skip to primary navigationskip to content

SMEs, Startups and Entrepreneurs

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) works with SME businesses, startups and entrepreneurs to accelerate innovative solutions to sustainability challenges, through our Sustainability Hub and Accelerator.

Business support is delivered through one-to-one business assessment, strategy development, collaborative workshops, seminars and mentoring.

The CISL Accelerator is offering free support to help SMEs innovate and redress supply chain shocks in response to Covid-19. Find out more.


Innovate to Adapt

ERDF logoWith global challenges including climate change, biodiversity loss, and political instability shifting economic conditions, and threatening supply chains, business as usual is no longer an option.

Through our new Accelerator and Sustainability Hub, businesses and entrepreneurs can apply to receive customised business support, shaped around the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to help them innovate and adapt their business for long term success in a sustainable economy.

Drawing on our expertise working with companies and leaders over 30 years, alongside our international network of business leaders, sustainability experts, and the extensive Cambridge cluster of innovators and entrepreneurs, we provide tailored business support to accelerate innovation, and future-proof business success. 

This work is part funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund. Businesses based in the Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough area can apply to receive 12 hours free business support.


Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

Catalyse innovation to adapt your business model, and future-proof your company. Our tailored business support enables SMEs to respond to economic, environmental and market changes, meet new demands, and turn sustainability challenges into business opportunities.

Register your interest here.



Accelerate your venture and maximise potential for success. Our accelerator programme will provide custom support to help grow your venture, with expert mentors guiding you through startup essentials such as financing, access to markets, and scaling your business to maximise impact.

Register your interest here.



We are looking for entrepreneurs with big ideas that have the potential to solve global sustainability challenges. Grow your idea from concept to viable business plan, with support from experts across the Cambridge Sustainability Innovation Cluster.

Register your interest here.


Collaborative co-working space in central Cambridge

Due to open in autumn 2020, CISL’s flexible co-working space will bring together SMEs, researchers, corporations and start-ups under one roof in our Sustainability Hub. Housed in the pioneering low carbon retrofit Entopia Building, the space will enable collaboration, inspire innovation, and form the centre of the Cambridge Sustainability Innovation Cluster.

Register your interest here.