Together. Realising Potential.

Creating a better future for Britain’s businesses


A thriving population of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) provides the cornerstone of the British economy. It is these businesses who ultimately deliver the expertise, agility and innovation that drive the UK’s local, national, regional and global success.

This is what inspired the inception of Exemplas and we are proud that, since then, over half a million SMEs have benefited from our visionary support and guidance to help them grow and fulfil their potential.

Using this experience we are working with an emerging generation of SME owners and managers to help them move from start up to sustainability.  And this is why we lead the way in developing and implementing collaborative strategies with partners from industry, academia and government to shape the future for small business.


of private sector businesses in the UK are SMES


of UK private sector employment is created by SMEs


of GDP is contributed by SMEs


of UK SMEs export

About Us

Empowering progress


It has been well over two decades since Exemplas first started working with small  businesses to develop and fulfil their potential.

Since then, we’ve shared our visionary approach to business growth and success with over half a million UK SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) as the not-for-profit commercial arm of the University of Hertfordshire.

We have successfully secured and delivered over £250 million of business support funding, to benefit businesses through contracts from Business Link to UKTI, Train to Gain to Skills Brokerage and the Leadership & Management Advisory Service.  And we have been named as one of the UK’s most successful organisations for delivering these contracts in adding value and  customer satisfaction.

But we are far more than a contract-delivery organisation. As a highly successful business support organisation in our own right, we are focused on the area where we can bring the greatest value to our clients and the UK economy as a whole: the SME sector.

SMEs account for over 99% of the UK’s firms, nearly a half of all private-sector employment and around a third of private-sector turnover – and as an SME ourselves, we are passionate in our belief in the value of SMEs.

It’s what drives us to support SMEs. And it’s why we are acknowledged as thought-leaders in creating sustainable organisations.

We are passionately committed to working shoulder to shoulder with policy-makers, our SME peers, major corporates and academics to do everything we can together to create the best possible environment for the UK’s smaller businesses to flourish.

Our people

Leading by example


Exemplas is an organisation that understands and believes in the values and passion of small business and start-up organisations.

We are the commercial arm of Hertfordshire University, one of the UKs most entrepreneurial academic foundations.

Our quality assured advisors are committed to sharing their wealth of experience and understanding of the SME landscape. From widely varying backgrounds the professional expertise of our leaders and employees allows us to embrace latest thinking and practice in the public and private sectors as well as functional disciplines ranging from strategy development and implementation to IT and finance, marketing and HR, CSR, sales, operations and more.

All Exemplas people are chiefly united by their passionate determination to help small businesses become sustainable, strong and significant. Many of us have run successful SMEs in the past – and our associate consultants still do. We share a wealth of relevant qualifications, both academic and practical, and we offer a blend of age and experience that’s balanced with energy and enthusiasm.

But above all we are collaborative. We know that we can achieve more by working together – that’s why we view all competitors as potential partners. And it’s why we continually seek opportunities to work alongside other organisations – from government as well as business and academia – to improve the future competitiveness and sustainability of all UK SMEs.

Our brands, services and funding partners

We take painstaking care to constantly evolve and improve our diverse portfolio of business support and skills services. Each is driven by our passionate belief in the power of expert diagnosis, advice and analysis to guide businesses to sustainable success.

Recognising that workplace skills are what help businesses prosper and individuals succeed, we care deeply about helping people and businesses perform better – for brighter careers, stronger firms and healthier communities. And ultimately, of course, for a more competitive UK economy. That’s why the skills agenda has been at the heart of what we do for over two decades.

Mainly focused on the SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) sector and often delivered in collaboration with expert partners, our services enable us to provide effective business support and skills guidance at every stage from start-up to establishment.

Business Support

Providing businesses and start-ups in the East of England with a gateway to competitiveness and innovation in Europe, this service helps businesses to make the most of opportunities in the EU and beyond.

A joint-venture with the University of Northampton, this services provides a unique free-to-access social enterprise support, information and advice service – from start-up through to initial growth and beyond.

Supporting Midlands based businesses with practical guidance – both over the phone and face-to-face; this service operates as a ‘critical friend’ to help businesses find the right growth path.

This service is the first port of call for all Northamptonshire businesses’ needs and a gateway for all business support activities throughout the county.

For established businesses that possess the drive and the potential to grow, this service leads them to the highest quality locally-sourced support and expertise to help them achieve their business ambitions.

This national service works with UK based businesses to ensure their success in international markets through exporting. It also encourages and supports overseas companies to look at the UK as the best place to set up or expand their business.

Skills Development

A prestige, boutique consultancy, focused on providing organisational and human performance improvement solutions to small and large businesses.

Providing businesses who are keen to invest in their futures with funded opportunities to develop and nurture existing talent and recruit motivated young people seeking apprenticeships.


A prestige bio and life science hub offering a range of ready-to-use chemistry and biology laboratories. The Park houses some of the latest technical equipment available for hire to support research and development in the life sciences sector.

Funding partners

Partner with us

Speak to us today to see how we can work together to help small businesses in the UK to flourish by calling 0845 600 9130 or emailing