What is Growth Accelerator and when did it start?
Growth Accelerator started in 2012 and it is part of the government’s Business Growth Service
It is a partnership between leading private sector business growth experts Grant Thornton, Pera, Oxford Innovation and Winning Pitch, all backed by Government as part of its growth agenda to build the economy and create jobs in the UK.
Growth Accelerator is the place for businesses to find new connections, new routes to investment and the chance to take forward innovative ideas and products – everything a business needs to grow and reach its full potential.
I was referred to the service by a business colleague, as it fits in well with the business advice, coaching and mentoring services that I offer. I applied to become a Growth Accelerator coach in summer 2014 and was I finally approved and registered in November 2014.
What qualifications do you need to become a Growth Accelerator Coach?
You have to attend a training course, need references from business contacts, plus lots of hands-on business experience.
What sort of businesses ask for your help and who is eligible for Growth Accelerator?
Growth Accelerator is designed for SMEs and family businesses – not corporations.
A wide range of businesses from all sectors of the economy, they must have a keen and willing approach to grow and expand rapidly and fit the following criteria:
- Registered in the UK and based in England
- Have up to a maximum of 249 employees
- Have an annual turnover of up to a maximum £40m
- Meet the EU definition of an SME
Businesses can apply for the service either through a Business Growth Manager or through a registered coach – such as me. The business will be matched with a registered coach who has the skills needed to deliver the services and support required.
What support is available?
The Growth Manager or registered coach will work with business owners to identify what they need from the service and then help them to access a range of support, which includes:
- Leadership and management skills
- Access to finance
- Business development – including strategy, planning and marketing
- Accessing and building supply chains
- Innovation services to help develop and launch products
Using Growth Accelerator, what are the results?
Businesses which use the service are all looking to expand and grow. The service expects growth of a minimum of 20% in the first year – many achieve much more.
How much does Growth Accelerator cost?
The service is funded by the government so it is heavily subsidised with match-funding for participating businesses. The minimum entry cost is £1,600 (plus VAT) for 4 days coaching. There are a number of add-on services available as businesses work their way through Growth Accelerator.
I will be delighted to hear from anyone who wants more information about Growth Accelerator and how it will benefit their business.
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