The Growth Hub in Gloucester is a major sponsor of this year’s UK WSI Digital Summit and Chris Gibbs and Sarah Gregg, both Business guides at the Hub, told us a little more about the reasons for it being set up.
After seeing a video of successful businesses in Gloucestershire they told the room that knowledge and export intensive businesses in the region are forecast to grow 55.4% by 2025. With that sort of growth forecast specific and targeted support is needed.
Despite Gloucestershire having the highest % of employment in export intensive industries in the UK, the overall performance is low as a % of GVA. There is support for business to improve this but take up is low.
Why is this ?
- Businesses are not clear about how to access services
- Businesses do not have relationships with support providers
- Businesses are not aware of the benefits services can bring
In addition to not seeking support these areas have been identified as the main barriers to business growth in Gloucestershire
- No strategy – 65% of business have no formal business plan
- People – 68% of businesses don’t train their managers in people management
- Finance – 76% of businesses do not access finance
- New markets – 57% of businesses do not introduce new or improved products
So, that’s why the Growth Hub is here! The aim is to grow the Gloucestershire economy above the national rate of growth. In answer to the question as to why they are attached to a University, their other aim is to develop the University of Gloucestershire through employer engagement.
The average journey of a high growth client at the Growth Hub should result in improved strategies that help that business. At the initial meeting with a Business Guide, a client will work on a growth plan that empowers them to accelerate their growth by supporting them with finance, people skills, sales and marketing, operations – all the things needed to ensure good solid growth.
Top areas where help is requested.
Are we succeeding? We’ve set ourselves some big targets but since we opened in October 2014
- We’ve had 3794 unique visitors
- We’ve delivered 1907 support interventions
- We’re working with 145 business to help them grow
- We have over 185 local businesses in our provider network
So we’d say yes, it’s working but there’s always room for more. The Growth Hub is the single front door to business support in Gloucestershire and we are open for all business. If you have aspirations to grow come and see us at The Growth Hub.