Beauhurst has published a concise and informative report – Accelerating the UK – all about business accelerators; what they do, where they are, their successes, and interestingly how reliant business accelerators are upon European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) for the support offered to fast growing start-up firms. 

The report shows that accelerators help entrepreneurs grow their ideas into successful, fast-growing businesses. Whilst there isn’t an accelerator in the area, the SWLEP’s Digital Capabilities Strategy points the direction for building on the area’s already healthy and advantageous environment for start-ups. With ERDF the most frequent sponsor and integral to success of accelerators, but with local influence on investment of European funding coming to an end, the local economy should take advantage of the opportunities to set up accelerators to support rapid growth of new firms, by giving them access to skilled expertise, knowledge, mentoring and finance, paid for by the ERDF programme.

Many fast-growing start-ups are utilising the technological revolution, exploiting the digitisation which is changing the way business is done and how services are delivered, affecting the way we work, produce and consume.

The Digital Capabilities Strategy promotes supportive workspaces and innovation centres as a critical factor for emerging digital businesses. it recommends the SWLEP should work to create the conditions for collaboration between innovative digital businesses and the wider business community. An ERDF call for projects to operate in the area from later in 2019 could bring the acceleration to Swindon and Wiltshire too.