So what were we doing at Downing Street?
Andi met with the Prime Minister’s Business Engagement Manager, Niamh Mulholland. There were entrepreneurs from twenty other businesses from the North of England. The purpose of the mission was to tell Niamh about our business and provide one suggestion for the government. A suggestion that could help small businesses. These ranged from help with rates and covering living wage for staff, where wage bills had increased largely for small businesses.
Enterprise Nation, who organised and led the meeting, invited Andi to participate in discussions because of their previous experience and involvement in government support programmes with Business Growth Hub and Growth Accelerator, Google Elevator & Greater Connected to name a few.
Factory has benefited extensively from being involved in government support programmes over the last two years. Andi was keen to share her views at the meeting. She raised questions about new funding and investment opportunities for small businesses wanting to grow now that the Growth Accelerator programme had ended. We wanted to discuss the growth voucher scheme that recently ended.
What do we do?
We work primarily with businesses that have gone past the start-up phase. Maybe you are at a point in your business growth where a brand refresh is needed. It could be full-scale digital transformation. Small businesses often miss out on the huge boost they could receive from a well created digital presence and marketing strategy.
Currently, growth funding covers advice on “how” rather than “what”. So you could receive advice that tells you that you need to improve your digital presence, but not the funds to do so. Wouldn’t it be better if you could spend your growth vouchers on growth? Instead of ‘how to grow’? Companies like ourselves could help them to access this kind of support. Several of the other delegates expressed similar desires with growth funding.
We left our suggestions in the hands of Niamh who will pass them on at the next policy meeting. We look forward to seeing any possible changes.