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South West praised as 'national role model' for helping businesses grow

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 10 January 2019 16:35

South West praised as 'national role model' for helping businesses grow

An innovative plan to encourage South West business to grow should be used as a model for the rest of the country, according to industry experts.

A national report by the ScaleUp Institute has praised the region after business support centre West of England Growth Hub appointed a 'scale-up enabler'  to bring together the region’s vibrant and diverse companies.

The hub, which is run by the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, appointed Briony Phillips to increase the opportunities for scaleup businesses across the West of England.

The Annual ScaleUp Review 2018 stated: “The appointment of a ScaleUp Enabler has driven increased interest in scale-ups and helped to ensure that the support provided responds directly to the challenges that growing companies face.

“The Scaleup Enabler has brought the local investment community together to ease access to finance and pressed the case for more local infrastructure which has led to three multi-occupancy office spaces coming onto the market in Bristol.”

The Annual ScaleUp Review 2018 is published by the not-for-profit company ScaleUp Institute, which aims to make the UK the best place globally to scale a business. 

Briony said: “As a region with vibrant entrepreneurial activity and support, the West of England is the ideal place to innovate and pilot a new approach to scaleup support.

"Armed with an understanding of the challenges faced by the scaleup business community and the breadth of support available, I have been able to target and help overcome specific barriers to growth such as office space availability and access to finance.

Read more: South West business leaders warn of 'damaging' impact of no-deal Brexit

"To have this innovative approach celebrated by the ScaleUp Institute is a great accolade.”

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles says the accolade is a "terrific" one for the West of England.

He said: "We are an economically successful region where businesses start, grow and thrive in high numbers. As Mayor, one of my priorities is to ensure they get the continuing help and support they need to grow and prosper."

Developments such as the Scale-Up Generator website - an online portal of support for businesses - are a "great add-on" to the Growth Hub, says Mr Bowles.

Prof Steve West, chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “It’s great to see recognition for the hard work we’ve put in to support our scaleup businesses and help them to overcome the challenges they face so that they can grow and thrive in our region, and be part of the West of England success story.

"It’s especially pleasing to receive the positive responses from businesses in the region. As well as creating better opportunities for scaleups in the West of England, we hope that our experiences will also offer learning points for other parts of the country.”

For more information on the support available in the West of England, visit the West of England Growth Hub and the Scale Up Generator, which features a map of over 400 support services for scaling businesses. 

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