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Greater Birmingham’s booming businesses given portal for growth

Greater Birmingham’s booming businesses given portal for growth

🕔08.Oct 2015

The Greater Birmingham Growth Hub, a one-stop shop for small and medium sized businesses, is now officially welcoming online visitors.

The initiative comprises a web portal, phoneline and one-to-one specialist advice and is the new home for all business advice, funding and support in the area.

Run by the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), the growth hub enables business owners to access information and advice about how to start, grow, run and finance their company effectively.

Its tailored information directs users to the most appropriate information and support for them. Downloadable step by step guides, films and free event listings are also available.

Though particularly focused on small and medium sized businesses within the GBSLEP area, the Growth Hub is designed to assist companies along the region’s supply chains and across all sectors.

Mark Sayers, Deputy Director of Business Productivity and Growth Programmes at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, and Saqib Bhatti, GBSLEP Director and President of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce, both spoke at a launch event, which was held at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Mr Sayers said:

SMEs are pumping £1.3 trillion into the economy and are responsible for 50 per cent of private sector employment. Encouraging these businesses to scale up, innovate, secure funding, export and access new markets is key to unlocking growth.

Combining all the local and national services available in Greater Birmingham will provide the greatest benefits‎ to businesses. The Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP and its Growth Hub will have a strong role to play in this.

A further 18 companies and organisations exhibiting at the event – including national bodies UK Trade & Investment and the Manufacturing Advisory Service.

During the next year, it is expected the Growth Hub will help with 7,200 business enquiries and contribute to creating 500 new jobs via its site – www.gbslepgrowthhub.co.uk – which has already received over 5,000 unique visitors and handling more than 300 enquiries and requests for support.

GBSLEP Growth Hub

To date, the website’s sections about starting a business have become the most popular, reflecting Greater Birmingham’s strength as a start-up hotspot.

In Birmingham alone, more than 18,000 firms were set up in 2014, more than any other UK city outside London.

Local businesses are also continuing to boost employment across the region. The GBSLEP area created 40,800 private sector jobs during 2014, according to the Office of National Statistics, growing at six per cent well above the national growth rate of 4.3 per cent.

Growth Hub Manager Ian Mclaughlan said:

Greater Birmingham’s economy is going from strength to strength – and our local companies deserve first class advice and support so they can grow, and recruit, even further.

The growth of Greater Birmingham’s businesses, large and small, is crucial to its economic success, which is why the Growth Hub is such an important initiative for the GBSLEP.

The Growth Hub is designed to make it much easier for firms to find the right support for them. From setting up a company to exporting, recruiting, securing funding or developing new products – there is information and guidance available for business owners based right across Greater Birmingham.

Any business that wants to grow, or needs any kind of help, should contact the Growth Hub team as a one-stop-shop for advice.

The initiative is part of the Government’s Small Business Strategy, with all 39 LEPs in the UK setting up a Growth Hub for local business advice. The Greater Birmingham Growth Hub will be serving one of the largest business communities in the country.

Pic: (left-right) Growth Hub manager Ian Mclaughlan, GBSLEP director Saqib Bhatti, deputy director of Business Productivity and Growth Programmes at BIS Mark Sayers, and GBSLEP programme delivery director Mike Carr.

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