WHAT WE DO
DELIVERY OF NATIONAL BUSINESS SUPPORT PROJECTS
We provide high-quality project management and delivery of national business support projects: national coverage; regionally connected and locally delivered.
We have proven success in areas defined by the government as having multiple sources of deprivation.
We deliver: our success has been rewarded with a series of contracts between 2012 and 2022
We deliver benefits to the country of a greater stock of well-established new businesses ambitious for growth, however modest or grand. This is seen in the improved longevity of the businesses supported, increased employment and increased productivity
FUNDED PROJECT MANAGMENT
We can be trusted to do the right thing with any funds we use, and to provide appropriate reporting to substantiate our claims, providing proper lines of accountability for funders
SCIENTIFIC TESTING OF BUSINESS SUPPORT
We are serious about this. Start and Grow UK is one of the market leaders in the scientific testing of business support, running randomised controlled trials and other high-quality tests to demonstrate the effectiveness of its work
START AND GROW BUSINESS SUPPORT
We focus on people with the ambition to start and grow their own businesses. Although our members work with self-employed people in their regions, Start and Grow UK has a growth focus and works with national customers who want to have a business support service delivered across England.
We grow thriving small business communities
BUSINESS GROWTH & LONGEVITY
We have assisted almost 8,500 start-ups, with £90m of business funding secured, 15,000+ jobs created in those businesses.
Longer-lasting businesses - survival rates at several percentage points greater than the national averages for 1, 2 and 3 years
Over the past decade Start and Grow UK (initially under the branding of Cavendish Enterprise) has been working to create a business support structure across the English regions, which enables small businesses to start up and sustainably grow, creating strong economic growth. Start and Grow UK is a partnership of three of the largest enterprise agencies in England - the most prominent not-for-profit enterprise agencies in the country, each with over 30 years’ experience.
As a thriving small business community of business agencies we believe that Britain’s prosperity depends on supporting small businesses and we are committed to ensuring that every potential entrepreneur has the opportunity to start, thrive and grow their business.
Through working together as partners over this period or time, we have delivered over 8,500 new start businesses and 15,000 new jobs, and we can demonstrate a track record of cost effective business support delivery at a local level across the English regions.
As a group of highly respected enterprise agencies we have supported over 100,000 businesses in all stages of business development.
Start and Grow UK works closely with other professional organisations to extend the business support available to our clients. Our associates have the same commitment to ensuring new and growing businesses have the best chance of success.
MEET THE BOARD
The Start and Grow UK Board includes leading personnel from our partner agencies, and business professionals in specialist areas.
David Seall is an Independent Director, Advisor and Chartered Engineer. He is a Visiting Professor and Chair of the Advisory Board at the University of Surrey Business School and a Member of the Manufacturing Commission advising the All Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group.
Until retiring in June 2017 he was the Regional Chairman of the Institute of Directors for the South East of England and prior to that was Chairman of IoD Surrey.
He is a Member of the National Economic Policy Committee of Make UK. He has been a Non-Executive Director for over 20 years and is currently a Non-Executive Director at CP Cases Ltd a company designing and manufacturing bespoke protective cases in addition to his role at Start & Grow.
He is a Board Advisor for several start-up businesses and has advised major banks and law firms. David is a Fellow of both the Royal Aeronautical Society and the IoD. He is a Member of IoM3 and a Freeman of the City of London.
Jo joined Business West in 1996 as a management accountant and progressed to be the Finance Director in 2000. In the last 20 years she has been responsible for the strategic financial direction of the company, which has gone from £3m turnover to over £15m. Business West is now recognised as one of the most influential independent business leadership organisations in the UK.
Jo is also a director of Destination Bristol, Recognising Excellence and Bristol Chamber of Commerce.
Chief Executive TEDCO Business Support Limited
James Craft is Chief Executive of TEDCO Business Support Ltd, a spin out company from TEDCO Ltd. He initially joined TEDCO Ltd in 2012 but left for other roles in the business support landscape to work globally & further enhance internationalisation roles.
James has a business banking background and worked with two of the large businesses banks which also included working on the lean change agenda within Barclays bank.
He holds an MBA in Senior Leadership from the University of Sunderland.
Director of Finance, NBV/Nwes
Lorraine is the Executive Director of NBV and Nwes, having joined NBV back in 2004 as the finance manager. As part of the senior management team of NBV Lorraine was part of the successful growth of the organisation, In 2017 NBV joined together with Nwes and Lorraine took on the role of Finance Director the both organisations.
In January 2020 Lorraine took on the Executive Director role, heading up both organisations together with our Non-executive board. NBV provide business support across the East Midlands and Nwes provide business support across East Anglia and London running a variety of projects from pre-start support to business growth and job creation, both companies are also active in providing businesses with office space across the regions.
BUSINESS BASICS PROGRAMME
More information about the programme
The Business Basics Fund, a series of open competitions, administered by Innovate UK on behalf of BEIS, is the main element of the Business Basics Programme further details are here. The fund aims to build evidence on how to encourage SMEs to adopt productivity boosting technology and/or management practices. It is administered by Innovate UK on behalf of BEIS.
More details, can be found here
The trial protocol document is available here.
The evaluation report is due to be delivered to BEIS by 31 March 2022.
The Business Boost programme -is Cavendish/Start and Grow UK’s winning bid to the Business Basics Fund, in Round 1 of the competition. Start & Grow UK were 1 of 5 successful full trial projects selected from over 100 applicants. The trial considers how management training can improve productivity in micro and small firms. The report is available here.
There is also the Round 3 project, Evolve Digital. Start and Grow UK were selected from over 60 submissions, the project runs until March 2022 and is in its early stages of delivery. Start and Grow UK have partnered with Lancaster University Management School in the design and delivery of this project and again with Warwick Business School in its evaluation. The trial concerns the application of modern technologies in micro and small family businesses to improve productivity.
The Business Basics Fund is currently being evaluated and will be available December 2020.
The Start and Grow project set out to work with individuals who sought to employ people to grow their businesses. Businesses were provided with start-up and growth support over a three year period. The project started in 2015 with the final participants joining it in 2018. The delivery parts of the project ended in 2020. The evaluation attempted to track the progress of these firms for 5 years.
Overall, the project showed very strong evidence of success.
- The two main performance targets were exceeded
- 4,821 jobs were created over three years of the programme by the 1,619 participating firms (against a target of 3,900 (FTEs)
- over £49m of private sector investment was secured by the new and small firm participants (against a target of £48m)
- The great majority of the businesses participating felt that the programme contributed to their success
- Most compellingly, the businesses on the project significantly outperformed the standard business population in terms of business survival, especially those businesses continuing to trade beyond 3 years, despite operating in some of the most disadvantaged parts of England.
The main disappointment relates to the evaluation itself. Enormous efforts were made by the Start and Grow UK partners and by the project evaluators RSM to undertake a trial which, at 5 years, was unusually lengthy for an business support trial at level 4 on the Maryland Scale. The cost, of £80,000, again, unusually high for a trial of this nature, was borne by the partners. However, the conclusions that could be drawn from the quasi-experimental design are inconclusive. This appears to be largely due to survey fatigue amongst the participating firms, who were much more reluctant to participate in surveys after year 2. Generally, RCT’s or quasi-experimental design studies in economic development are of much shorter duration than the 5 year study attempted here. Among the many challenges of running trials in economic development contexts, the trade-off between the desire to measure long-term effects and the practical generation of data for that purpose is one that seems worth serious consideration. There may be a 'sweet spot’ for the duration of a business support trial. If so, it appears to be much shorter than 5 years and may not extend much beyond 2 years.
For the full report read here
Evolve Digital evaluation
Against all the odds, the trial was not only successfully completed during the Covid-19 pandemic, it demonstrated clear positive results for the intervention. Here are the headlines:
The key findings of the trial are:
The Evolve Digital programme had 2 major indicators and 5 minor ones. The 2 major indicators, confidence to use the new technology and intention to use it, both rose significantly for the treatment group during the trial but not for the control group. Of the secondary indicators, 3 of the 5 also showed clear increases for the treatment group.
The key conclusions are:
Evolve Digital was effective in increasing productivity as measured by the proxy indicators.
The Treatment group engaged with the materials whereas the Control group, by and large, did not, that is, providing the package of materials and facilitated peer group support was effective but providing the online materials on their own didn’t work in terms of increasing confidence and intention to use new, productivity-enhancing, technologies.
Although it was not the intention to test this, and the action was forced upon the delivery teams by Covid-19, online delivery worked, even for facilitated content, in the terms set out above.
For the full report read here
Start and Grow UK
Business West - Leigh Court
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