Knowlton Project Support

Top 5 Business Growth programmes for 2013

It seems to me that here in the UK, public sector organisations are falling over themselves in trying to provide help to small and medium sized businesses.

With the plethora of business support programmes, matched funding, grants and interest free loans how should business leaders target their scarce time to review what’s available?

Here are my TOP 5 for 2013, please let me know what do you think – I will update this list based on feedback received.

  1. Growth Accelerator
  2. Manufacturing Advisory Service
  3. UKTI
  4. Expansions East Kent (Regional Growth Fund)
  5. TIGER fund (Regional Growth Fund)

A brief ‘snapshot’ of each programme below


Introduced in 2012, GrowthAccelerator provides world-class growth experts to work with the leaders of high-growth potential small and medium sized businesses to provide them with the know-how and ability to achieve sustainable growth. The service focuses on addressing the real challenges facing the business and assists in defining the right growth plan.


To be eligible, businesses need to be registered in England with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover under £40m.

What do you have to invest?

Your investment in GrowthAccelerator will reflect the size of your business:

Micro and start-up businesses (up to 9 employees) – £600; Small businesses (10 to 49 employees) – £1,500; Medium-sized companies (50 to 249 employees) – £3,000.

What is provided by GA?

  • Expert support and guidance from an experience business coach, carefully selected to match the specific needs within your business.
  • Highly flexible funding for Leadership and Management training – £2000 matched funded grant for every manager.
  • A comprehensive Intellectual property audit supported by a  £3000 grant.
  • Access to specialist workshops covering Strategy, Marketing and Finance.

Esablished for over 7 years now and highly valued  by the industry, The Manufacturing Advisory Service is for manufacturers who want to grow their business, and have matched funding available to help bring specialist knowledge into companies to do this.

What funding is available?

  • Up to 50% funding towards the cost of a project
  • Projects must have a demonstrated business benefit
  • Up to three grants in a rolling twelve months
  • An average of £1,500 per grant

What projects can MAS provide funding for?

  • Business strategy to improve sales and commercial performance
  • Marketing consultancy to identify new sales channels
  • Product development consultancy
  • Efficiency improvements
  • Bespoke/product tooling
  • In company training on an advanced manufacturing process or technology
  • Consultancy to support an ISO9001 implementation or other standards

This is not an exhaustive list, any project will be considered where you need specialist knowledge to grow the business.

Who is eligible for the funding?

Any company involved in the manufacturing supply chain including companies involved in Research, Design and development, Production, Assembly, Logistics, end of life management and much more.

UK Trade & Investment staff are experts in Helping Your Business Grow Internationally. They provide expert trade advice and practical support to UK-based companies wishing to grow their business overseas. With 2,400 staff and a presence in 96 countries, UKTI can assist you on every step of the exporting journey.

Through a range of unique services, including participation at selected trade fairs, outward missions and providing bespoke market intelligence, UKTI can help you crack foreign markets and get to grips quickly with overseas regulations and business practice.

UKTI can provide:  

  • An export health check to assess your company’s trade development needs & help develop a plan of action,
  • Export skills training,
  • Access to an experienced local International Trade Adviser,
  • Access to providers who can assist with export documentation and regulatory issues,
  • Specialist help with tackling cultural and language issues when communicating with overseas customers and partners,
  • Advice on how to go about market research and the possibility of a grant towards approved market research projects,
  • On-going support to help your business continue to develop overseas trade and look at dealing with more sophisticated activities or markets,
  • A quarterly international business magazine specially for small and medium-sized enterprises, and
  • Advice on the comprehensive range of international trade help available from UKTI and others.

Regional Growth Fund for Kent

Expansion East Kent (From April 2012)

  • Canterbury, Shepway, Dover and Thanet
  • £35m available in the form of 0% interests loan

TIGER fund (From April 2013)
Dartford, Gravesham, Medway, Swale, Thurrock

The scheme will loan between £10,000 and £2 million for a range of projects including capital purchases and funding will be available from 1st April 2013, contact

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