A business support network which helps SMEs across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire to scale up and create jobs helps has enabled three quarters of the businesses it has worked with over the past 12 months to boost their in-house knowledge.
The D2N2 Growth Hub, which launched in 2016, has also helped 54% of the businesses it has worked with to innovate, 27% to invest in new technology and 16% to increase their turnover.
A further seven percent of the businesses it has supported have created new jobs over the past year, with the same percentage of businesses increasing their exports. It also helped 13% of businesses to access funding.
Of the businesses which have received D2N2 Growth Hub support, 89% would recommend the service to other SMEs, with 64% saying they had taken positive action as a result of the support they received.
And 81% of businesses the Growth Hub has helped have rated the support they received as either excellent or good.
The results are from the annual customer satisfaction survey of the D2N2 Growth Hub. Independent researchers spoke to around 350 of the 1,750 businesses the Growth Hub supported between January 2018 and January 2019.
The Growth Hub provides free, impartial advice to help businesses grow. Its support is available to start-ups, growing businesses and companies who are ready to scale up their operations.
With a vast array of services on offer from the public, private and third sectors, many businesses struggle to find the best services to fit their needs.
The D2N2 Growth Hub fills this gap by providing up-to-date, valuable and relevant information, guidance and support.
D2N2 Growth Hub Manager Chris Pook said: “It’s clear from the results of this survey that the Growth Hub is having a real and positive impact on local businesses, by providing them with the support and advice they need to grow.
“All the headline indicators are up on previous years.
“With the Growth Hub moving into its next phase, with new advisers being recruited and a new grant scheme coming soon, we should hopefully see these results improve further as we continue our work to support growing businesses across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, which are the lifeblood of our economy.”
One of the Nottinghamshire businesses that has received support from the D2N2 Growth Hub is family-run mobile coffee retailer The Split Screen Coffee Company.
The firm sells delicious locally-roasted coffee and other treats from a specially-adapted van, which can be found at various events, as well as catering for corporate clients and private parties.
Managing Director Jen Walker said: “The D2N2 Growth Hub is easy to get in touch with, friendly to deal with, and had experience that helped me see through some challenges in my business.
“Meetings with my adviser allowed me time to talk through some wild ambitions and formulate a clear way forward that was exciting yet manageable, while the free courses available had a direct impact on my business’ online presence and financial health.”