New Business Growth Service to offer export advice
Last week, the Government announced the launch of the Business Growth Service, which incorporates the existing GrowthAccelerator and Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) programmes.
It is hoped that the Business Growth Service will “make it easier for businesses with the potential, capability and capacity to improve and grow to access expert advice and support.” The new service will also offer export advice, so this week , we take a look at what it means for local SMEs, particularly those interested in export.
The new Business Growth Service (BGS) brings together a range of expertise under the tag line “Support, advice and inspiration for growing your business”. Both GrowthAccelerator and MAS will from part of the new service and depending on the support they need, businesses will also be linked up with experts from other Government services including UK Trade & Investment, the UK Enterprise Fund, Innovate UK and local growth hubs.
In addition to coaching, consultancy, mentoring, training and access to finance, the new service offers export advice to businesses looking to grow.
Why the changes?
The Government has been looking to ensure that a fully integrated and joined up service with improved customer focus is delivered, whilst of course delivering best value for the taxpayer, given that this is a publicly-funded business support service. The Business Growth Service therefore brings together the best specialist advice, export and finance support so that businesses with the ambition and capacity to grow can obtain personalised support.
What impact will it have upon existing GrowthAccelerator and MAS support?
The new BGS is still being developed, but in the meantime current GrowthAccelerator and MAS contracts will continue to run until 31 March nest year.
Over the next few months, GrowthAccelerator and MAS will be fully integrated into the new service and additional funding of £160m has been promised for two years from April 2015. The new BGS will also offer export advice, although there is no set budget for this work, as it will depend upon demand for export advice as part of UKTI’s overall range of trade services.
If current assignments are unlikely to complete by the contract end date, it is anticipated that the end date will be extended as appropriate to allow completion and ensure businesses receive support as agreed.
What’s new for SMEs as of today?
Businesses will notice the new brand of the Business Growth Service which is already being used and whilst the MAS and GrowthAccelerator websites have already closed, enquiries are being redirected to the new website www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/
How does it affect how businesses work with the current services?
There should be no change, although the services will operate under the Business Growth Service. There is no change in terms of delivery of the service – it’s all about how businesses access services in future, including coaching, consultancy, mentoring, training, access to finance and export advice.
If you have any queries or are interested in growing your business by branching out into export markets in Kazakhstan, get in touch.