Hertfordshire Growth Hub boosts local economy by £12.2m
A recent independent report highlights the integral role played by the Hertfordshire Growth Hub in enhancing the competitiveness and growth capacity of ambitious local businesses
A recent independent report, carried out by Kada Research, has shown that over the last two years Hertfordshire Growth Hub contributed £12.2m to the local economy and created 190 jobs. The report highlights the integral role the Growth Hub plays in enhancing the competitiveness of ambitious local businesses and their capacity to grow in regional, national and international markets.
The service is at the core of local business provision and since its inception in 2014, has delivered impartial support to in excess of 1,700 Hertfordshire-based SMEs. Offering in-depth guidance and advice to businesses that have the propensity to grow, the Growth Hub ensures that all businesses in the county have access to the most appropriate support options available, at any stage of their growth journey. The launch of the Industrial Strategy has increased the focus on innovation, productivity, scale-up and skills, which has led to the Growth Hub's services being aligned to ensure businesses receive the advice and insight needed to succeed.
The report shows that in Hertfordshire, whilst innovation levels are strong it is mostly seen within larger companies, so emphasis needs to be placed on supporting start-ups to grow into the larger businesses of tomorrow. 71% of businesses cited improvements in their approach to growth as an outcome of working with the Growth Hub and 45% stated improved productivity as the wider benefit of accessing the Growth Hub service.
Whilst Hertfordshire is recognised as a county with a highly skilled workforce, businesses cite a struggle to compete with the opportunities and salaries of London as a significant challenge to their business growth. With 20% of the Hertfordshire workforce commuting into the capital daily, it is vital the Growth Hub service supports businesses to attract and retain top talent. It is also important to harness the talent of the future, to which end the Growth Hub’s Skills Brokerage Service offers a £1,500 apprenticeship grant to businesses, enabling them to build the capacity of their people.
The Growth Hub’s service has been strengthened by the recently formed consortium led by business support services provider Exemplas, together with the University of Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. The consortium recently secured the new contract and will lead the development of the Growth Hub to deliver on the Hertfordshire LEP’s intentions for the Local Industrial Strategy.