Looking to develop your business but not sure how or what to do to get there? Then have a look at the Growth Vouchers scheme?
I’ve just been appointed as a West Yorkshire spokesperson for the scheme, this is something I volunteered to do as I think this scheme can really benefit all SMEs in some way, and I applaud the government and BIS (Department of Business, Innovation & Skills) for offering this practical help for small businesses.
What’s on offer?
Your business can apply for up to £2k of matched funding from the government for strategic advice to help your business grow. The vouchers are randomly allocated so some businesses will get the funding, some won’t!
You apply online and are then asked to meet one of the Growth Voucher team to discuss your application in more detail. Once that’s completed you’ll find out if you’re application has been successful.
What can you use the funding for?
There are 5 key areas that are available for strategic support:
- Raising finance and managing cashflow
- Developing and recruiting staff
- Improving leadership and management skills
- Marketing, attracting and keeping customers
- Making the most of digital technology
But time’s ticking……
The Government have put £30m into this scheme which is currently a pilot to test how best to help small businesses grow through the use of subsidised business advice. There’s still lots of vouchers to be given out, between now and March 15 when the pilot ends, so why not get your share of the deal.
And the criteria to access a voucher has just been broadened, so it’s worth a look & applying for – what do you have to loose?
Do you fit the bill?
- 250 or less employees
- Your business is registered in England
- Turnover of less than £45m
- You own 75% or more of your business
It used to be that you would pay the full price for the strategic support & then claim the funding back but it’s been recognised that this is a lot of outlay for a small business & would affect the business cashflow & so now you only pay half and the Growth Voucher adviser (us in this case) claims the funding for you.
Another recent change was that previously you couldn’t apply if you’d accessed strategic advice in the previous 3 years or accessed support via Growth Accelerator (we’re also Growth Accelerator Training Providers); that’s now changed and so you could still qualify. Many businesses are accessing Growth Vouchers and then registering on the Growth Accelerator programme so they maximise on the generous government support that’s out there at the moment.
So if you’re serious about growing your business can I recommend that you consider the offer and get it while it’s here!
Just to remind you, apply online, and then you’ll be randomly chosen either to an online questionnaire or a face to face business advice assessment (again part of the trial).