The Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub is making a positive difference in helping businesses in the county successfully scale their operations. According to a recent review of its ScaleUp Berkshire initiative, business owners on the programme have reported strong growth in both turnover and employee headcount.
A review of the specialist programme, which is aimed at leaders of ambitious scaleup businesses with an annual turnover of over £1 million, has revealed that 58% of scaleups on the programme for over one year have reported more than 20% growth in turnover in the past two years, while 43% reported at least a 20% increase in employee numbers.
This news follows the first ever ScaleUp Week (18-20 May 2021), which highlighted the importance of scaleups to the UK economy and the challenges they face. Organised by the ScaleUp Institute and BGF, the nationwide event saw 6,000 people attend 10 debates to discuss the crucial issues facing fast-growing businesses.
Peter Fleming, manager of the Berkshire Growth Hub, said: “With Berkshire having the second highest number of scaling businesses per 100k of population in the UK after London, it is vital that local scaleups have fast and easy access to the specialist support they need to succeed. Which is where we come in.
“Since its launch in 2018, our ScaleUp Berkshire programme has provided account management support to over 100 scale-ups and received an excellent 94% client satisfaction rating. We’ve helped business leaders overcome challenges and realise their growth plans by connecting them to the best private and public sector support available locally, nationally and internationally.”
For the past few years the Berkshire Growth Hub, which is part of the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), has been providing advice to children’s bike manufacturer Frog Bikes to enable them to further build upon their success.
Shelley Lawson of Frog Bikes in Ascot, explained: “When we first started on the Growth Hub’s ScaleUp Berkshire programme, we were a little sceptical as we didn’t know what to expect. But their adviser listened more than talked and quickly came back to us with some proactive and valuable suggestions. The programme has saved us time, added value and opened doors.”
Matt Durant, managing director of BAM Construction Training in Wokingham, also had high praise for the programme.
“I would definitely recommend the Growth Hub,” says Durant. “The support and guidance they’ve given us, especially through the pandemic, has been vital to the development of our business. The advisers are really quick to respond. If I phone or email, I usually get a response within 24 hours.”
With the support of the Berkshire Growth Hub, BAM has certainly been building back stronger, diversifying its portfolio of training, investing in new machinery and expanding its team.
The ScaleUp Berkshire programme brings together scaleup experts to create a better-connected, visible scaleup ecosystem in the county and help generate further growth. It is part of a wider range of free support services available to Berkshire business owners and entrepreneurs through the Berkshire Growth Hub.
Since 2014, the Berkshire Growth Hub has supported over 5,000 small and medium-sized businesses across Berkshire. A one-stop shop for business advice, the team has successfully helped business owners raise finance, improve productivity, increase profitability, devise growth strategies and build business resilience.