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SMEs grow 4 times faster with help from Government-backed support network

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 Begbroke Science Park Free Breakfast Seminar

19 February 2015

 

The audience at Begbroke Science Park’s latest breakfast seminar, drawn from across the spectrum of the science and innovation community in Oxfordshire, heard how the merging of separate agencies into the Business Growth Service is delivering an improved package of support to SMEs. These agencies include Growth Accelerator; MAS(Manufacturing Advisory Service); the Design Council; Innovate UK; UKTI; UK Export Finance and the British Business Bank.

Business Growth Manager Andrew Gardner, representing Growth Accelerator, revealed that this support, which has been taken up by over 18,000 businesses across England, has resulted in growth at around 4 times that of the average British business. In Oxfordshire, Andrew’s team of around 90 specialised coaches delivers specialist advice, typically working with businesses for 3-9 months to help them write business plans; implement business change; and deliver innovation growth strategies. With approval ratings from businesses that have been through this process in the high 90’s, Growth Accelerator’s track record of business improvement is backed by its customers.

Signing up to Business Growth Service also allows businesses to access match-funding for skills training in leadership and management skills, and unique access to Intellectual Property audit funding from the IP Office to help SMEs generate profitable IP. Summarising the benefits of the new and improved service, Andrew Gardner emphasised that there are fewer forms and less administrative work in the referral process; the coaches are paid on results against clearly stated targets; and that the mentoring process often continues long after the initial contract is completed, creating a supported, connected network of successful businesses.

Professor Kieran Clarke, of Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division, who has been involved with a number of licensing deals and spin-outs, found the talk illuminating, commenting “I wish that I had heard this talk years ago!” Dr Caroline Livingstone, Manager of Begbroke Science Park added “Begbroke Science Park continues to support SMEs with a strong events programme highlighting the comprehensive network of business support in Oxfordshire – this mentoring of businesses is further evidence of the university’s contribution to both the local and the global economy, underpinning the outstanding impact of its research portfolio.”

For more information about Business Growth Service visit their website

Click here for more information about Begbroke Science Park events

Joanna Grant