Scale Up: East Sussex

Mentoring & 1:1 Support

 

Context

A new East Sussex Scale-Up Programme was developed by East Sussex County Council to market test three different business scale-up support approaches. The aim was for each of the three pilot projects to support a small number of businesses with the objective of helping them to scale up and increase their turnover by at least 10% during the programme and 20% per year.

The target market for the programme was established small companies that had been trading for at least five years and were already employing at least five people. These companies were not or had not recently been scale-up or gazelle companies as defined by the OECD. A key objective of running this pilot Programme was to discover what works best when supporting companies to scale.

These pilot programmes were delivered by three delivery bodies that successfully tendered for them – always possible was appointed to focus on a sector-based approach, namely centred around the Built Environment.

The learning and lessons from the pilot programmes were intended to play a key role in informing future development and delivery of business support programmes in East Sussex.

Challenge

The project needed to focus on a specific sector of the East Sussex economy, the built environment & construction, and exploring potential benefits of a sector focus on the programme.

It was anticipated that businesses in the same sector may have similar needs, challenges and customers and a key aspect of this pilot was to investigate whether this approach allows for greater peer to peer relationships or sees a larger percentage of companies collaborating or selling to each other. A specific challenge of this pilot was be to identify and recruit companies that were not in competition with one another.

The target was for 9-12 businesses to receive at least 12 hours of diagnostics, mentoring and training over a 6 month period – each having demonstrable impact on each businesses’ capacity to grow.

Intervention

  • Engagement and recruitment
  • Business support design
  • 1:1 mentoring
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Diagnostic healthcheck

Outcome

  • Engagement and recruitment ✓
  • Business support design ✓
  • 1:1 mentoring ✓
  • Workshop facilitation ✓
  • Diagnostic healthcheck ✓