The Growth Company expands with national business offer

Richard Jeffery

Pioneering social enterprise, the Growth Company, has launched a new national proposition, GC Business, aiming to play a key role in the UK’s business support ecosystem.

GC Business has been set up to improve productivity and prosperity by supporting local authorities and the Government to reshape national economic redistribution policies. Under the new national ‘levelling up’ framework, it will support regional efforts to scale-up businesses and industry sectors that are deemed to hold the greatest potential for the country to compete on an international stage.

Drawing on the Growth Company’s (GC) 30-plus years of expertise, insights and data, GC Business will partner with business and economic development leaders across the country on its mission to create and grow thriving companies.  GC Business is providing better access to expertise, enabling inclusive and sustainable growth ‘that leaves no community behind’.

The expansion is being led by Richard Jeffery, who was at the helm of GC Business Growth Hub for ten years – founding and developing the country’s first growth hub, and the inspiration for a network which now gives businesses across England access to expert support.

As national director, Jeffery will spearhead GC Business’s full range of integrated support services for public, private and third sector commissioners – from strategy and consulting work through to design, mobilisation and delivery of programmes.

He said: “GC Business will transform the prospects thousands of businesses in the UK each year by delivering publicly and privately-backed growth and productivity improvements.

“Our vision is for a society where economic growth and prosperity is inclusive, sustainable and leaves no person or community behind. I’m excited that we’ll be helping to create a future founded on thriving businesses that create well-paid jobs for talented and empowered individuals across our diverse communities.​”

Jeffery is joined by Andrew Toolan who has been appointed as senior consultant for GC Business. Mr Toolan previously held the position of Head of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at MIDAS, Greater Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency.

Having recently developed a Net Zero strategy and a USA market strategy for MIDAS, he will support the overall management and development of the Growth Company’s new national business support offer with a particular focus on delivering consultancy projects across the country.

Business capacity building, net zero and innovation are just some of the areas in which GC Business can support organisations. It can also advise on governance, performance monitoring and impact measurement.

The work of GC Business will build on GC’s strong reputation and experience of delivering multi-million contracts in areas including:

  • Business growth: GC founded the country’s first Business Growth Hub almost 10 years ago in in Greater Manchester – a model now replicated in 38 areas across England. GC working with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy now also helps to co-ordinate and develop the Growth Hub networks activities
  • Internationalisation: GC has delivered the Department of International Trade’s export contract in the North West of England since 2007 and continues to innovate through new programmes including the Global Scale Up programme, which has provided support for businesses across England
  • Digital transformation: GC delivers the Made Smarter programme in the North West, which, following a successful pilot, has launched in three additional regions in England
  • Net zero: GC delivers an award-winning resource efficiency programme, helping businesses to transition to a low carbon economy, which has helped SMEs to save more than two million tonnes of carbon – and £500m in energy, material and waste costs – since 2012
  • Peer Networks: In 2020, GC worked with BEIS to develop the Peer Network programmes from policy concept through to on the ground delivery across every LEP area.

Mark Hughes, chief executive of the Growth Company, said: “This expansion cements our aim to be the national provider of business support services, driving sustainable economic growth as part of the levelling-up agenda, and playing a key role in the UK’s post-EU transition and COVID-19 recovery.

“We have honed our expertise over 30 years, helping local and national economic development leaders create and grow thriving businesses.

“Organisations that choose to work with us will have access to unparalleled real-time understanding of business dynamics and data at both a national and local level.”

Richard Jeffery, national director of the new initiative, said: “We look forward to working further with government, towns, cities, regions and the private sector to create services and transformational leaders, and accelerate sustainable business growth across the country.

“We are uniquely placed to advise, based on our experience and understanding of the extensive challenges that leaders face. Whether it’s related to inclusive growth and innovation, attracting investment or tapping into global opportunities, we are here to help.”

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