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Growing your business

Programmes and resources to enable new business development 

Our new regional business support initiatives aim to help your business build financial resilience, innovate and adopt best practice, and boost productivity. You can also access tailored sector-specific support to accelerate innovation, improve sustainability, develop workforce skills and drive growth through our other bespoke business programmes. These include:

Peer Networks

Peer Networks is a national peer-to-peer networking programme for SME leaders that want to grow and develop their organisation for future success. ​Delivered locally, we create diverse cohort groups of individuals to collaboratively work through common business issues. Through interactive action learning, we enable you to discuss your own challenges, gain and reflect on valuable feedback and implement practical solutions to overcome them. ​You can find out more information and how to apply on our bespoke webpage https://wearegrowth.co.uk/covid-19/peer-networks/

Business Innovation Fund

Businesses can get help to accelerate innovation and bring new products, processes and services to market through a new programme. The Business Innovation Fund can award grants to eligible businesses and encourage partnerships with the West of England’s world-leading research institutions to progress research, development and innovation. Find out more via this link https://wearegrowth.co.uk/covid-19/business-innovation-fund/.

The three-year programme will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovative new products, processes and services to fulfill market demand and deliver economic growth across the West of England. The Fund will provide funding of either £20,000 or £50,000 – for projects in a range of business sectors - as well as offering support to help firms move from concept to commercialisation. If you're interested in the Business Innovation Fund, please complete this initial registration form available via this link https://r1.dotmailer-surveys.com/0e3615d56a5937374pdy2be276fed529d3fb-707f832413c353e44v1v3fb36fa4264adfff and we'll be in touch to discuss the benefits of the fund and the application process. Check back for news on when the second window will open. 

Accountancy Support Programme

The Accountancy Support Programme is a West of England Combined Authority initiative, delivered in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). The programme provides small businesses with a free financial check-up, as well as bespoke advice and guidance on effective financial management. Find out more on this webpage https://wearegrowth.co.uk/covid-19/accountancy-support-programme/.

Trading Better Online

Trading Better Online is a West of England Combined Authority initiative which provides free, expert business support to enhance your digital presence and increase online sales. Businesses are matched to a consultant and supported with up to 4 days of hands-on guidance to develop and enhance your web presence. Visit our dedicated page to find out more https://wearegrowth.co.uk/covid-19/trading-better-online/, or contact us to speak to an Enterprise Adviser via this link https://wearegrowth.co.uk/contact-us/.

Kickstart Scheme

The Government has launched the Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit.

Funding is available for businesses to cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions for Kickstart placements. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

Businesses able to create 30 or more job placements can apply for the funding directly on the Government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-apply-for-a-grant-through-the-kickstart-scheme.

Smaller businesses interested in creating fully-funded job placements need to apply through an intermediary. The process for SMEs seeking to apply in the West of England is currently being confirmed. Please email us on wearegrowth@westofengland-ca.gov.uk to register your interest in creating a Kickstart placement and we will provide further detail as soon as it is available. 

Mentoring for Growth

We have launched a new Mentoring for Growth programme in partnership with Be the Business. It is designed to connect business leaders from large, multinational companies with key decision makers and owners from SMEs. The aim is to help shape the future direction of SMEs and help boost their productivity, through sharing ideas, knowledge, expertise and experience.

If you feel that your business would benefit from Be the Business’s Mentoring for Growth programme email btbmentoring@growth.co.uk

West of England Green Business Grants

West of England Green Business Grants support SMEs to improve their energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. We have already invested £200,000 in local businesses and will be investing a further £800,000. Find out more on this webpage https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/green-business-grants/.

The Green Business Grant scheme is currently closed to new applicants due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will reopen as soon as possible. Register your interest today  via our online form https://westofengland-ca.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=4c6f860ca5414b3d935b366c4&id=836600c057 and we will notify you when grant applications are live again. 

Intellectual Property (IP)

Your business is likely to own or use IP. This may include your business name, logo, website, technical innovation and the look of your products to name a few. These important assets, which often go unrecognised, could play an important role in the sustainability and growth of your business both domestically and internationally, and all businesses need to protect their IP. Visit our IP page to learn more https://wearegrowth.co.uk/intellectual-property/ or contact us to speak to a dedicated Enterprise Adviser via this link https://wearegrowth.co.uk/contact-us/.

Business support initiatives from our partners 

Follow this link to find out more about our partners' initiatives https://wearegrowth.co.uk/covid-19/growing-your-enterprise-west-of-england-partner-initiatives/.