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Are you a York-based business or entrepreneur with aspirations for business growth and innovation?


A new scheme dedicated to product and process development and business growth opportunities is now available for York based businesses and entrepreneurs.

Innovate York will offer a series of workshops, womens peer-to-peer networking and specialist events to businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the city. The programme is delivered by the University of York and funded by City of York Council through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. 

Register your interest in Innovate York now

Business benefits 

Innovation can lead to increased revenue, reduced costs, and a stronger market presence, ultimately contributing to the long-term sustainability and growth of your business. 

Engage with Innovate York to:

  • Gain Competitive Advantage: Stand out, attract and retain customers, and charge premium prices through innovation.

  • Expand Market Reach: Enter new markets or grow your current market share for increased revenue and growth opportunities.

  • Adapt to Changing Trends: Stay agile by responding to evolving consumer preferences, market trends, and technological advancements.

Activity will take place between December 2023 and January 2025. 

Our programme seeks to drive longer-term investments in the city, leading to higher productivity, competitiveness and growth. Some events within the programme will specifically focus on women in innovation, led by trusted female entrepreneurs in the city.


Activity areas - further information:

Contact us

We’d be delighted to hear from you. The Enterprise Works team can be contacted via:
+44 (0)1904 321420

Embark on the journey of entrepreneurship with our dynamic Innovation Workshop designed exclusively for start-up businesses!

Are you ready to turn your business dreams into reality? Our fully funded workshops are your ticket to gaining the confidence and skills needed to propel your business idea to new heights.

Register your interest now (please note:  you must have a York based postcode to be eligible and one delegate per business)

Why Attend?

  • Expert Guidance: Benefit from the wealth of knowledge shared by our two highly experienced facilitators who have successfully collaborated with thousands of businesses.
  • Interactive Sessions: Connect with like-minded individuals, share insights, and foster collaborations to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey.

What our sessions cover?Starting your own business? Our innovation workshop for start-up businesses can help! 

Take this opportunity to attend our fully funded workshops which will give you the confidence and boost to take your business idea to the next level. Join like minded individuals to start your journey and ensure you have the steps in place to get you off to a flying start. 

The sessions are delivered by 2 highly experienced facilitators who have worked with thousands of businesses and have the expertise to help you to start your business. 

The sessions will cover: 

  • Understanding your market & business opportunities

  • Refining & testing your business ideas

  • Setting up a business model & structure

  • Understanding business finance and funding

  • How to pitch to investors 

  • Branding & marketing 

  • Sales fundamentals

  • Growth strategies

  • Resilience and adaptability

At the end of your workshop, you will complete your own innovation growth plan. This will give you actionable steps tailored to your business sector and goals.

Dates and times

Tuesday 12th March, 9.30am - 4.00pm. Heslington Hall, University of York

Tuesday 9th April, 9.30am - 4.00pm. Heslington Hall, University of York

Innovate York workshops will support your business growth plans.

Each session will focus on a specific area of innovation and business growth. Our highly experienced workshop facilitators will share their expertise with your teams, building on case studies, exercises and peer learning.

At the end of your workshops, you will complete your own Innovation Growth Plan. This will give you actionable steps tailored to your business sector and goals. From the first workshop, you’ll work with the same dedicated growth and innovation expert, who will support you with a fresh perspective.

What will the innovation workshops cover?

Each session will have one innovation or business growth theme (please note these are subject to change). Topics we will explore include:


This introductory session will look at the different types of innovation. You’ll discover the importance of an innovation mindset and culture, as well as the opportunities and challenges ahead. Learn how to develop an idea into a commercial product, evidenced by your individual Innovation Growth Plan.

Sustainable innovation

With Net Zero dominating the conversation, sustainability is no longer a luxury but a necessity. This workshop will provide insights into alternative circular economy solutions and how we can apply them to everyday business practices. Examine methodologies and discover how to innovate sustainably.

Creating your value proposition

In this session, you’ll find out how to fine-tune your value proposition: defining what it is you truly have to offer. Find your competitive advantage and build your confidence with customers. Here, you’ll learn about new market research tools, ideal for identifying trends and monitoring competitors.

New product or service development

Get your products or services to market faster with this interactive session. The workshop will cover design thinking, looking at best practices and strategic steps to developing your offering. Discover the User-Centred Design framework and learn more about principles including the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), the Stage Gate methodology and more.

Innovation culture and people growth strategy

In this final workshop, you will learn how to shape a culture of innovation. Review how you’re engaging with your customers, suppliers and employees to ensure you all get the best from the business. Here you will explore your personal leadership style, strengths, and values to build for the future.


There will be four cohorts for the innovation workshops. The starting dates for each cohort are:

  • Cohort 1 (online):  2nd, 9th, 23rd February & Friday 1st March. 9.30 - 12.30 
  • Cohort 3 (face-to-face): Wednesday 22nd May, Wednesday 12th June. The Grand Hotel, York
  • Cohort 4 (online):  17th, 24th October & 7th, 14th November
  • Cohort 5 (face-to-face): Thursday 28th, Friday 29th November. University of York

Where will the innovation workshops take place?

The workshops will take place either in person or online. You will receive a sign-up link to view the session online if you choose to take your workshop virtually. Face-to-face sessions will be held at The Grand Hotel, York where refreshments will be provided throughout the day. 

Register your interest here > (please note:  you must have a York based postcode to be eligible and one delegate per business)

Female-led businesses and women in business in York are invited to take part in our exclusive peer-to-peer programme. 

Up to £250 billion could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men. But these businesses are often under-represented, or not reaching their full innovation potential. 

Innovate York aims to change that. Both female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses are invited to join other likeminded individuals to foster innovation.

Participants will be encouraged to share ideas and challenges and support each other to come up with solutions and potentially new ways of working. 

What will the women’s networking sessions involve?

The events have been designed for women in businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to large enterprises. 

 The sessions will offer:

  • Knowledge and idea exchanges
  • Business and personal support from new peers
  • Networking opportunities 
  • Targeted mentoring and problem-solving
  • Learning and best practices for innovation.

Each session lasts for two hours with up to 10 people.

When will the networking sessions take place?

The University of York will run two cohorts of six peer-to-peer networking sessions each. Please let us know which cohort you would like to join when you register your interest.

Peer-to-peer network 1: 

Session 1: Wednesday 6th March, 9.30 - 11.30am - The Innovation Centre, York
Session 2:  Thursday 21st March, 9.30 - 11.30, online
Session 3:  Wednesday 10th April, 9.30 - 11.30am, online
Session 4: Wednesday 24th April, 9.30 - 11.30am, online                                                                               Session 5: Tuesday 7th May, 9.30 - 11.30am, online                                                                                       Session 6: Thursday 23rd May, 9.30 - 11.30am, York Guildhall

Peer-to-peer network 2: 

Session 1: Tuesday 10th September, 9.30 - 11.30am - The Innovation Centre, York
Session 2:  Tuesday 24th September, 9.30 - 11.30, online
Session 3:  Tuesday 8th October, 9.30 - 11.30am, online
Session 4: Tuesday 22nd October, 9.30 - 11.30am, online                                                                              Session 5: Tuesday 5th November, 9.30 - 11.30am, online                                                                              Session 6: Wednesday 20th November, 9.30 - 11.30am, The Guildhall, York

Register your interest today

Are you ready to share the stage with fellow female entrepreneurs and learn from your peers? Sign up for these fully funded sessions starting from March or September 2024.

Register your interest here > (please note:  you must have a York based postcode to be eligible and one delegate per business)


4 Innovation Masterclasses will be delivered throughout the project. Each masterclass will focus on a key innovation theme.

The events will provide attendees with insight, examples of best practice, practical innovation tools and techniques and information about relevant business and innovation support services.

Attendees with gain:

  1. Valuable Insights: Gain a deeper understanding of the chosen innovation themes.
  2. Best Practice Illustrations: Explore real-world examples of successful innovation.
  3. Hands-On Tools and Techniques: Acquire practical skills and tools to foster innovation.
  4. Access to Support Services: Learn about essential business and innovation support resources to drive your innovation journey.

By participating in these masterclasses, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of innovation themes, draw inspiration from best practices, acquire practical skills, and access vital support services for your innovation endeavors.

Masterclass dates:

14th December, Malmaison Hotel, York 9.30 - 11.30am. Book your place now

June 2024

October 2024

January 2025