Business secretary Vince Cable has launched a £200m initiative to help up to 26,000 firms expand.
The GrowthAccelerator has been designed to give firms with genuine potential for strong, sustainable growth a helping hand.
Cable recently came under fire from venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft, who accused him of doing “very little to support business”.
Although this scheme might be a step in the right direction to dispel that notion, Matthew Jaffa, London senior development manager at the Federation of Small Businesses, said more can still be done.
“We just need to see positive signals from the secretary of state for business in terms of developing micro businesses as these firms are struggling with employment and access to finance,” he said.
“But we do need to see Cable being strong on the subject of cutting red tape for business, particularly on employment regulation.”
As part of the GrowthAccelerator scheme, experts will identify barriers preventing growth for individual businesses and point out ways to overcome them. This is expected to cover areas such as finance, creating a viable business out of innovation and developing leadership skills.
This kind of positive collaboration has been warmly welcomed by Jaffa, but he said it is difficult to judge it fully until more details emerge. He also expressed some reservations about how far-reaching the scheme will be.
“Our slight concern is that it might not focus on the needs of micro businesses,” Jaffa said.
“We wouldn’t want businesses with genuine ambitions being discounted from actually bidding for the fund and taking advantage of the service.”
Alongside the coaching, the programme also fast-tracks clients to trusted business advisors such as UK Trade & Investment and networks such as Angel Investors.
Cable, said: “GrowthAccelerator is an exciting new programme that is at the heart of the Government’s commitment to help businesses deliver growth by increasing their chance of gaining access to finance and spurring innovation.
“The £200 million programme will deliver high quality coaching to a range of businesses that will help them grow and give the economy a real boost.”
He added: “The UK boasts vibrant small and medium sized businesses that have the chance to become the household names of tomorrow.”
GrowthAccelerator, which will be funded by the Department for Business Innovations and Skills (BIS), will be delivered by private sector experts from a consortium led by Grant Thornton that includes Pera, Winning Pitch, Oxford Innovation and other partners.
Business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk, said: “We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business. GrowthAccelerator is the latest programme in a range of support products that we are providing for business to help them thrive and grow.
“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy and we are giving them the support they need to realise their potential.”
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