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A consortium led by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and overseen by the Growth Hub and its partners delivered the fully funded business support programme thanks to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

The programme covered the costs of provision for up to 12 hours of business support and was free to access for anyone who was considering starting a business through to those who were running established businesses, with an amazing range of support offered.  It also specifically provided help to those affected by the closure of the Honda site who wanted to start up their own business.

In most instances, the help given began with a one-to-one conversation which delved into the precise needs of the SME.  The form that the ongoing support and guidance should take was then discussed and recommended.  This ranged from further one-to-one sessions to a variety of bespoke workshops and other support activities.

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership chose the support capabilities of delivery partners YTKO, SETsquared, Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council to ensure that all aspects of a SMEs journey were covered and easily accessed.  

The Growth Hub began delivering the programme support in early 2020 and continued to run throughout the pandemic, proving to be a valuable resource to businesses during that time.  The final sessions were delivered by the end of June this year.

The SME Programme has proved to be a lifeline to many businesses, especially through the pandemic.  The support provided throughout the three-year programme delivery has helped numerous enterprises and was exceptionally well-received.  Some of the comments provided by recipients as to the value provided by the programme are given below:

“The course was well structured and presented with a good balance of personally delivered material, breakout groups and video learning”

“Excellent 1/2 hour initial consultation, then he took 1 hour to collate info and we had a further 1/2 hour follow-up session to discuss it.  Useful info; helps me build a plan with specific action points”

“Every interaction with the team has been incredibly useful and always given me ideas and guidance on how to develop my business further”

Chris Stevens, Head of Business Support, said “We are delighted that the ERDF funded SME Programme has been able to strengthen the economic landscape across Swindon and Wiltshire.  The Growth Hub team exceeded the expectations of those who interacted with them.  Whilst this funded programme has ended, we will continue to provide both funded support as well as our bespoke Growth Hub Plus membership option, which offers additional benefits.”

If you are a business owner, leader or manager who wishes to take your organisation to the next level; access great support and advice for you and your team as well as be part of a diverse and ambitious group of other like-minded individuals, contact the Growth Hub to find out more.