Twenty six small businesses from across Nottingham have started on a programme which has been designed to help them create new jobs in the city.
The businesses are all taking part in Growth 100, a Nottingham City Council initiative being delivered by The University of Nottingham.
Growth 100 has been designed to help Nottingham based businesses develop the skills and knowledge that the owners and directors of businesses with growth potential require, in order to help them exploit their opportunities and lay the ground for future investment.
The businesses that have been chosen for the first Growth 100 programme are from a range of industries, including construction, digital content, catering, food, recruitment and healthcare.
Nottingham University Business School, supported by experienced business professionals, will be delivering this practically focused support for the directors and business owners participating in the Growth 100 programme.
Each company will undertake a detailed business needs analysis to determine the kind of support they require. The programme covers all the key business areas such as leadership skills, finance, human resources, marketing, innovation, etc, with the content tailored to the needs of each business and business leader through the mentoring and peer learning process. Although the course is free, business owners and directors need to commit to 12 days of training over the course of the year.
One of the businesses taking part in the programme is Central High Rise, a firm of steeplejacks based in Sneinton, Nottingham.
Speaking about what he would like to get from Growth 100, the company's Commercial Director, Nathan Corden, said: “There were a range of things that attracted us to becoming involved in Growth 100, but what we hope most to gain is the ability to identify areas of improvement that we are not currently aware of. With a new management team, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to develop both the business and our own new skills.”
Jeremy Unwin, Director of Nottingham based carrier, Legion Express Parcels, added: “The main thing I want to get out of Growth 100 is expansion. The programme will hopefully provide me with key ideas on how to achieve this without my business burning out financially.”
A key outcome of the programme will be that each business develops a Business Growth Plan. This will articulate the strategy and expansion plans of the business, which can in turn be used as a basis of a presentation for potential future investors.
The programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Nottingham City Council, is aimed at small and medium businesses in Nottingham which have the potential and aspiration for growth, job creation and may be looking for investment in the future.
Councillor Nick McDonald, Nottingham City Council's Portfolio Holder for Jobs, Skills and Business, said: “It’s great to see so many enthusiastic business people on the programme. They are from a variety of sectors, which reflect the diversity of the local economy. Growth 100 is the first of many initiatives within the Growth Plan, a plan which we believe will help to build a vibrant and thriving business base in Nottingham, which will help the city to thrive in the future.”
Professor Simon Mosey, Director of the University of Nottingham’s Institute for Enterprise and Innovation, said: “We are very pleased to be able to provide our expertise to this programme, to help business owners to innovate and create the competitive edge they need to develop and expand over the coming years.”
Growth 100 is just one of a number of business initiative programmes being launched by the City Council. Other programmes include the Apprenticeship Hub which provides employers with financial benefits to take on local apprentices; the Nottingham Jobs Fund offering financial support for extra recruitment and the Inspired programme, providing mentoring support for young entrepreneurs in the city’s universities and colleges.
There will be a second Growth 100 programme starting in November, and businesses are invited to register their interest now by visiting www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/growth100
Photo shows: Alison Simpson of Nottingham City Council and Professor Simon Mosey of The University of Nottingham with business people taking part in Growth 100