A co-ordinated One-Stop-Shop, the Growth Hub provides businesses and start-up entrepreneurs across Greater Birmingham with support, advice/guidance and funding
Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has been working with Local Authorities and other partners in the business support ecosystem to coordinate provision and make it easier for businesses to access and navigate public support, through a one-stop-shop model called the Growth Hub. The Hub is there to support SMEs and start-ups across the area to aid their growth and to advise, guide and connect them to information, opportunities and specific support. The Growth Hub offers impartial, no-cost advice from expert business advisers online and in person, working with many specialist partner organisations in the public/private sectors. The aim of the Hub is simply to enable businesses to get the right advice at the right time so they can grow and be as successful as they can be. An UK national policy implemented on a local/regional level the Hub is focused on the tangible delivery of business support. The Growth Hub is provided by the GBSLEP, the business-led, public/private body established to drive economic growth across Birmingham and Solihull. Growth Hubs were established to overcome the historic fragmentation of business support across Birmingham and address the overcrowded business support marketplace; to bring public and private partners together, build reach, join up and help business access support. The Growth Hub has a diverse team with a range of of different expertise and professional backgrounds, trained to industry accredited standards

Resources needed

£ 513,000 revenue per annum
A team of 15 comprising of:
- Growth Hub Manager; Business Advisers (SFEDI accredited); Growth Hub Adviser; Account Managers; Mentoring Manager; Access to Finance Adviser; Operations & Compliance Manager; Events & Partnerships Officer; Marketing & Outreach Manager

Evidence of success

The Growth Hub has:
- worked with over 1,200 businesses
- made over 3,500 referrals to growth advice and funding at the right time;
- supported over 500 jobs creations
- 85% clients satisfied/very satisfied with service
- 50% of businesses increased profitability or productivity
- 40,000+ unique web site visitors; and
- secured around £2m additional EU additional EU funding to work with more businesses and expand the range and depth of the support services offered.

Potential for learning or transfer

- Many public organisations across Europe face reducing resources – efficient working is in everyone’s interest in any region
- Organisations in an economic area (e.g. city region) may be very different in their character, interest and operations but want the same thing i.e. a thriving business population so effective collaboration is possible anywhere the conditions are right
- The support, funding and regulation environments can be confusing for SMEs, so initiatives to simplify and streamline this should have a positive impact anywhere

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Main institution
Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP
Location
West Midlands, United Kingdom
Start Date
October 2015
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

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Good Practices being followed by

Nikki Spencer

Birmingham City Council