New Velocity business support initiative is clear for take-off

Mar 31, 2014

The new Velocity Growth Hub was unveiled at Cardington Hangar No.1. It offers grants of up to £3,000 to help growing businesses, along with one-to-one mentoring and support from two experienced business advisers, an online portal and telephone helpdesk.

 Velocity, which will run across the SEMLEP sub-region, is backed by grants worth £1.75 million from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Bedfordshire is the first county in which it has been unveiled, with firther events planned for Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.

SEMLEP chief executive Daniel Mouawad (pictured) said: “This is a significant opportunity for businesses in Bedfordshire. One of the main objectives of Velocity Growth Hub is to increase employment opportunities and our aim is to create and protect at least 300 jobs across the South East Midlands.”

Business advisers Clive Haywood and Richard Cooper are both experienced businessmen.

Mr Haywood said: “We are actively looking for business owners in Bedfordshire who want to take their business to the next level, whether that is by exporting, hiring new staff or exploring new markets. We will work with them to set out realistic and measureable growth plans and help turn these plans into a reality.”

The government has welcomed the launch of the Velocity growth hub. Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Small businesses are the cornerstone upon which our long-term economic plan is built. In order for them to thrive, they need the support to start up and scale up.

“The launch of the all-new Growth hub in Bedfordshire is a positive step to providing the right environment for ambitious small businesses to grow and to access the help they need.” 

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