Press release

Full network of 39 growth hubs boost business support across the country

Small Business Minister announces that the growth hub network is complete meaning that 4.7 million businesses are now covered by the network.

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  • Small Business Minister Anna Soubry announces growth hub network complete
  • 100% of England’s 4.7 million businesses are now covered by the network
  • Growth Hub Week to promote simple, joined up and easy to access business support

Thirty-nine growth hubs giving 4.7 million businesses across England ready access to the support they need to start up, scale up and create more jobs are now launched, Business Minister Anna Soubry announced today (14 May 2016) ahead of the start of Growth Hub Week.

Growth hubs work across the country with local and national, public and private sector partners - such as Chambers of Commerce, FSB, universities, Enterprise Zones and banks, co-ordinating local business support and connecting businesses to the right help for their needs. They are locally driven, locally owned and at the heart of the government’s plan to ensure business support is simpler, more joined up and easier to access.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

Small businesses are the beating heart of our economy and this government continues to build the right environment for them to thrive. We will keep cutting red tape and business taxes, improving access to finance and broadband, and taking forward the measures in the Enterprise Act to cement our position as the best place in Europe to do business.

Growth hubs have already helped thousands of businesses and, with the full network up and running, every registered business in England can access the expertise they need to succeed. They will help entrepreneurs boost their business and create more jobs for people in the local area.

Increasing awareness of the public and private sector support available to entrepreneurs and smaller businesses, Growth Hub Week will run from 16 to 20 May 2016. The week will celebrate the completion of the growth hub network, which sees a live hub in each of the 39 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas, covering 100% of the business population in England. Growth Hub Week will raise the profile of growth hubs and the work they do to help local businesses start, grow and prosper.

Irene Graham, Chief Executive Officer of ScaleUp Institute said:

It has never been a better time for the public and private sectors to work together to support the growth needs of our fastest scaling businesses. The news that growth hubs now have a presence across the country is highly welcome. They can ‘lean in’ to support scale up businesses and help them attain even greater success. The ScaleUp Institute is committed to helping them in their journey. That is why, in partnership with the Goldman Sachs Foundation and their 10,000 Small Businesses programme, we are pleased to be launching an extensive development programme to support growth hubs and LEPs in their crucial work. The first of these will be for 3 days in Birmingham from 17 May and will provide practical guidance and tools that will make a real difference to our high-growth scaling businesses.

Michelle Pinggera, Partner, Goldman Sachs, said:

Following the expansion of our own programme, 10,000 Small Businesses, which helps high growth small businesses throughout the UK, we are delighted to now be working with the ScaleUp Institute to deliver this new programme focussing on regional economic growth within the Local Enterprise Partnerships and growth hubs. We are proud of this collaboration between the private and public sectors, showing continued support and leadership in this area.

Funding of up to £24 million is being made available over the next 2 years for LEPs to continue to develop their growth hubs and provide local business support.

Ben Willmott, Head of Policy, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said:

The CIPD welcomes this key milestone. Through our People Skills programme we know there is strong demand for support that helps small businesses improve how they manage and develop their people to enable them to grow. The completion of the growth hub network will help embed this type of support nationwide, providing help to the small business community where it is most needed.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is encouraging everyone to show support for their local businesses by tweeting throughout the week using #GrowthHubs and backing their local growth hub. You can find your local growth hub by using the growth hub finder.

The ScaleUp Institute is a private sector-led organisation that is focused on closing the ‘scale-up gap’ by creating a supportive public and private sector ecosystem that enables scale up companies to fulfill their potential.

Notes to editors

  1. The 4.7 million businesses in England are referenced from the Business Population estimates 2015.

  2. The BIS Small Business Survey 2016 was published on Thursday 12 May 2016.

  3. Show your support for Growth Hub Week by tweeting using the #GrowthHubs.

  4. Both the www.gov.uk website and the Business Support Helpline also offer advice about starting up and growing a business, and can direct businesses to more support. Businesses can call 0300 456 3565 to speak to a business support advisor (9.00am - 6.00pm Monday to Friday). Businesses can also ask questions through @businessgov using #BusinessSupportHelpline.

  5. The ScaleUp Institute builds on the research and recommendations published in the 2014 Scale-Up Report, collaborating with policy makers, corporate partners and educational establishments to make a real and identifiable impact. The Institute is supported by the Goldman Sachs Foundation, Business Growth Fund, Google, the London Stock Exchange, Olswang, Smith & Williamson and a range of other advisory, finance, research and industry sector parties. The ScaleUp Institute was announced in June 2015 and is Chaired by Sherry Coutu CBE, its CEO is Irene Graham.

  6. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme is an investment by the Goldman Sachs Foundation to provide high quality, structured and practically focused support to small business leaders who are seeking to grow their businesses with a view to growing economies. The programme is designed specifically for the leaders of established small businesses who have the ambition and the potential to generate substantial growth in their enterprises. Participants benefit from a full package of support with a strong focus on structured peer learning and the creation of communities of entrepreneurs.

Published 14 May 2016