New government support for SME growth

Small businesses in the UK that are eligible for Innovate UK funding will now be connected with business support in order to help accelerate growth.

From January 2015, small businesses awards Innovate UK funding will automatically qualify to receive business support that will help them to grow more quickly.

This new support will offer SMEs the chance to:

  • participate in a growth workshop
  • complete an online diagnostic of their business
  • discuss their business needs with a growth expert to develop a growth plan

Based on the results, SMEs will gain opportunities to get:

  • coaching
  • mentoring
  • entrepreneurial skills training

This will cover areas such as:

  • developing a business model
  • sales
  • strategic marketing
  • access to finance
  • leadership
  • change management

The costs of this SME growth support will be met by Innovate UK, after the success of a pilot project demonstrated that businesses that combined government funding with additional business support were able to more rapidly grow their businesses.

On average, Innovate funding and related business coaching saw companies increase turnover by 26% and created nearly 5 new jobs per business.

Businesses also saw improvements in confidence as a result of mentoring and training.

One of the companies included in the successful pilot scheme from the North West region was the Bolton business Bindatex, who are expecting to treble turnover following Innovate UK’s funding support and additional business coaching.

Bindatex’s founder Chris Lever, said:

“It helped to take me out of the day-to-day production and think more strategically about how I was going to continue moving the business forward.

I now have a clearer picture of where I want the business to go.”


Image Credit


Words: Peter Cribley

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