Events - 02 December 2015

Year of powering up business marked by D2N2 Growth Hub

More than 1,500 businesses looking to expand have been helped with training, access to finance, guidance and other needs in the first year of the D2N2 Growth Hub service.

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s service – which promises to ‘power up your business’ – marks its first anniversary this week. It was officially launched by the then Business and Enterprise Minister, Matthew Hancock, on December 5, 2014, at an event at Nottingham Trent University.

Since then the D2N2 Growth Hub has provided free training, funding opportunities and advice on accessing finance, workshop sessions on a range of topics, and hosted and attended a series of events, to help SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) across the D2N2 LEP area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

It works closely with national agencies promoting business growth including UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Government’s ‘Business is Great’ campaign.

To date it has helped 1,538 businesses; many of whom have called its helpline number on 0333 006 9178 or emailed info@d2n2growthhub.co.uk , or accessed services via its website at www.d2n2growthhub.co.uk

Examples of the range of businesses helped by the D2N2 Growth Hub team, include:

*Newburgh Engineering Co Ltd, Bradwell, Derbyshire Peak District – The specialist manufacturer of precision engineering components, established in 1939, is looking to expand its current site or find a larger alternative one. The D2N2 Growth Hub advisor has helped the company explore its options and referred it to UKTI, a Growth Hub partner, to assist with the company’s growth ambitions.

*Sarah Gatford Ltd of Derby – A qualified British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter on the National Register of Communication Professionals with Deaf and Deaf-Blind People; Sarah interprets in education, employment, legal and mental health settings amongst others, and specialises in theatre interpreting.

When Sarah found austerity cuts reducing the usual funding available to support the services she offers, Sarah contacted a Growth Hub advisor, who undertook a free Business Review. They recommended greater focus on strategic planning and use of a social media strategy. Sarah also attended free Growth Hub training events on cost-effective marketing and using mobile phone apps for business. 

She is currently working with theatre companies, making their Christmas performances accessible in BSL. In the New Year, Sarah will be producing fully accessible theatre performances about internet safety for Deaf and Autistic young people; which have been commissioned and funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire and Derbyshire Constabulary Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

Sarah said: “I have had a boost in my confidence about my business. From the guidance I received, I have been able to see the benefits of strategic business advice. I now have many more contacts and potential clients, and am marketing my business in a much clearer, well defined way.”

*WEGO Couriers of Nottingham – The 17-year-old low carbon courier and logistics company (pictured) utilises spare space on existing transport networks (for example, Midlands to London train services) combined with its ‘last mile’ eco-friendly bikes and vehicles, to provide a door-to-door business delivery service.

Working with the D2N2 Growth Hub, and Jerome Baddley and Rebecca Forster of environmental social enterprise NetPositive Ltd (Jerome also leads on Low Carbon for D2N2, one of its eight key sectors), WEGO was supported in promoting its green credentials, to raise its profile as a carbon neutral business. WEGO was aided in becoming part of a €25million, European Union-funded Horizon 2020 project, relating to low carbon transport and ‘last mile’ logistics.

Since gaining an ‘Investors in the Environment’ accreditation, WEGO has been chosen (alongside companies such as Marks & Spencer) as a partner of the United Nations backed ClimateNeutralNow initiative, as a carbon neutral courier

Lindsay Allen, D2N2 Senior Programme Manager for Sector Development, said: “The Growth Hub simplifies support services for business looking to expand.

“New and established businesses can come to us with a wide range of enquiries and either we, or one of our partners, will be able to help in a way which fits their needs.

“Popular enquiries are people looking for further training for themselves or their employees, or wanting to know how to access funding to expand an existing business. We have a lot of information and experience in finding exactly what they need.”

An invite only celebration event, for companies who’ve been helped by the D2N2 Growth Hub in its first year, will be held at Nottingham Trent University on Friday (December 4).

For more information about the D2N2 Growth Hub go to its website at www.d2n2growthhub.co.uk, or contact the Growth Hub team direct on helpline 0333 006 9178. The D2N2 Growth Hub can also be contacted via Twitter at @D2N2GrowthHub

For further information about this media release contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org

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