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Who is eligible and how you apply

DRIVE offers mentoring and funding support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help grow and develop Norfolk and Suffolk’s rural economy.

The programme supports local businesses to invest in a new business project that benefits their growth and creates new employment.

You can apply for a grant of up to 40% of total project costs. The minimum grant is £5,000 and the maximum grant is £30,000.

Before you apply for a grant, you must spend up to 12 hours with a DRIVE Business Mentor. They will help you to write a project plan and a reviewed business plan so you can write a grant application.

Frequently asked questions

Sole traders
Private limited companies
Limited liability partnerships
Social enterprises 
Charities or trusts 

For full details, please see the applicant handbook guide.  


Building new infrastructure or renovating existing dwellings
Technology upgrades or new purchases
New equipment to enhance manufacturing activities 
Tourism development – including museums and art galleries
Sustainable enterprises or business improvements
New innovative ideas

This is not a full list. Contact us if you are unsure whether your project is eligible. 


All projects will need to comply with the European Regional Development Fund’s regulations, and as a result not all business activities are eligible for funding. 

You are not eligible if your business primarily engages with: 

Fishery, aquaculture and forestry sectors
Horticulture or primary production, processing and marketing of agricultural products
Steel production
Synthetic fibres
Banking, insurance or financial services 
School age education 
Retail (except manufacturing activities) 
Post offices
Food and beverage service activities 

This is not a full list. Contact us if you are unsure whether your business activity is eligible. 



For details in how to proceed with the DRIVE programme view how to apply

Alternatively, you can download our FAQs PDF guide.