Fast-growing and ambitious businesses are being offered a helping hand to step up to the next level.
The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) − the private sector-led partnership promoting economic and jobs growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire − is offering financial assistance and coaching to firms keen to 'scale up'.
According to the Sherry Coutu, CBE, in the Scale-Up Report, it is estimated that growth of just one per cent in the number of UK companies scaling up could create 238,000 new jobs and add £38bn to the UK's GVA (Gross Value Added, a measure of the value of goods and services an area produces versus its consumption of resources) within three years.
Firms qualifying for D2N2 Growth Hub ScaleUp, marketed by the LEP's D2N2 Growth Hub, will be small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which have achieved some or all of the following criteria or be able to demonstrate their ambition and potential to do so in the foreseeable future:
The D2N2 Growth Hub − which works closely with SMEs in the LEP area to help them grow − has identified almost 200 companies across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire which could qualify for support under the ScaleUp Service. It is being delivered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University's Nottingham Business School, the Professional Coaching Alliance, the Centre for Management & Business Development and East Midlands Chamber*.
Places on the exclusive D2N2 Growth Hub ScaleUp Service are limited. Firms wanting to take part in the programme should, in the first instance contact www.d2n2growthhub.co.uk/scaleup, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0333 006 9178.
Businesses meeting the eligibility criteria will initially receive a free comprehensive review of their scale up challenges to explore the specific issues related to rapid business growth and develop a bespoke action plan.
Those selected to take part will receive high-quality coaching to help address identified priority areas and leadership and management development, access to workshops focusing on identifying potential markets, advice on sales and marketing and access to finance and bespoke support through an executive peer-to-peer network.
SMEs will be able to reclaim, through a grant scheme, a proportion of the cost of the business support package to help them reach the next level of growth.
Lindsay Allen, D2N2 Senior Programme Manager (Sector Development) and lead officer for the D2N2 Growth Hub, said:
D2N2's Growth Hub works with start-ups and SMEs at all levels, but we identified a need for extra assistance for those companies already doing well but with high ambitions.
Through the ScaleUp Service we and our delivery partners will be providing expert guidance and assistance to get these companies to the next level of growth.
Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber, added: It's all too easy for firms to grow quickly and then plateau because they don't know how to take the next step or don't have the time or resources to do it. The D2N2 Growth Hub ScaleUp Service is all about helping SMEs take that next step.
And the beauty of the programme is that it completes a virtuous circle where Government, through D2N2, encourages and assists firms to take that next step which, it is proven, then creates more jobs and more wealth which boosts the economy.
Head of Executive Education and Corporate Relations, College of Business Law & Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University's Business School, Julie Holland, is equally enthusiastic about the project. She said:
Fast growth can be just as challenging to businesses as lack of opportunity.
Having the chance to work with some of the region's fastest growing firms, to support their long-term sustainability, will help us to support managers now and in the future with their scale-up challenges and will provide career opportunities for our talented graduates.
Mike Epton, Managing Director at CMBD, said:
We have been helping businesses in the D2N2 area realise their growth ambitions for nearly 15 years and, with our partners, intend to deliver a truly integrated programme of support to meet the specific needs of individual businesses as well as creating a community of growth for D2N2 focused around our Growth Hub.
John Collins, Coaching Director at PCA, added:
Our coaches have achieved some fantastic results with high-growth businesses over the past 12 years and we are excited to be involved in delivering the new Growth Hub ScaleUp Service with our partners.
This represents a really new approach, building an integrated and seamless ecosystem of support to assist the growth aspirations of successful, established businesses in D2N2; helping them through the challenges of scaling up their performance, profitability and employment.