GetSet for Growth Celebrate Successful ERDF Pilot Programme
GetSet for Growth, the pilot business growth programme fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Convergence Programme, have hit the targets set out by the ERDF for the service ending in June 2015.
The investment readiness programme, for ambitious businesses with growth potential, uses bespoke marketing and finance support to help businesses access new money and markets. Having hit the targets set out by ERDF, the programme is an overwhelming success.
Matt Giles, Programme Director at GetSet for Growth, explains “I am very proud of what the GetSet team have achieved in such a short space of time. The impressive results from this pilot programme have proven, without doubt, the need for investment readiness support for SMEs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It has been great to see the results achieved by so many ambitious local businesses - we’re delighted to have played a tiny part in their success.”
The concept of the GetSet for Growth programme was devised by the YTKO group; who had already achieved huge success throughout the South West with their Outset programme. Its purpose was to meet a gap identified in the Duchy’s business landscape providing support to businesses that had the potential and ambition for growth, but didn’t qualify for the high growth business support services already available.
Using a new and innovative approach, the GetSet service addressed two of the biggest barriers to growth for SMEs - access to markets and finance; enabling the creation of jobs and impacting on the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. To date, GetSet has helped to secure over £2.5m of finance for SME businesses in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.
John Peters – Managing Director of the South West Investment Group explains, “GetSet has provided a missing piece in the business support jigsaw by providing hands-on investment readiness support to those small businesses that have potential and ambition, but lack experience and resources. This has increased access to SWIG finance, with 21 extra businesses securing £567,000 of our start-up and growth loan facilities.”
Through helping businesses to access finance and develop and strengthen their marketing and sales strategies, the GetSet service has already helped to create and safeguard 190 full time jobs within the Duchy, with many more jobs expected through the legacy of the project. These roles range from graduate trainers to highly skilled, senior management and board level director positions.
Lucy Harris, Strategic Development Manager of the Cornwall Marine Network explains, “Since the inception of the GetSet for Growth project, we have established a really effective referrals system between our two organisations. This has been particularly relevant to the Marine Capital Fund Scheme, where GetSet have offered our members vital assistance in the preparation of their funding applications. With the third round of the Marine Capital fund having only recently opened, it is a great shame that GetSet will soon be ending and our members will no longer be able to access this assistance. We hope the GetSet project will be able to continue this vital support as part of the European Regional Development Fund Growth Programme due to commence later this year.”
During the pilot programme, GetSet for Growth worked with over 300 businesses, providing tailored and bespoke assistance. With a remit to provide support across the Duchy, GetSet introduced teams to focus on specific geographical areas and made regular trips to support businesses on the Isles of Scilly. With the majority of businesses that engaged with GetSet having never accessed European support previously (64%), the service successfully managed to reach and support a completely new sector of the Duchy’s business community.
Carolyn Garman, from the Islands’ Partnership, explains the impact the GetSet service has had on the Isles of Scilly business community: “The GetSet investment readiness and growth service has provided much needed support for many of our businesses on the Isles of Scilly, many of which are very small operators. Our experience of GetSet for Growth, and those of our members who also took advantage of the programme, was that the help and advice was very practical and hands-on. The team really understood what businesses wanted, they were knowledgeable, and the information they offered was very helpful. “
Bringing together a team with a unique combination of local knowledge and high-level skills, gained from senior commercial private sector experience, the GetSet for Growth service could be individually tailored to meet the distinct needs of each business. As well as working 1:1 with clients, they identified common skill and knowledge gaps within their client base and facilitated a series of “masterclasses” led by specialists on subjects including employment law, intellectual property and best practice management of digital content. The team formed strong relationships with banks, funders and specialist support providers, allowing them to signpost and offer a holistic, collaborative and impactful approach to business support.
Kim Conchie, Chief Executive of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce explains “Cornwall Chamber of Commerce was delighted to be involved with the GetSet for Growth programme by being invited to sit on the steering group and by promoting the programme across our networks. From the start, the programme had a 'can do' approach and it quickly accelerated to achieve ahead of the challenging targets set by the funding bodies. And the pace never let up! It continued to surpass targets and expectations. It was well run, well targeted and shows what can be achieved in a tight timescale when a good scheme is properly actioned.”
About Get Set for Growth
GetSet for Growth is a free investment readiness service for ambitious businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly looking to access money and markets to start, sustain or grow. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Versio, part of the YTKO Group, eligible and ambitious businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly receive 1:1 support, access to Group Action Sessions, GetSet For Growth Masterclasses, connections and specialist knowledge.
GetSet For Growth has a team of business finance, marketing and sales experts who work alongside businesses and their teams to find, plan and implement the most suitable sources of new money and growth to move them forwards.
For more information, go to www.getsetforgrowth.com
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Friday 19 June 2015