Could these four programmes help you grow your business?

Much earlier this year, in February, I wrote an article introducing the scaleup support programmes that are now available for companies that are growing quickly. Since then, the Scale up Institute identified 219 programmes in their own analysis and there have been a few new programmes on the scene so I thought it timely to put the spotlight on them and to share some key information to help you engage.

Who qualifies?

Unfortunately the definition of scale up varies from one programme to the next. It’s something that I’ve written and spoken about widely, and something that continues to present a challenge – to data analysts, entrepreneurs and politicians alike. The technical definition for a scale up business is provided by the OECD and suggests a company with 10+ employees growing at 20% year on year (in staff numbers or turnover) for three years consistently. For those data geeks amongst you, you can read more about the definition here.

S4G - Scale up 4 Growth

A new partnership between the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), NatWest and law firm Foot Anstey, to deliver grant funding and relevant, high quality support and training to West of England businesses with ambitious growth plans.

Who is it for?

SMEs from all sectors in Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire with ambitious growth plans.

What is on offer?

Grants of £10,000 - £40,000 to cover 37.5% of project costs plus fully funded workshops and targeted support offered through one-to-one sessions focused on the challenges faced when growing rapidly.

Find out more and apply: www.scaleup4growth.co.uk

Scale-up Coaching Grant Scheme

Good business coaching has been proven to accelerate business growth. However, coaching can be expensive, especially for a small business with limited resources, or for a fast growing company with tight cash flow. To overcome this barrier, Business West are offering grants that can be used to cover the costs of business coaching and/or leadership development for companies in the West of England area.

Who is it for?

Growth oriented small and medium sized businesses based in West of England.

What is on offer?

Scale-up Coaching Grants - Grant payments of £1,000 are available to eligible businesses who would like to invest a minimum of £2,500 (excluding VAT) in business coaching and/or leadership development.

Find out more and apply: https://www.businesswest.co.uk/grow/business-grants

High Impact Scale-up Coaching Grant Scheme

The leaders of fast growing companies undoubtedly face many hurdles in the process of scaling. Tight cash flow, finding the right talent, identifying routes to market or simply working out which problem to tackle first can be all overwhelming. One of the of the most beneficial things ambitious businesses can do is seek the right advice and support early on, to help them develop their leadership skills whilst improving strategy and approach. Support might include attending leadership Courses, hiring a one-to-one business/executive coach or hiring an NED with the skills you need. But all of these can be expensive, especially when cash is tight.

It’s been proven that businesses who invest in developing their leaders and management teams early on have a better chance of success. So, to help our most promising local businesses, Business West is now offering grants towards the cost of business coaching, leadership development or short term non-executive directorship for high growth companies in the West of England.

Who is it for?

Ambitious businesses based in West of England. Must demonstrate strong growth for at least two years and have at least 7 staff in place at the time of applying.

What is on offer?

Grant payments of between £2,500 and £5,000 are available to eligible businesses who would like to invest between £10,000 and £20,000 (excluding VAT) in:

  • Business coaching
  • Executive coaching
  • Leadership/business courses
  • Hiring of a non-executive director (for those businesses who have not previously done this but are interested in trialling the benefits of a non-exec director)

The grant can be used to cover a combination of the above.

Find out more and apply: https://www.businesswest.co.uk/grow/business-grants

PwC Scale SW

Following the success of the first programme, PwC are going to be running a second programme in January 2019, strengthening the city's reputation as a tech, creative and media hub. Fast growing companies in the South West and Wales will be linked up with market leaders and industry experts, creating opportunities to further their growth and expansion.

Who is it for?

Companies with a validated product who are revenue generating and looking to scale. This programme costs participants £5,000, but a £1,000 grant is available for eligible companies upon application.

What is on offer?

10-week programme of curated events (to pitch to commercial/enterprise decision makers), group masterclasses and individual support/bespoke advice.
Find out more and apply: https://www.pwc.co.uk/ux23/products-and-services/pwc-scale-up-programmes/pwc-scale-south-west2.html

SETsquared Scale up Programme

SETsquared’s Scale-Up Programme will take your business to the next level by providing you with a tailored support programme including access to funded R&D projects with the SETsquared universities, investment, sales channels and talent acquisition.

Who is it for?

Companies with strong growth ambitions and a current track record of year on year growth of 20% and 10+ employees, from digital innovation, health & wellbeing, environment, sustainability, marine and maritime and advanced engineering and manufacturing sectors. Companies should also have an ambition to utilise the knowledge base of the SETsquared Universities to strengthen their innovation strategy.

What is on offer?

A gateway to academic expertise & facilities, introductions to corporates and investors, access to new talent, support to identify grant funding and business mentoring/support.

Find out more: http://www.setsquared.co.uk/scale/scale-programme-companies

These are the four most active, locally based programmes that I’m aware of, there is plenty more support available if you are scaling your business. You will find a summary of the classic challenges faced by fast growth companies, and the support that’s available to help you here: https://scaleupgenerator.co.uk/challenges