The Hertfordshire Growth Hub, funded by Hertfordshire LEP, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), helps unlock the potential of ambitious local businesses by providing free and impartial business support to help them thrive. The Growth Hub’s first Annual Report has been published highlighting the programme’s key achievements from 2016/17.
The programme has engaged with 797 businesses over the past year, of which 85% of clients who received in-depth support were likely or very-likely to recommend the programme and 90% were reported satisfied or very satisfied.
Graham Lane, Hertfordshire LEP Board Member and Chair of Hertfordshire Growth Hub Management Board says, “We are delighted to share with your our first Annual Report which summarises our key achievements over the past year. I am fortunate to have been closely involved with the inception and development of the Growth Hub since its launch in 2014. Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership has been key in supporting the establishment of the Growth Hub with the University of Hertfordshire. Since then, LEP funding has secured match funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the European Regional Development Fund to launch the Growth Hub and to provide targeted business support to help SMEs reach their growth potential.
In the past year nearly 800 Hertfordshire businesses have engaged with the Growth Hub with 85% of them implementing the advice they have received from the team of specialist Growth Advisers. This focused business support makes a significant contribution to the LEP’s objectives to grow business in the county and forms a key part of our Strategic Economic Plan.
I have seen first-hand how the Growth Hub team has worked hard to create and increase the awareness and take-up of services and now supports hundreds of ambitious, aspirational SMEs every year. This is now bearing fruit. I am particularly pleased to see how the value of the Growth Hub is recognised by the people who matter most; the hub’s SME clients. This is confirmed by very positive customer satisfaction ratings for the hub.
It has, therefore, been my pleasure, as Chair of the Hertfordshire Growth Hub Management Board, to see at close range how this great resource has gone from strength to strength, thanks to the very significant contribution made by Amanda Freeland, the former Head of Service for the Growth Hub. Amanda has led the development of the Growth Hub from the front. She has a deep understanding of the SME support landscape and her ability to collaborate and engage with stakeholders and clients has enabled the Hub first to create and then consolidate the hub’s primary position at the centre of business support in the county.
I look forward to another successful year in 2017/18 and to the Hertfordshire Growth Hub reaching many more businesses with expert, impartial advice, high quality events and a wide range of innovative solutions to help realise the aspirations of our SMEs”.