Since launching in July 2015, the service has engaged with more than 5,000 businesses across the county, providing in-depth consultations to more than 2,000 of them. It is one of 39 government-funded Growth Hubs around the country set up to support businesses, and is delivered by Let’s Do Business Group on behalf of East Sussex County Council.

Three free hours of impartial advice are on offer for companies from the experienced, friendly Business East Sussex (BES) navigators who provide guidance to help companies reach their full potential.

By understanding each business, navigators are able to signpost business owners to exactly the right organisation or person for their needs. Practical support is available across the board for issues ranging from finance and grants, to mentoring, accounting, distribution, insurance or regulations.

With a comprehensive network of contacts locally and nationally, BES is perfectly placed to make connections that lead to business success.


The Support Team

  • Christie Bristow-Diamond - Business and Project Co-ordinator

    Christie Bristow-Diamond

    I have worked for the Let’s Do Business Group since 2011. Working as Project Supervisor on the New Enterprise Allowance and Start Up Loans schemes, I assist with business planning and coordinating mentoring. My role with Business East Sussex involves administration, organising events, monitoring and reporting.
  • Kathy Kennedy - Team Assistant

    Kathy Kennedy

    I have recently joined the team with five years’ working background in Administration. Currently I assist Business East Sussex with client files and inputting data on the system.
  • Tim Brammer - Business Planning Specialist

    Tim Brammer

    I’m a finance professional with 30 years’ experience in Financial Management at a senior level across a range of industries. I’m highly proficient in business planning and analysis, which is an area of specialism for me. I also have substantial commercial and project management experience, including acquisitions and business system implementation, both in the UK and internationally.
  • Martin Menezes - Access to Finance Manager

    Martin Menezes

    I have 30+ years’ experience within the Banking and Enterprise sector, working with small businesses. This has equipped me with a wide knowledge of the financial services industry and professional skills. I develop strong relationships, gaining a deep understanding of clients and provide appropriate solutions based upon their requirements to help them grow and develop.
  • Stephen King - Business Triage Navigator

    Stephen King

    With a successful career working in and owning small businesses I am passionate about helping your business grow. I’m a dynamic business specialist with expertise in sales, marketing, personnel, finance and management, and I will work with you to achieve your growth ambitions
  • Ian Smallwood - Head of Business Services

    Ian Smallwood

    I’ve worked with small businesses for over 20 years within the Banking and Enterprise sector. I have had my own business too and understand the issues facing small businesses. I can help you develop your business strategy and offer support with accessing the right finance, making your business ambitions achievable.
  • Chris Smith - Business Support Navigator & Grant Specialist

    Chris Smith

    With over 30 years’ experience in high street and commercial banking I am now working with Start Up and established businesses across the south east, using my knowledge and experience to help them access the grants and funding vital to their ongoing survival, growth and success.
  • Mike Watson - Business Support Navigator

    Mike Watson

    I have worked, locally, nationally and internationally with SME’s for over twenty years, focused on credit risk and working capital adequacy. I have also run my own business. I can help with all aspects of running a business, but specifically mentoring, business forecasting, succession planning and general compliance issues.
  • Helena Joyce - Business Support Navigator

    Helena Joyce

    As an experienced coach and facilitator, I love helping my clients to gain greater clarity and focus, develop robust business and marketing plans and take their ideas forward in a sustainable way. I have a marketing background, help my partner run a small business and have been working within the business support arena for nearly twenty years, including time with an agency that specialised in supporting creative businesses.
  • Steve Piper - Business Support Navigator

    Steve Piper

    I have worked with SME businesses, across a range of industries for 30+ years. With extensive experience in Sales, Operations Management and Training and having owned my own company, I understand the issues and challenges facing small business today. As a business specialist, I can help you develop your business strategy and offer support to help you make your business ambitions achievable.
  • Emily Wright - Business Support Navigator

    Emily Wright

    Friendly, positive and hard-working, I have an extensive knowledge of business support working across both Business East Sussex and Locate East Sussex. I help small businesses across the South East to access the right funding, advice and guidance needed to grow.
  • Phil Coutanche - Business Support Navigator

    Phil Coutanche

    I’ve worked with small and medium businesses for several years, in both the Banking, Invoice Finance and Asset Finance sector. By providing funding solutions I have a great understanding of the many issues facing small businesses. I can help you to develop your business strategy and seek support with accessing the right type of finance, making your business ambitions achievable”.
  • Beth Arnold - Marketing Assistant

    Beth Arnold

    Journalism graduate, creative-writer and in-house researcher. I look after our social media channels, manage our blog and write case-studies about local businesses we’ve helped across East Sussex.

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