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A time to reflect, assess and plan for the future

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WITH the end of the year rapidly approaching and Christmas just around the corner, many individuals and organisations will start looking back over the past year. Although the lockdowns have ended and restrictions have eased, it is still an incredibly challenging environment, both on a personal and commercial level. 

Businesses have had to work hard and innovate to survive. And that hard work now seems to be paying off.

As well as being a time to look back, it is also a time to look forward. As the end of the year approaches, we need to start thinking about the year ahead, to plan for the challenges that are sure to come and to prepare to grasp the opportunities that will appear. 

Hopefully the year ahead will be easier than the previous two but it is still certain to bring its own hurdles and setbacks. Every business needs to do everything it can to ensure that it is ready to meet them.

However, you do not have to do this alone. By joining the Growth Curve Programme, you will gain the opportunity to discuss your business, its challenges, and your aspirations for the future with one of SEMLEP’s high growth business advisers before going on to attend a university masterclass.

This masterclass consists of a series of intensive, interactive sessions that will focus on developing and honing your leadership and business management skills. These sessions will cover a wide range of topics that could include sales, marketing, human resources and operational efficiency.

The programme is designed to help you to learn how to take a step back and look at your business from different angles. This will provide you with new insights into the challenges your business faces and allow you to see how other organisations are overcoming similar hurdles. You will learn new ways of working to better lead yourself and your team and develop an action plan to address the most urgent and important issues facing your business. 

It also gives you an invaluable opportunity to connect with like-minded people who can be a source of motivation, support and guidance.

Vicky Hlomuka, SEMLEP’s Growth Hub manager

Once you have completed the programme you will continue to get ongoing support as well as access to a network of your fellow Growth Curve alumni. 

Businesses are scaling up across the area and the opportunity to share experiences should not be overlooked. This month The ScaleUp Report will be published. This report is designed to help businesses like yours take stock of the current situation, to see where you are, to get an idea of the economic health of the region and to understand the common barriers to growth. 

Make sure to take a look at the report to get a better understanding of your business landscape. You never know what you might learn. 

As part of Growth Curve, you will also be notified of future grant funding for which you may be eligible, such as Recovery and Resilience Grants and Additional Restrictions Grants. 

Growth Curve is run by SEMLEP’s Growth Hub, in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, Cranfield University and the University of Northampton, and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 

In order to be eligible to apply to join the Growth Curve programme, your company must be a SME (maximum turnover of €50 million or annual balance sheet of €43 million) based in the South East Midlands, have between three and 250 employees and before the pandemic have had annual turnover of £200,000 and been experiencing or projecting high growth for between two and three years.

Find out more at the SEMLEP Growth Hub website www.semlepgrowthhub.com

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