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Jul 31, 2013

This month we’ve looked at the government-backed GrowthAccelerator scheme to see if it’s worth joining.

What is it?

GrowthAccelerator is the government-backed service designed to encourage small and mid-sized businesses to grow rapidly and sustainably. It is a partnership between the government and private sector growth specialists, which helps businesses with issues such as access to finance, developing leadership skills, commercialising innovation and business development.

Who’s eligible?

You need to be keen grow your business, be registered in the UK and based in England; with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of under £40 million.

How much does it cost?

You pay a one-off fixed fee, from £600 to £3000, based on the number of employees you have.

What are the benefits?

You are given a mentor who helps guide your business. They create a bespoke growth plan and support you, usually for a period of between three and nine months. You can meet and network with other liked-minded businesses and growth experts, who’ve experienced the challenges you’re facing. £2,000 of match funding is available so you can hone the leadership and management skills of your senior managers. And once you’re part of the scheme, you’re eligible for £2500 contribution towards an IP audit.

Who’s been there and done it?

Around 6000 businesses have joined GrowthAccelerator, including the likes of the Fabulous Bakin’ Boys and Waterfront’s own client, Hark Solutions.

John Shirley, a Director of Hark Solutions joined the scheme, which provided the company with a government funded IP Audit, as discussed in Alison Berryman’s blog on ‘The ins and outs of IP audits’.

John said:

“Our experience of the Growth Acceleration scheme has been very positive. We chose the Business Development strand and six months on we are more than half way through the process of coaching.

Our coach is excellent and has enabled us to align the leadership team to agreed goals and we have achieved progress along the way to achieving the strategic aims while still keeping up with the day-to-day. The other benefits of the scheme such as the IP audit have also been of real value to us.

The training opportunities for individuals and teams are also worth taking up and all round it’s good to be part of a government funded scheme delivered in partnership with the private sector that is having a real impact. Thank you British taxpayers and the people at the sharp-end making the delivery work.”

How can I find out more?

Visit for more details. If you’ve joined or are thinking about joining the scheme, let us know about your experiences.