Cirencester Growth Hub
The Growth Hub is here to help your business maximise its potential.
Whether it's sourcing funding, developing your team or breaking into new markets; our experts are on-hand to consult, connect and collaborate.
We're here to help every growing business grow. To do this, we need to ask you a few questions to ascertain the best shape and size of support on offer.
The first stage is registering on our website, by doing so we can check your eligibility and suitability across our range of support options.
Depending on the growth stage of your business, different options will be available to you:
All Gloucestershire businesses are able to access our online business support, attend our networking events and use The Growth Hub space.
The next tier (access to our workshops and 1-2-1 events) will be open to businesses that meet European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) eligibility criteria.
At a higher level, our in-house Business Navigators and Business Guides are on-hand to offer bespoke support to businesses that show moderate growth and high growth respectively.
Therefore an early-stage business can access each level of support in turn; as it grows and meets the criteria for the next.
Business support can be accessed remotely via our website, via telephone, or in-person whether at your place of work or one of our Growth Hubs around Gloucestershire.
You can also add your Gloucestershire business to our business Directory, or use it to find contacts to help your business grow.
Discover more about our specialist team of Business Navigators and Business Guides, the experts on-hand to help your business grow.
We are expanding across the county to make support accessible to your business, no matter where in Gloucestershire it's based.
The Growth Hub is a Gloucestershire-wide network of business centres, where you can get free help and support to help you grow. As well as direct consultancy and advice, The Growth Hub also offers online events and workshops, and much more.
While our physical spaces are closed, our co-working spaces and meeting rooms aren’t available, but we’re working hard to make them safe to use and will let you know when they reopen.
All of our business support is completely free-of-charge. We’re funded by the European Regional Development Fund, which means that all of our advice, consultancy and events are free for Gloucestershire businesses.
There are two main avenues of direct business support at The Growth Hub:
If you’re in the first few years of trading and experiencing healthy growth, you can tap into the expertise of one of our Business Navigators. This team of highly-connected and experienced advisors are able to make the introductions and referrals that can change the direction of your business.
If you’re a larger, or more rapidly growing business, then it’s onto one of our Business Guides. Having been there and done that themselves, our Guides are extremely experienced consultants who have worked with thousands of businesses over 20+ years. They bring their insight of big business to your boardroom table, and directly support you in projects, plans and strategies to help you scale up.
We also run a full events programme run by local experts to help you fast-track your learning in specific areas of business. From social media to cash flow, and HR Law to strategy, there’s a workshop or 1-2-1 to help you break down barriers to growth.
Everything starts with our digital portal. With a few details about your business, we can diagnose which of our support services are best suited for your growth stage. You can apply for support directly on the home page of our website.
We’re here to help you solve the challenges you tell us about, find the ones you don’t know about, and pick up the bill at the end. There are enough barriers to your growth without you not knowing where to turn for support, or not being able to afford it.
Bring us your questions, and we’ll find your answers.
Every Growth Hub is different, but they’re all home to co-working spaces to help you get away from the hustle and bustle. Some of them are free to use, some of them are on a paid membership basis
Our co-working spaces are currently closed while we make our Hubs across Gloucestershire safe for you and our teams. As soon as they are open we’ll update you here, and on our social media channels.
Each Growth Hub has a selection of meeting rooms available for you to use. Whether these be intimate spaces for a 1-to-1 or interview, an AV room for conference or video calls, or a larger office for your board meeting; you’ll find something suitable for your meeting. Some Growth Hubs offer these rooms for free, some of them are rented by the hour, half-day, or day.
Like our co-working, our meeting rooms are currently unavailable while we make our Hubs across Gloucestershire safe for everyone. As soon as they are open we’ll update you here, and on our social media channels.
All of our events and workshops are free-of-charge, funded by ERDF like the rest of our business support. If you haven’t used your funded hours yet, then you’ll be guaranteed a space (as long as you’re fast enough!) If you have used all of your hours, then don’t worry, we’ll still add you to the waiting list and offer you a free place if it doesn’t fill up. More often than not, you’ll be able to get a space.
At the moment, all our events are delivered online. This means you can log-in from wherever you’re working and access the same bespoke support as before. We’re keeping groups small so you can share and learn from your peers, and get the maximum value from each event.
Wrong! We’re here for every single Gloucestershire business, from solo entrepreneurs, to start-ups, to multi-million-pound firms. But we’re really here for those businesses which are going to grow, create jobs, and help the county prosper.
We will soon be able to offer funding to Gloucestershire businesses in the tourism sector. This fund will be open for applications in September 2020. If you’d like to find out more about this fund, then click here.
Additionally, we have relationships with all of the local and national funding providers and we often hear about opportunities before the market does. If you’re one of our clients, you’ll be the first to find out.
You will never need to pay for a Growth Hub event. If you’ve used all of your funded hours, you can still apply for our events and you’ll be added to the waiting list. If the event doesn’t fill up with business leaders who haven’t used their funded hours, we’ll offer you a place. More often than not, you’ll be able to get in.
Helping you get more business, and grow, is our priority. That’s why we set up our online directory, on which you can create a free profile to advertise your product or services. It will give you access to the 2,000+ monthly visitors we get to our website, and increase your chances of being found by your customers.
GFirst LEP is the Local Enterprise Partnership for Gloucestershire. Set up by UK Government in 2011, LEPs are designed to create opportunities and drive economic growth in their home county. We are lucky to have an extremely active and successful LEP in Gloucestershire, which manages a wide range of projects including developing road and transport infrastructure, building training and education facilities, and, of course, keeping The Growth Hub lights on.
Whilst we share a building, and work very closely together, The Growth Hub and Start and Grow Enterprise are two different projects. Start and Grow Enterprise specialise in supporting pre-start and early stage businesses, whilst The Growth Hub mainly supports established and high-growth firms.
There’s a Growth Hub for every business in England, but we’re just for Gloucestershire companies. To find your local Growth Hub, visit https://www.lepnetwork.net/growth-hubs/
Your financial figures help us to assess which of our support options are most suited for your business, but we also need to prove to our funders that we’re working with the right sorts of businesses, and most importantly, helping them to grow.
If our digital portal tells you that you’re eligible for Business Navigator support, then you’re guaranteed a minimum of 3 hours. If it tells you that you’re eligible for Business Guide support, then you’re guaranteed a minimum of 12 hours. Of course, most businesses will receive much more than this, in the form of free attendance at events and workshops, or ad-hoc meetings and calls with your Navigator or Guide even after you’ve finished. We will never cut you off.
Great, we’re working on that now. Within the next couple of days, we’ll be in touch to discuss the options available to you. Hold tight, we get a lot of applications!
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You can continue to take advantage of the productivity and networking opportunities of our co-working spaces when they reopen, along with applying for our events and workshops. They are primarily for businesses which haven’t used their allocated hours, but there are normally spaces for those who have.
The time you’re entitled to is based on the time it takes for a Navigator or Guide to support you. This includes the time they spend researching solutions for you, answering your questions on phone calls, registering you for free events and, of course, face-to-face meetings.
Don’t be disheartened when you sign off your support plan though, we’ll never cut you off from future support. You can still use our co-working spaces when they reopen, you can still attend online events, and you can always pick up the phone to talk to us.
We can connect you with a number of people who can help you apply for funding, including bid writers and grant specialists. If you’re working with a Business Guide, they may be able to support you directly in your application.