Developing Business Skills:
Business skills are the skills employers need to produce or supply products and services. Many skills valued by employers, such as communication and team working, are poorly reflected by qualifications. However, formal education, training and qualifications are often emphasised because they can be easily measured and, more importantly, they can be directly influenced by decisions made by Government, local partners and employers.
Innovation is “the commercial exploitation of new ideas in the form of new products and processes, new organizational techniques, new markets and new sources of supply”. Innovation can enhance the quality of an area’s business stock and act as a spur to competition. It is a key characteristic of high growth firms.
Access to finance is critical if businesses are to invest in additional capacity, innovative activities, skills development or new capital equipment. When surveyed, businesses in the D2N2 area consistently identify access to finance as a concern. Research on high growth firms suggests that access to capital for expansion is often a key constraint.
Infrastructure is one of the ‘fundamentals’ that underpins the economic competitiveness of an area. It is widely seen as including transport networks, business premises, electronic infrastructure such as broadband and other utilities. As such it is key to delivering sustainable economic growth. The adequate provision of quality infrastructure that supports the requirements of industry and allows for the efficient movement of goods and people contributes to economic prosperity.