Our Investment Readiness Service includes bespoke one-to-one consultancy, workshops on budgeting, and support on pitching for investment.
Flying start for Buckinghamshire’s free business growth service
Our free business consultancy service aimed at helping Buckinghamshire businesses that want to grow has proved an instant hit. Launched in February 2018 as part of our ERDF-funded Growth Programme, the Investment Readiness Service is well into its stride, with 15 leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) enrolled and receiving high calibre advice.
Among the first wave of SMEs taking part are a distributor of heating and cooling products, a marketing agency, pet food manufacturer, green energy specialist, online fashion and homeware boutique, and a niche catering company.
The Investment Readiness Service offers eight hours of complementary guidance and combines bespoke one-to-one consultancy with a series of interactive workshops on themes such as budgeting, forecasting and understanding different types of finance. There is also a Dragon’s Den-style session where businesses can learn the secrets of presenting their business plans and vision to potential backers.
“This has led to interest from the right sort of investors”
David Pitt of Enertecgreen Limited is looking to raise a multi-million pound figure to accelerate the growth of his business. Jackson Bavinton, a member of David’s team, said: “As a small company we don’t have the expertise to seek investment, so the opportunity to sit down with experts has been invaluable to set us up to go out to investors. The programme has enabled us to improve our business plan and update our financial model, and has provided us with new investment teasers. This has led to interest from the right sort of investors, and as a direct result we are now in the process of engaging with some of the largest investors in our industry.”
“The quality of advice on offer is outstanding”
Food and healthcare sector consultant Mike Iddon, of Insight & Advice, is working on a strategy to distribute a natural essential nutrition product in the UK. “The quality of advice on offer is outstanding,” he said. “The fact that it comes free of charge makes the Investment Readiness Service a no-brainer, as far as I’m concerned.”
“The whole programme has been a very positive experience”
Carly Ward is trying to build a new dog food brand and is looking for the best options to develop her business. “The Investment Readiness Service team are so knowledgeable and genuinely want to help my business grow,” she said. “The group sessions have been very well run, informative and to the point. The one-to-one sessions have given me a tremendous insight. The whole programme has been a very positive experience and enabled me to think about my business in a different way.”
Growth Grants of £1,000 are available to help small businesses in the county to grow.
If your business is considering spending £4,000 (excl VAT) or more on a growth activity such as website development, SEO and marketing, specialist consultancy, CRM and software, you may be eligible for our £1,000 Growth Grant.
5 Steps to claiming your Growth Grant
- Get in touch with the Growth Team at Buckinghamshire Business First to find out if your business and project idea is eligible. We will send you a simple application form, which will take about 1 hour to complete.
- Send back your completed form along with the quote for the work you wish to undertake.
- The Growth Team will review the application within 5 working days and once approved you can instruct your supplier to get cracking!
- Complete the work within 3 months and pay your supplier for the work that matches the quotation. Send us evidence of payment with the completed claim form.
- £1,000 will be paid into your account within 10 working days of the approved claim!