Accelerating SME growth: the key to a booming, productive economy

03 Nov 2016

While the UK has seen a start-up revolution, many of our most promising tech businesses are failing to meet their turnover potential.

So when we celebrate the success of EC1V – Silicon Roundabout, now home to 3,228 tech firms per square kilometre – we must also consider how the businesses it attracts will grow. How many of these businesses will still be around in five years, or even two years?

Ensuring they not only survive, but thrive, is a challenge that the Enterprise Hub’s new programme, Engineering SME Leaders, is designed to help overcome.

Opening today, it will offer four strands of activity over six months designed to support the leaders of the most promising tech firms who are established in their industry but looking to expand and grow to the next level.

Strand one

Offers a grant of up to £15,000 for business leaders to spend on training that will give them the skills to lead their businesses through expansion. How do you hire the right talent? How do you organise your business so it can be nimble in taking advantage of opportunities whilst offering solid growth? What areas of business management provide maximum ROI? For our SME Leaders still feeling their way, such training will be invaluable.

Strand two

Gives access to the Academy’s unique resource: its Fellowship. By running a series of masterclasses and workshops on topics ranging from financing growth to retaining staff, CEOs will be able to learn from those who have been there before. It is often said that one learns through mistakes; this support means our SME Leaders won’t have to make the mistakes themselves, helping them plot the right course without delay.

Strand three

Gets personal. It gives each SME Leader a mentor of their own; matched by industry, business ambitions and personality. By being a sounding board for new and innovative ideas, our Fellows can act as guide, sharing their experiences of dealing with difficult business situations when those they mentor are faced with their own tough decisions. They can also offer expanded networks and new contacts, which could lead to new investments or clients – the ideal route to go from tech start-up to established innovator.

Strand four

Offers SME Leaders membership of the Enterprise Hub itself. This gives the firms an opportunity to utilise the Hub’s own media programme to build a strong public profile. Further networking, business support and training opportunities will be available by virtue of being a member, helping our SME Leaders overcome any challenge they face.

To apply for the new SME Leaders programme, which will run twice a year, click the link below to register and start filling in the form. Entries close on 30 November, with the first batch of our SME Leaders to be announced in January 2017.

You can find out more about the Engineering SME Leaders programme here


Business plans, table 2



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