What will the D2N2 Growth Hub Deliver?
For many businesses there are difficulties in finding a good supplier, a better deal, or even to decide what their strategy should be and what assistance might help them to realise their potential.
"The overarching aim of the D2N2 Growth Hub is to improve the ability of businesses in the D2N2 area to value and engage appropriately with business service providers (be they public or private), and to help business service providers to improve their offer."
Government studies have pointed to the impact that poor use and management of business services has on the economy.
Companies which make use of businesses services are more likely to survive, compete, and grow. They are more likely to make better investments in the right things at the right time; and realise consequent benefits in terms of sustainable competitiveness, profitability and growth.
However, many challenges hinder the process, particularly (but not exclusively) for smaller businesses and start-ups. These include the ability to find the right service-providers and to afford the services offered.
A great host of services are on offer from the public, private and third sector, but businesses may struggle to find their way in this market and make it work for them. In summary, many businesses don’t know what they don’t know, and don’t recognise or, more importantly, value the opportunities and services on offer.
Good services are available and initiatives already in place to help improve access to them. Overall, however, there still remains great complexity and uncertainty, creating a barrier to change for many businesses which holds back both users and providers of business services.
The launch of Growth Hubs is an important step in the evolving business support landscape. Growth Hubs drive SME growth by:
- bringing coherence to the business support landscape
- raising awareness
- improving understanding and accessibility of the support available.
They support businesses which aspire to grow and also build capacity in smaller businesses not currently engaged with business support. They add strategic value to the business support system by ensuring the optimal balance between specialist, targeted national schemes, such as UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), and localised initiatives and delivery.
More specifically, the D2N2 Growth Hub:
- Creates awareness of the benefits of taking up the business services available.
- Helps businesses understand what services they should be using, and why.
- Help business leaders to make informed choices about the service providers they engage with.
- Encourages more businesses to work with business service providers and to keep on working with them, as they address evolving challenges and opportunities.
- Helps service providers to understand what customers need and to shape their offer to better match the evolving needs of businesses.
- Works with the public, private and third sectors to find ways of appropriately filling the 'gaps'.
- Increasingly raises recognition of the D2N2 Growth Hub brand, as THE place to go for information and advice about the business services market in the D2N2 area.
Growth Hubs build on existing organisational structures where possible and focus on three main areas of activity:
- Increasing the uptake of national and local schemes to facilitate a 'single conversation' with local businesses; raising awareness and uptake of both public and private sector support, by improving coordination, marketing and signposting. Developing links to local access to finance support measures; such as investment readiness, local 'business angels' and networks.
- Enhancing and expanding the provision of national schemes locally (e.g. UKTI).
- Providing tailored business support to businesses - giving the right type of support at the right time.