Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Let’s Do Business have been shortlisted by NatWest bank for their 2017  Skills and Opportunities Fund.

The Let’s Do Business Group (South East) Limited, are an awarding-winning social enterprise, based in St Leonards-on-sea. The area has pockets of very high deprivation and relatively high unemployment, particularly among the young population. Our aim is to support the economic development of Hastings and the wider East Sussex area by helping new and budding entrepreneurs.

We are asking for you to support our Business Builder project – a project that comprises an innovative series of start-up workshops, mentoring support, online training and specialist advice for deprived communities.

The project aims to provide access to enterprise skills and learning opportunities to increase participants’ financial capability, and it will also offer a Level 2 qualification in setting up a business, in order to support them with this process.

Funding will allow us to cover the numerous delivery costs of the project, which as well as many others, include activities such as administration, marketing, recruitment, training and certification, plus the costs of employing trainers and hiring venues.

With your support, we believe that we can directly benefit over 120 people through this project.



NatWest is working closely with the Start Up Team from the Let’s Do Business Group, to provide support and advice, along with representatives from Business East Sussex and Sussex Coast College, who will be on board the NatWestBoostBus to support current and future business owners.

NatWest is committed to motivating and inspiring the next generation of business leaders.  That’s why they’re helping to support and connect people interested in starting and growing their own business.Rocket (2)

Following the success of the 2016 tour, where NatWest engaged with more than 5,000 entrepreneurs, start-up and small business owners, they are excited to announce that the NatWestBoostBus will be touring again this year. Visiting the Station Plaza Campus of Sussex Coast College in Hastings, on Wednesday 26th April, 10am-4pm.

The tour will feature the NatWest Mobile Business School, a 1966 Routemaster Bus, which will be offering free, impartial advice, celebrating entrepreneurial communities across the South East  to connect and inspire individuals to turn their business ideas into a reality and provide guidance to those already running.

Angela Byrne, Regional Managing Director, London & South East, Business Banking at NatWest, said: “Our mobile business bus is a great way to get into local communities and support aspiring business owners. By collaborating with local experts, we hope to provide a broader range of support to help more entrepreneurs realise their business ambitions across the South East than ever before”.

Tour schedule

  • 24 April                                 Farnborough – Opposite Starbucks
  • 25 April                                 Crawley – The Promotional Space in Town Centre
  • 26 April                                 Hastings – Station Plaza Campus, Sussex Coast College
  • 27 April                                 Maidstone – Jubilee Square
  • 28 April                                 Canterbury, Rose Lane


Three companies supported by Locate East Sussex scooped awards at this year’s Best of East Sussex Business Awards to celebrate the cream of the county’s businesses.

The Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex (ACES) event was held at the De La Warr Pavilion on Thursday evening (October 13) attracting business people across the county for a glittering evening hosted by Radio 4 presenter Timandra Harkness including a three course meal and live music.

Winners of the Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year were Rory Myers and Matt Woodhouse who own Half Man! Half Burger! on St Leonards seafront.

Accepting the award, the duo thanked Locate East Sussex for helping them secure a £10,000 grant towards setting up and they were also lent money by Let’s Do Business Group for start-up costs when high street banks turned them away.

Since then the profit target for Half Man! Half Burger! has been exceeded by more than 400% and the owners are opening their second restaurant in Eastbourne without increasing their borrowings.

Surrey NanoSystems, which won The Innovation Award, also paid tribute to Locate East Sussex for the business support service’s help in relocating from Surrey to Newhaven where the facilities are more cost effective and staff enjoy a better work-life balance. The team has since invented Vantablack, the darkest substance known to man and is in great demand locally.

Overall Business of the Year was named The Source, the new underground skate park on Hastings seafront which was created from the derelict White Rock Baths.

Locate East Sussex helped secure funding of £320,000 for The Source from the Regional Growth Fund, administered locally by East Sussex County Council, as well as a loan of £28,000.

The Source hosted the Battle of Hastings this year, the most acclaimed BMX event in the world, and the company’s exports have grown 800% since 2013 and its TripAdvisor scores are 5*.

Philip Johnson, Director of Locate East Sussex, said: “It is fantastic to see businesses that we have helped, either through access to funding or relocation advice, becoming so success. These awards are very well deserved and a testament to the determination and vision of all the business owners.”

For more details about Locate East Sussex visit www.locateeastsussex.org.uk, email enquiries@locateeastsussex.org.uk, or phone on 01424 205085.


The 29th September see the Let’s Do Business Hastings Expo return to The Hastings Centre.

It promises to be an exciting year as we link in with the 950th Anniversary of the 1066 Battle of Hastings, so come along and try some archery, but not in the inflatable lounge!

Not only have we managed to get Google to run 2 digital workshops, but we have acquired Levi Roots of Reggae Reggae Sauce to come and share his experiences.  To hear how his business venture started and grew, why don’t you come along and be inspired on 29th September from 10am – 4pm.  Visit our website www.letsdobusiness.org/hastings  for further details.

We’ll be starting the day off with a speed networking session, run by Sussex Business Bureau so there will be plenty to see and do.

If you want your business to move forward and grow, exhibiting your business is a great way to show people what you can do.  You get plenty of time to talk to visitors as well as other exhibitors and build up your contacts in the local area.  The show is attended by a mix of businesses from a wide range of industries from around Sussex and a few further afield.

It’s free for visitors so if you want to come and meet local businesses, or wish to exhibit, please take a look at www.letsdobusiness.org/hastings  and decide to take the next step.

Stands for the Hastings Let’s Do Business show in September are now on sale.

The event will be taking place on Thursday 29th September 2016 at the Hastings Centre.

What’s new for 2016Levi Roots

  • Levi Roots as a guest speaker
  • Stands starting from £175+VAT
  • Early bird offer if you book by 5th August
  • Two FREE google work-shops
  • 1066 Battle of Hastings theme Archery on site.

It’s a show not to be missed!

For further details of the show click here.

For further information please contact Wes Game on wes.game@ldbgroup.co.uk or 0844 415 2272, alternatively visit the Let’s Do Business website here .

The Let’s Do Business Group is the leading social enterprise in the country for finance according to the NatWest Social Enterprise 100 Index.

In addition to topping the Index within the finance sector, the Let’s Do Business Group (LDBG) feature third across the South East region and fourth overall out of more than 800 social enterprises.

Let’s do Business have helped start-ups and established businesses to grow and prosper throughout the South East of England for more than 20 years.natwest se100

Its finance arm, Let’s Do Business Finance (LDBF) offers an alternative source of commercial funding to companies that are unable to source the capital they need from high street lenders.

In the last financial year, LDBF lent more than £700,000 to SMEs in the South East, a marked increase compared to the £238,000 lent the previous year, representing almost an increase in growth of almost 70%.

This is in addition to the £1 million the Group has lent to start-up ventures in the past four months throughout the South of England.

Ian Smallwood Head of Services at LDBF said, “We are delighted to be number one within the finance sector in the NatWest SE Index. Not only have we grown considerably in the past couple of years, but we have been able to almost triple the number of businesses we can help.

“This is a great achievement for our team, but importantly these businesses are now able to grow and thrive, creating more jobs and further strengthen the economy in the South East.”

The team at LDBF offers loans of between £3,000 and £50,000 to companies looking to scale-up their operations, with start-up finance available up to £25,000.

The SE 100 Index tracks data from social enterprises across the UK, offering an insight into their performance.