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Nottingham is a city with a very proud history and an equally proud industrial heritage. Ancient industries rub shoulders with innovative new businesses in a city that has embraced the future and become a national enterprise zone.

Nottingham is ideally placed with excellent transport links to both Lincoln and Stamford which has allowed strong ties to develop with businesses in Lincoln and businesses in Stamford and has encouraged a great deal of cross fertilisation.

There is a vibrancy about Nottingham that is hard to ignore and its location makes it an ideal destination for businesses that need, or want, to bridge the north south divide.

Over 61,000 students attend its two universities creating a pool of talented graduates, many of whom will remain in the area to begin their business careers.

Both universities offer incubator units to students and new business in Nottingham. Aside from the benefits to new businesses, the local community reaps the rewards through increased trade and an amazing diversity of services and industries developing ties to the Nottingham business community.

Nottingham Trent University has opened the ‘first of its type’ retail incubator unit in the city centre. It offers three shops where students can sell their own merchandise and gain valuable experience in a supported environment. The university encourages the spirit of entrepreneurship and helps these fledgling businesses build roots in the business community.

Several national companies have their headquarters in Nottingham.  One outward manifestation of the way Nottingham has embraced the future is the targeting of business sectors such as digital media, life sciences, financial and business services, focusing on low-carbon technologies.

The number of new businesses in Nottingham grew in number by 25 June 2015 alone, with businesses ranging from car sales, to locksmiths, to property brokers and recruitment specialists.

There is a host of support available for business in Nottingham, provided by various agencies ranging from public and private sector grants, recruitment, business growth schemes and training.

There is also a wide selection of incubator units which offer new businesses affordable office space, meeting rooms, reception services, virtual offices, and room hire. These services allow a new business to grow and stay in control of their budget without forgoing good office facilities.

There are currently 55 businesses represented in the BNI business groups in Nottingham covering a wide range of sectors. Financial advisors, marketing, graphic designers, property businesses and IT services are very popular members in the existing groups.

The best way to learn more about BNI is to visit your local chapter. You can be sure of a warm welcome and a structured, yet friendly meeting which has open networking before and after the formal part of the meeting.