A new county-wide service for established small businesses seeking support and advice has been launched as part of a £221.5m Growth Deal for Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire Growth Hub, which is jointly funded by Hertfordshire LEP, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the University of Hertfordshire and managed by business support provider Exemplas, provides specialist advice, information and support to help small businesses fulfil their growth potential.

It was launched at the University of Hertfordshire on 26 March when more than 80 people from across Hertfordshire’s business community and other local organisations attended. Hertfordshire Growth Hub also unveiled its new website www.hertsgrowthhub.com which is set to become the principal portal for business support in the county.

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnershhip also outlined how it will be using its European funding allocation of £60 million to introduce a range of Hertfordshire specific initiatives, channelled through the Growth Hub, to help SMEs with the ambition and ability to grow.

The Hub is part of the Government’s deal with local enterprise partnerships across the country to provide a clear model for coordinating and simplifying business support, making it easier to get the right support at the right time. Small to medium-sized businesses can use the Growth Hub to find out more about the opportunities to access finance, skills, sales and marketing help. Hertfordshire is the 25th to be launched in the country and by March 2016 39 are to be created in every Local Enterprise Partnership region across England.

As part of the launch, small businesses which have already benefited from the service shared their experiences. These included Tomi Abibu, Director, TEMAG Pharma and Peter Chulu, Field Director, Field Scope International Ltd, both based at the BioPark, Welwyn Garden City. John Brubaker, Chief Executive Officer, of Plant Impact, a global leader in plant science innovation, explained why choosing to relocate to Rothamsted Research and Hertfordshire had played such a major part in its success, thanks to its proximity to international airports, London and being an attractive county to live, work and do business.

Julie Newlan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire, said: “I think the Growth Hub is going to have a tremendous impact. We are very well served in Herts, great people, great resources and the Hub will contribute hugely to this.”

Find out more about other business support providers and membership organisations.

To find out more about the Growth Hub, visit www.hertsgrowthhub.com.
Photo shows, from left: David Moule, deputy chief executive Exemplas, Hertfordshire LEP chairman John Gourd, Amerjit Basi, Assistant Director, Business Support Delivery, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and Julie Newlan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire