Already a hub of education, business, and culture, Northampton will now benefit from the Northamptonshire Growth Hub, a scheme put together by Northamptonshire County Council in an effort to help business leaders develop and maximise their strategies, alongside helping to drive small and medium enterprise’s (SMEs) innovation.
New kinds of funding
The Growth Hub, alongside Northamptonshire County Council and the University of Northampton have also launched a new type of funding for SMEs, dubbed the Major Growth Investment Grant, which is part of the region’s business support project, Ready2Grow. The funding offers grants to SMEs to finance innovation, business development, growth and job creation, continuing the progressive and positive growth that the county has seen in recent years – enjoying 130% growth in rail business travel and one of the highest start-up rates for companies in the UK.
The Growth Hub is also championing the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, which offers £120million of SME debt finance to businesses across the Midlands. With the backing of the British Business Bank, it serves to further the cause of cash-injections to nimble, energetic startups across Northamptonshire.
Workshops that nurture and inform
The Growth Hub isn’t just a business bank for the county – it also offers something just as valuable: knowledge. SMEs benefit from a range of workshops that cover topics like business growth, financing, marketing, advisor sessions, how to access grant funding, and more. Company directors can find themselves learning new skills and ways in which their businesses can grow and invest in the region. One-to-one meetings with advisors are also available and often result in significantly improved sales and marketing processes for businesses.
When you think about it, the whole thing is impressively self-sustaining. The Hub helps businesses, sustains the local economy, helping further business creation and growth in the region, and, excitingly, it is relatively new for the region too.
Giving New Business Owners a chance
The portfolio of the Growth Hub is impressive and shows just how many SMEs benefit from its knowledge and funding. The range of local businesses that benefit grows every day, and is brilliantly diverse: there’s Griff’s, producer of high-quality aprons, Choosewellbeing, a one-woman well-being and remedial therapy company, and NN1 Personnel, a recruitment agency supplying temporary HGV drivers to logistics clients in Northamptonshire, onefoursix, a marketing agency, all of whom were given expert advice, support, funding and motivation from the Growth Hub. This initial help from the Growth Hub – often with one-to-one advisory sessions and business strategy help – means that these SMEs progress to be able to apply for further grant funding, and many go on to win industry awards and accolades, as rare as that is for the age of some of these companies.
Forget London – Northamptonshire enjoys incredible business growth with fantastic funding opportunities, diverse businesses and a burgeoning industrial identity.