your ‘one-stop shop’ for Welsh startup/scaleup business support.

Whatever your industry sector or business goals/mission, there is support available for you. So do your research and take full advantage of the opportunities presented in front of you. 

Welsh Startup/Scaleup Business Support Programmes include:

1. The Startup Academy (Tramshed Tech)

The Startup Academy is a free 10-week incubator programme supported by Google for Startups for pre-start and early-stage tech founders to help get their Startup Ideas off the ground.

At Tramshed Tech, we understand the challenges entrepreneurs face and have tailored the Startup Academy to support common pain points that occur in the early stages of starting a business including idea validation, testing product market fit, building waiting lists and mastering startup pitches. 

Our cohort is supported through mentorship, on-demand content and independent learning materials via the Startup Academy portal as well as weekly peer-to-peer sessions. The programme culminates with a Showcase Day - an opportunity for the cohort to demo their tech and showcase their skills.

Learn more about the benefits of joining our startup academy, and register your interest in our 2024 programme here. 

2. Rising Stars (Tech Nation)

Tech Nation is super excited to announce – Rising Stars – the ultimate pitch competition designed for innovative early-stage tech startups is back…

This exciting event provides a valuable platform for tech startups to showcase their innovations locally, regionally, and nationally. Such exposure will substantially enhance their brand visibility and attract potential customers, partners, and investors.

welsh business support programmesFinalists will get the opportunity to showcase their businesses on the formidable London Tech Week (LTW) stage. Pretty cool, right? 

Learn more and pre-register here. 


3. Black Founders Programme (Barclays Eagle Labs)

Barclays Eagle Labs have partnered with Foundervine to run the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator, a programme specially designed to champion diversity in entrepreneurship and showcase Black Founder-led businesses.

Foundervine is an award-winning social enterprise with a strong track record of helping entrepreneurs from under-represented communities to start their own businesses.

Read all about it and register your interest here. 


4. Investor Readiness Programme (Tramshed Tech & British Business Bank)

Supported by the British Business Bank, the Investor Readiness Programme is a free 12-week programme designed for pre-seed and pre-customer tech founders looking to get their startups in a good place for funding.

At Tramshed Tech, we understand that securing investment can be a huge challenge for founders, so we have tailored this programme to make the road to investment an easier one.

This is also a fantastic opportunity to tap into our network of entrepreneurs, scaling businesses, strategic partners, mentors and investors. Not to mention access to our member benefits and credits!


5. Level up (M-Sparc)

Run by M-Sparc, Level Up is a five-month programme for North Wales’ top startups. During this programme, founders can access expert mentoring, a community of like-minded founders, their global advisory board with powerful networks and exclusive opportunities for growth.

It will also allow startups access to pitching and investment opportunities, specialist workshops and dedicated desk space.

Learn more about this exciting accelerator programme for innovative start-ups here. 


6. CARBON13 Venture Launchpad (Barclays Eagle Labs & CARBON13)

Barclays Eagle Labs has partnered with the Carbon13 Venture Launchpad to help pre-seed / early-stage businesses launch high-potential, global-impact ClimateTech ventures.

The Carbon13 Venture Launchpad is a ClimateTech accelerator that helps support early-stage founding teams to work intensively on their carbon impact, investment readiness and go-to-market strategy.

Carbon13 aims to work with businesses with the potential to remove up to 10 million tonnes of CO2e per annum once they have scaled their solution.

As part of the Venture Launchpad, each startup has the opportunity to work with experts from Carbon13 to develop a carbon case which outlines how they aim to mitigate 10 million tonnes CO2e per annum when their business has scaled.

Through the programme, there will also be an opportunity to pitch for £120,000 in pre-seed funding.

Register your interest here. 


7. Climate: Catalysing the Growth of Climate Change (Tech Nation)

Launched by Tech Nation, Climate is the ultimate launchpad for climate tech startups! This programme is dedicated to catalysing climate innovation by providing founders with the tools and support they need to elevate their businesses.

This programme offers world-class advisory support that is curated by successful entrepreneurs, giving our startups direct access to invaluable expertise and knowledge.

In addition, they provide their founders with direct connections to investors, multinationals, academics, and policymakers – ensuring they have every opportunity to secure the funding and partnerships they need to succeed.

Discover more about this programme here, and pre-register your interest for Climate 2025. 


8. Clwb Arloesi (Aberinnovation)

Clwb Arloesi stands as a pioneering initiative designed to not only embrace the rich linguistic heritage of Wales but also to foster a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.

At its core, Clwb Arloesi is a catalyst for attracting entrepreneurs and businesses that place a high value on the Welsh language, employing proactive meetings and engagement strategies to promote its vibrant use.

Our programme offers a diverse range of workshops on-site at AberInnovation, tours, and content carefully tailored to businesses in the region of Ceredigion.

Discover more and reserve a spot here. 


9. Cyber Innovation Hub (Tramshed Tech & Partners)

Whether you are a cyber student/graduate, currently run a cyber business, or have no cyber knowledge but an entrepreneurial spark, the Cyber Innovation Hub could benefit you!

This £9.5 million innovation hub is designed to support Wales becoming a global leader in cyber security. 

Discover everything you need to know about the Cyber Innovation Hub and what it offers, here.


10. Cyber Runway (Plexal)

From budding entrepreneurs with an idea to growing startups and scaleups that dream big, Cyber Runway fast tracks the growth of innovators.

Cyber Runway is the largest cyber accelerator in the UK and is delivered by Plexal with support from Deloitte and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies.

It is designed to address some of the biggest challenges facing cyber security, such as diversity and inclusion and regional representation, and supports the most promising innovators at various stages of growth.

Applications for this accelerator open in early 2024. Find out more and register your interest here. 


11. Women Entrepreneurship Programme (Assadaqaat Community Finance)

The ACF Women Entrepreneurship Programme enables women to build their business confidence, solidify their strategy, expand their network, and get connected with relevant markets.

It is a 6 to 8-week online training course (2 hours a week) designed to help women overcome key challenges and barriers in entrepreneurship and turn their business ideas into a commercially viable reality.

Read the full leaflet of information and enrol on the next course here. 

welsh business support The key focus is on helping women from black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities to access the necessary skills, training, and finance required to start their MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises).


12. Female Founder Accelerator (Barclays Eagle Labs)

The Female Founder Accelerator, powered by Barclays Eagle Labs and funded by the UK Government has been designed to support 100 innovative, female-led technology businesses.

The programme, delivered by AccelerateHER, will run for nine weeks and see founders work with experts from across the entrepreneurial landscape in a series of masterclasses, with the focus on developing their business propositions further.

The programme will also include opportunities for one-to-one mentoring, exclusive accountability groups, a Barclays champion, in-person community networking, and a showcase event.

Register your interest in this accelerator programme here.


13. Libra: Diversity Drives Innovation (Tech Nation)

Libra is another programme run by Tech Nation, dedicated to empowering and connecting underrepresented tech founders, equipping them with the knowledge, connections, and tools necessary to scale their tech startups.

The Libra programme serves as a springboard for founders, fostering an environment of openness and intimacy. It provides a platform for genuine conversations about the unique challenges and experiences faced by underrepresented founders, as well as the keys to success in their entrepreneurial journey.

The programme offers a range of resources, including industry expert-led workshops, tailored content, peer-to-peer support, and valuable coaching sessions. Additionally, participants gain access to funding opportunities and connections with investors and mentors.

Pre-register your interest for Libra 2025 here. 


14. Product Build (Plexal & Barclays Eagle Labs)

Funded by the UK government, Plexal has partnered with Barclays Eagle Labs to deliver its Product Builder Programme, designed to fit around the busy lives of idea-stage entrepreneurs, with the main aim of helping them develop digital products.

The program is delivered online and will teach early entrepreneurs how to validate their digital product idea and then develop, test and evolve it using customer feedback.

This programme is perfect for Entrepreneurs who have a clear idea of, and expertise in, the problem that they want to solve with their digital product. Throughout the programme, individuals will work closely with product experts and meet like-minded founders who can share their journey.

Sound interesting? Learn more about the programme here. 


15. Scaleup Programme (Plexal & Barclays Eagle Labs)

Another programme delivered by Plexal and Barclays Eagle Labs is the Scaleup Programme, again funded by the UK government.

This is a six-month programme aimed at providing the foundation for scaleups to succeed as they navigate their rapid growth trajectory around everything from an uncertain economic environment through to the complex day-to-day scenarios that arise as part of scaling up, such as maintaining company culture while increasing headcount.

Geared towards digital tech businesses, the Scaleup Programme will provide impactful sessions of support from Plexal’s connected UK-wide ecosystem of founders, mentors, investors and customers, with content tailored to address the unique challenges faced by fast-growth scaleups.

By using Plexal’s expertise of combining innovation and collaboration, which leads to powerful results, the Scaleup Programme will help businesses solve society’s biggest challenges, from building healthy communities to enabling sustainable innovation and beyond.


16. Tech Export Cluster (Tramshed Tech & Partners)

The Welsh Government Technology Export Cluster programme is delivered in partnership with Tramshed Tech, Impact Innovation and Business News Wales.

This programme is designed to support ambitious Welsh tech businesses, so whether you’re a green or seasoned exporter, the TEC could help you tap into a new global audience.

Register your interest in the programme here. 


17. Soft-Landing Programme (Tramshed Tech & Partners)

Managed by Tramshed Tech and Newport Council, the Soft-Landing programme is designed to support international tech businesses to ‘soft-land' in Wales. 

This Welsh government-funded programme includes a 12-week business support programme as well as 6 months' worth of office space at Tramshed Tech Innovation Station, Newport.

Learn more about the soft landing programme and register your interest here. 


18. Future Fifty: The #1 Pre-ipo Network (Tech Nation)

Long recognised as the UK’s most prestigious programme, the Future Fifty represents the largest network of pre-IPO companies in the country, with their alumni collectively raising more than £16.3bn and counting. 

Limited to only the most promising series B+ ventures, the programme has been redesigned to focus on themes of access, growth, and wellbeing; providing founders and their senior leadership teams with the contacts, tools, and resources needed to remove barriers to growth and become household brands.

welsh business programmeProgramme highlights for 2024 include a bespoke fireside supper series, an international trade mission to Singapore, and the all-new Future Fifty retreat.

Read all about the Future Fifty programme here.


19. Entrepreneur Accelerator (Natwest)

The NatWest Accelerator supports and empowers UK entrepreneurs to scale their businesses to the next level.

This  free Accelerator programme specialising in wrap-around support provides:

  • 1-1 coaching with our experienced Acceleration Managers
  •  A programme of thought leadership and events
  •  Access to a network of like-minded peers, supported by our Ecosystem Managers
  • Focused support with access to experts from across your specialism
  • Use of modern co-working spaces in one of the nationwide hubs.

If you're a business with ambitions to expand, the NatWest Accelerator programme could be the perfect solution. Register your interest here.


20. The 5-9 Club (Welsh Ice)

If you’ve got a great idea for a business, or perhaps you’d like some guidance and reassurance to take your business to the next level, now is the perfect time to do it with the 5-9 Club run by Welsh Ice!

The 5-9 Club is an 8-week after-hours business course that takes you through the fundamental things you need to know about to make your business idea a success. You’ll be taught by industry experts alongside like-minded people in a supportive and fun environment.

Learn more about it and register your interest here. 


21. Young Enterprise Programme (Assadaqaat Community Finance)

Last but certainly not least, the ACF Youth Enterprise Programme consists of seminars that aim to inspire imagination and enhance understanding of innovative entrepreneurial processes and solutions.

They provide an opportunity for participants to propose new entrepreneurial responses that can help fulfil their aspirations but also bring positive change to society.

Apply to the Youth Enterprise Programme here. 


For business tips and advice, check out our tech startup blog.

We are Tramshed Tech: a startup ecosystem home to 50+ companies ranging from pre-revenue start-ups to scaling businesses with 600+ registered members from the digital, creative and tech communities. 

Written by Kate for Tramshed Tech.  


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