Our Strategic Economic Plan, 2014, stated our intention to establish core business support, via Growth Hubs, across the South East (via each federated area) to improve access to nationally and locally provided business support.
Improving business support
The focus of our Growth Hubs is on improving information flows, linkages and quality across business support services in each South East LEP local area driving behaviours in the business support sector to make the market work more efficiently and effectively by providing impartial information to business about the services available and providing better coordination of existing offers.
Our Growth Hub is founded on a core service offer of a Business Information Portal and local Business Navigators, with the Southend Growth hub as an exemplary model. The portal is a one-stop-shop for businesses looking for information and support.
This information repository will act as an initial reference point for local authorities and business support organisations to help them evaluate the uniqueness of their proposal and identify where potential partnerships or alignment might be more productive.
Local Business Navigators
These are fully funded members of staff, who are the front line for engaging with businesses and partners. They will support businesses in helping them to identify and be aware of the current range of local and national provision. The Growth Hub will seek to engage with all local partners for information sharing and monitoring.
Business Growth – European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
We are currently in the 2014 – 2020 programme for European Regional Development Funding (ERDF). The South East LEP has been notionally allocated £74.1 million to deliver projects within this programme that support research and innovation (priority axis 1), SME growth and competitiveness (priority axis 3) and a shift towards a low carbon economy (priority axis 4).
The objectives of all projects are to support SMEs and create jobs.The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) focuses on supporting business competitiveness, creating jobs, investment in research and innovation, and the low carbon economy.
SELEP’s notional allocation for the 2014-2020 programme (using the recognised 2015/16 exchange rate of 0.78) is £74.1m.