The appropriate support is vital to any business wishing to succeed. It’s our aim to help your business unleash its potential with business support for growth. Whether you’re just considering starting out on your own, developing a new product or service or you’re ready to take your high growth business to the next level, the Growth Hub is here to help.
If you're an ambitious high growth business, check you are eligible then complete our client application form. Please review our terms and conditions before proceeding to apply. You must be a Berkshire based business in order to apply.
Business is Great
The UK is a great place to start a business. Almost 500,000 new businesses were created last year. Small businesses make a huge contribution to the UK economy and generate around half of UK jobs. Around one fifth of small firms say they have big ambitions and are determined to expand. Great Business is a government initiative to provide support, advice and inspiration for growing your business. This is a great resource that will explain how to start, how to grow and how to accelerate your business.
Here are some links to further useful information:
- Business & Self Employment Section
- Growing your Business
- Starting a Business
- Starting a Home Based Business
- Set up as a Sole Trader
- Setting up a Social Enterprise
- Business Finance - Support Finder
- Business Finance Explained
- Business Tax
- Expenses and employee benefits
- Business Training and Network Events Finder
- Contracts finder
- Licence finder
- Employing staff for the first time
- Employing peopl
Other Business Support
Our support might not be exactly what you’re looking for but we can point you in the right direction of what your business needs to be successful. Whether that’s through other publicly funded support for those eligible high growth companies or through paid for services, we’ll find the right support for you.
To find out more, just click on any link below…
- Access to funding support
- Business start-up support
- Exporting support
- Growing your business support
- Training support
Growth Voucher Scheme
This scheme helps businesses to get advice, starting with a FREE diagnostic tool either on-line or face-to-face, to help identify what support is needed. If support is offered, Government will pay half the cost of purchasing advice up to a maximum level of £2000. Growth Vouchers can be used to purchase advice on: finance, recruitment, management skills, marketing and technology. The Growth Vouchers programme is now open to new businesses and businesses with fewer than 250 employees, regardless of how long they have been trading. We’ve also helped improve cash flow, as businesses will only have to find its share of the costs (instead of paying 100% up front and claiming back) with advisors now able to claim the remaining portion directly back from Government. Government will aim to pay claims within 14 working days. We have also simplified the application process. To apply online visit: www.gov.uk/apply-growth-vouchers. This offer ends on 31 March 2015.
Broadband Vouchers for Faster Growth
There won’t be many businesses that couldn’t benefit from faster broadband connections. In a constantly-on, ever-connected environment, high speed really does lead to stronger growth. The Connection Vouchers scheme, which provides assistance to small and medium-sized businesses of up to £3,000 towards the fixed costs of improving their broadband connection, has generated immediate paybacks for participating companies.
Connection Vouchers – Vouchers up to the value of £3,000 are available to help cover the upfront connection costs for businesses that want faster broadband connections. They are currently available in 22 SuperConnected Cities. You can check if your business is eligible here. If your city isn’t offering these vouchers yet, use this register your interest form.
Innovation Vouchers - Helping businesses gain the knowledge they need to innovate and grow
An Innovation Voucher provides funding so that your business can work with an external expert for the first time, gaining new knowledge to help your business innovate, develop and grow. Two further Innovation Vouchers are now available: Space and High Value Manufacturing.
Knowledge Transfer Programme
The Knowledge Transfer Centre at the University of Reading has been responsible for promoting and managing knowledge transfer activities between industry (including charities and not for profit organisations) and academics since 1994, and to date has supported over 200 partnerships. The aim of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is to strengthen the competitiveness and wealth creation of the UK by the stimulation of innovation. It provides resources and expertise to thriving organisations who wish to innovate, expand or improve their performance.
The role of the Knowledge Transfer Centre is to identify an academic team that has the right blend of expertise to help your business. Together you will then define and agree a project that will enable you to draw on their expertise and apply it to your business. The agreed project could be between one and three years, with the overall aim of helping your business make a step change in an area that you have identified as high priority for your business. Businesses of all sizes in most industries and commercial sectors can take part. There are some limitations on the type of project and the sectors that can be supported.
There are many types of business networking organisations you could consider joining in order to develop your business through networking. Depending on your time constraints, you might select at least two or three groups for participation.
- Casual Contact Networks
- Strong Contact Networks
- Community Service Clubs
- Professional Associations
- Women's Business Organisations
Which groups should you join?
The key is to diversify your activities. One type of business organisation won't serve all your needs. Consciously select a well-rounded mix of them, with no two of the same type. If you have associates, partners or employees, consider their participation when deciding which groups each of you may attend. You can check out your local networking groups by going to Networking in Berkshire.