Innovating for Growth

Too busy running your business to make plans for growth? We can help. 

If you are an ambitious, London-based, small business looking to grow into a new market, launch a new product or implement a new process but aren’t sure how, read on.

Innovating for Growth is a free, intensive, 3-month support programme worth over £10,000.

You will receive expert advice and support on business strategy, sustainability, branding, intellectual property, product development and much more. We will help you clarify goals, overcome challenges and turn your business into a bigger success. You will complete the programme a more confident and knowledgeable entrepreneur.

We have supported over 250 businesses and 70% have increased their turnover or taken on extra staff after one year of completing the programme.

Follow us on Twitter @BIPC and sign up to our newsletter to find out about the next application deadline. 

Over a 3-month period, you will receive  

  • Bespoke business advice and support to identify the obstacles to your growth and make the right decisions on strategy for your business 
  • Dedicated Relationship Manager to support you throughout and help you to make the most of the Centre's additional resources  
  • In-depth meeting with a business expert to discuss your strategy and write your 3-month Innovating for Growth plan  
  • Help to protect and exploit your intellectual property  
  • Experts who can help you use market information to assess your options and make informed decisions for your business  
  • Brand assessment and help to develop this to best meet the needs of your customers  
  • Assistance with forming a strategy to break into your identified market  
  • Regular free networking events with peers to spark ideas and discuss new business opportunities  
  • Opportunity to share the experience with other businesses growing at a similar rate and experiencing the same challenges
  • One-to-one sessions on business growth strategy with Red Ochre, product development with Makersco, protecting your business with absLaw, increasing your market share with Gearing Up, and learning how to make people love your brand with ABA Design.
  • One-to-one advice on how to search for business information using our resources at the Business & IP Centre
  • Research service based on your needs for business and intellectual property information

Additional benefits for your business 

  • Feature in our media and marketing campaigns including on the Centre's website, which has over 1 million visitors per annum, to help raise the profile of your business 
  • All one-to-one meetings offered at your convenience for time and location – we can come to your offices 
  • Use of British Library rooms to conduct interviews with potential new staff members (subject to availability) 
  • Complimentary tickets to our Inspiring Entrepreneurs events with a chance to meet the speakers backstage. Previous speakers include Lord Sugar, Richard Reed (Innocent Drinks) and Sophie Cornish (Not on the Highstreet)
  • Continuous support for your small business beyond the initial training period including exclusive membership of the monthly peer-to-peer networking 'Growth Club'. 

Eligibility  

  • You should be a small business* registered or trading in a London borough or the City of London 
  • You should have been trading for a minimum of a year and have proven sales  
  • You have an annual turnover of over £100,000 
  • You want to grow your business by 25% over 2 years and generate employment 
  • You need to demonstrate how our support would overcome your barriers to growth, by helping you develop new products, services, processes or markets  
  • You must be prepared to share information about your business in order to participate, including financial information. All information will be kept strictly confidential 
  • It is critical that you commit to the face-to-face training and mentoring provided, which is a minimum of 12 hours across 3 months  
  • You must be committed to providing evidence of implementing your growth strategy on completion of the programme 
  • The applicant and participant on the programme must be the primary owner (or primary co-owner) of the business    

*Your business has an annual turnover less than £45m, employs less than 250 people and is not more than 25% owned by a large enterprise   

N.B. Retail businesses are not eligible for business support as part of this programme. If you are unsure whether you fit in this category, please contact us at Innovating@bl.uk 

More about Innovating for Growth businesses

The Decorators

The Decorators is an exciting young business made up of four friends who met at uni. They turned their passion for working with space into an experiential design business. Find out more from founding partner Carolina Caicedo about how the programme helped The Decorators become a successful company. 

Packshot and Stills

Barrie Gordon was inspired by big brands he worked with, like ASOS, and decided to start his own business, Packshot and Stills, a photographic company focusing on commercial product and fashion photography. Find out more about how Barrie got his business off the ground. 

Amelia Rope Chocolate

Amelia Rope immersed herself in the chocolate industry and has come up with new and innovative flavours to tantalise our taste buds. Find out how she got started and how the programme is helping her transform her luxury chocolate business. 

How to apply  

1. Please check that you meet the Innovating for Growth criteria   

2. Download an application form  

3. Complete the application form. The form is very short and should only take 30 minutes to complete  

4. Return the completed application form to Innovating@bl.uk  

How we assess your application 

1. The application will be assessed by our panel of external business advisors 

2. You will be contacted within 2 weeks and informed of the progress of your application  

3. If you are successful, you will attend a preliminary meeting with your dedicated Relationship Manager and a business expert to work out your tailored three month growth programme together.  

We’ve created a strategic plan to grow our business 30% p.a. for the next 3-5 years. The support has offered our established business a chance to step back and see things more objectively.

Jo Lush, Business Development Manager, GX Glass

The bi-monthly Growth Clubs are an excellent extension to the programme, supplementing our learning and giving us the opportunity to network with our peers.

Ken Davey, Owner, Smarter Grower Champagne

We found the IP session incredibly valuable and well presented. The help we received was so clear that we didn’t need hire a lawyer to implement the changes!

Tom Gueterbock, Managing Director, Socially Bright

Innovating for Growth has fast-tracked 33Shake’s performance by several years while the Business & IP Centre’s resources, particularly with regards market research and IP continue to be one of the most powerful tools in our business toolkit.

Warren Pole, Co-founder, 33Shake

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