A business support programme that helps companies across Coventry and Warwickshire to take the next steps to growth has been extended for a further period.
Business Ready, which is run by University of Warwick Science Park and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Warwickshire County Council as part of the CW Business: Start, Grow & Scale Programme, has been helping ambitious, tech-based SME firms for more than six years.
Such has been the success of the programme, Business Ready has now been awarded a further £507,000 worth of funding to continue the work until at least June 2023.
Since 2016, the programme has helped companies across the region raise more than £9 million in funding – either through grants or investment – and has seen the creation of more than 140 jobs.
In the most recent phase, from 2019 to the end of 2021, the team at Business Ready has interacted with more than 600 companies and ventures and has delivered long term assistance to more than 100 businesses. It has also helped to nurture 27 high-growth potential companies through their first years of establishing themselves.
The team has also delivered 90 workshops for businesses with over 870 participants being upskilled through the events.
Ian McFarlane-Toms, Business Ready Programme Manager, said it was positive news for the regional economy.
He said: “We are very pleased that the Business Ready Programme has been extended until June 2023 to ensure that more companies across the region can benefit from the support.
“It has already had a very positive impact on individual companies across Coventry and Warwickshire and, therefore, the wider economy and this extension means that great work will continue.
“When the programme was started in 2016, it was with an understanding of what businesses really needed if they were going to grow quickly.
“We identified that they required access to finance, access to markets, access to skills and knowledge, and access to incubation space.
“Through our team of business advisors and our extensive connections across the region, we have worked with each individual company to tailor the help we’ve given them to their own needs.
“It has worked brilliantly and the feedback from the businesses we’ve helped has been extremely positive. We are looking forward to helping many more companies between now and the end of the programme.”
Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, Cllr Kam Kaur, said: “The Business Ready programme has been an unqualified success in helping to support businesses through the pressures of the pandemic and enabling them to stabilise and grow.
“Warwickshire County Council is pleased to continue to support this programme and I urge all business to consider whether the Business Ready programme and the wider CW Business: Start, Grow & Scale Programme could benefit them.”
For more information on Business Ready, please go to https://business-ready.co.uk/
Notes to Editor
The project is receiving up to £3.6 Million of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.