Press release

Birmingham crowned this year’s ‘most enterprising place in Britain’

Birmingham has been named the ‘most enterprising place in Britain’ by the 2016 Enterprising Britain Awards.

  • Birmingham, Liverpool, Broxbourne and Kent win Enterprising Britain awards
  • the awards celebrate local initiatives to back business and growth
  • two of the winners will go on to compete in Europe-wide enterprise competition

Birmingham has been named the ‘most enterprising place in Britain’ by the 2016 Enterprising Britain Awards, Small Business Minister Margot James announced today (24 September 2016).

The winning project saw Birmingham City Council team up with 6 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to improve confidence, encourage investment, and attract and retain business talent. It supported 1,000 businesses, generating £87 million in private sector investment and creating or safeguarding 4,300 jobs, as part of the ambitious plans to build a Midlands Engine for Growth.

Companies to benefit from the project include Westfield Sports Cars which accelerated production of a new prototype vehicle and Induction Technology Group which invested in new manufacturing equipment, leading to an increase in global sales.

Small Business Minister Margot James said:

We have 900,000 more small businesses than in 2010 and they have an important role to play in building an economy that works for all. It’s great to see the support available for business owners making a real difference and driving entrepreneurial spirit across the UK.

These awards recognise the value of local support and show what can be achieved when people who know their community best make their own decisions. Congratulations to all 4 winners.

Run by Investment in Young People (IiYP), on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Enterprising Britain awards celebrate local initiatives which boost business and growth.

Liverpool John Moores University, the Borough of Broxbourne Council and Kent International Business also won awards for building enterprise skills, promoting entrepreneurial spirit and supporting exports, respectively.

Birmingham City Council and Liverpool John Moores University will now go forward as the UK entries to the European Enterprise Promotion Awards.

Initiatives in Buckinghamshire, Peterborough, Warwickshire, Belfast and Glamorgan also received recognition from the judges.

Neville Reyner CBE DL Hon DLitt, Chairman Investment in Young People (IiYP) said:

Competing against strong entries from across the UK, this year’s Enterprising Britain Award winners are great local initiatives which are really helping entrepreneurs build businesses to drive local economies, create jobs and encourage enterprise. We wish Birmingham City Council and Liverpool John Moores University the best of luck in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards.

Creating the right environment for new business to flourish across the country will play a vital role in the government’s industrial strategy, as Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark recently underlined with the appointment of ministerial local growth champions in every area.

Notes to Editors:

The 4 category winners are:

Improving the business environment

Winner – Birmingham City Council’s Business Support Package

Birmingham City Council brought together and worked with the 6 West Midlands Local Enterprise Partnerships to create the conditions to improve entrepreneurial confidence, encourage investment, and attract and retain entrepreneurs to create new job opportunities. Their overall strategy is aligned to the West Midlands Combined Authority and Midlands Engine for Growth.

Building enterprise skills

Winner – Liverpool John Moores University - Enterprise Educators Academe

The Academy has been created to enable academic staff from the university to embed enterprise competency model in all disciplines, so academics could become “Enterprise Educators”, developing enterprise skills, embedding enterprise in all curriculum and inspiring the students to action. To date over 17,000 students from over 150 degree pathways have engaged in direct enterprise activities as part of their degree programme.

Promoting entrepreneurial spirit

Winner – Borough of Broxbourne Council

Ambition Broxbourne has been developed by the borough council as a brand, strategy and mantra to galvanise local and strategic partners. The aim was to create a common vision and delivery plan for creating sustainable employment (6,300 new jobs by 2030) in order to rebalance the economy towards higher paid jobs within the life sciences and creative sector. The project embedded innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship within all aspects of community life, including within the new local plan, which looks to grow and develop the district as a desirable and prosperous place to live, work and visit.

Support for exporting

Winner – Kent International Business

Kent International Business (KIB) is an umbrella programme bringing together support services, initiatives and projects which aim to help Kent-based companies export and access overseas business opportunities. The KIB partnership is led by Kent County Council (KCC) and includes the Department for International Trade’s South East team (formerly UKTI SE), Enterprise Europe Network, Chambers of Commerce, IOD & FSB Kent, higher education and professional services such as HSBC bank. The project covers a large range of core and additional trade development services, including support services from partners, and a variety of bespoke projects and activities developed by the partnership to provide overseas opportunities for local firms.