An Edge Hill University scale-up programme that helped Lancashire businesses grow by an average of 29% is to be extended to the Liverpool city region via Growth Platform. Tony McDonough reports
A business scale-up programme that has inspired growth in 135 SMEs across Lancashire is now being expanded to the Liverpool city region.
Edge Hill University is teaming up with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to bring its Innovation Sprint Programme to Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton.
Delivered by its Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC), the programme will enable 39 SMEs in the city region to critically evaluate their performance and achieve significant productivity improvements.
Professor Simon Bolton, director of the PIC said: “The programme is highly regarded across Lancashire and the benefits and impact of the programme and the feedback from participants over the last three years has been fantastic.
“We are looking forward to working with Growth Platform and partners to deliver a holistic range of support to help maximise SME high growth opportunities.”
The PIC programme is part of a range of support that has been brought together by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and made available through Growth Platform – the Liverpool City Region Growth Company.
Business experts from the PIC have successfully delivered the programme to 135 SMEs across Lancashire over the past three years. On average, the growth achieved was 29% with more than 50 new products launched.
At the programme’s core is a data-driven innovation methodology, which helps SMEs manage the uncertainty and risk involved in developing a scale-up or growth strategy.
Business experts and academics from the PIC work with the decision-makers from the business to help them increase their competitiveness in domestic and international markets and the level of resilience in their business model.
Decision-makers from the business will work on a one-to-one basis with academics and the team of business experts and attend a series of online intensive workshops that are delivered through an interactive digital facilitated platform.
Janice Mears, head of business growth at Growth Platform, said: “We know from the success of the previous Innovation Sprint programme that this will be of real benefit to those businesses who are looking to develop their innovation practices and tackle their scale-up challenges, thereby improving their productivity and driving profitable growth.”
The Innovation Sprint Programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is set to run from October 2021 to March 2023.