The LLEP has welcomed publication of an independent report recognising Growth Hubs for their support for local businesses.
The Government-commissioned report identifies a number of encouraging results in relation to the impact of Growth Hub support provided to local firms between 2015 and 2020.
The report considers 38 Growth Hubs across the country, each of which offers a range of support to SMEs. Services include access to national provision and support, plus signposting with issues including funding, sales, and marketing.
Evidence cited in the report suggests that Growth Hubs reached 8% of all businesses in England.
That figure is greater in Leicester and Leicestershire, where the Business Gateway Growth Hub is delivered in partnership with Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP).
The report states that the Business Gateway Growth Hub has worked with 5,600 businesses – 13% of all local firms.
Phoebe Dawson, LLEP Chief Executive, said: “This report identifies what we are regularly told by businesses and stakeholders in Leicester and Leicestershire – that the Growth Hub adds value to our local economy.
“This remains a challenging time for businesses, many of them still recovering from the impact of the Pandemic, dealing with supply chain issues, and managing the increased cost of living.
“However, our Growth Hub continues to effectively signpost local businesses to available opportunities, both regionally and nationally.
“We are available for local businesses – helping them find the most relevant support to grow, develop, and overcome the challenges they face.”
In the report, prepared by Technopolis for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Growth Hubs were praised for their “unique understanding of local needs and strengths that can be fed back into national policy design”.
Findings also showed that businesses view Growth Hub support as “impactful”.
Business owners described Growth Hubs as a “valuable resource that can help find and broker access to a variety of support products”.
Firms that have received help also praised the “human-centred” approach of Growth Hubs, saying it is “essential and advantageous”.
A sold-out event in Leicester last month celebrated the success of the Business Gateway Growth Hub in using European funding support to help local businesses to grow.
The Technopolis report makes five recommendations, including securing longer-term funding to encourage Growth Hub staff retention, and to enable further strategic planning.Read the report in full