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Oxford Innovation appointed to manage Major New Programmes to Grow Businesses for Cornwall and Isles
Entrepreneurs will benefit from access to coaching, business advice, funding and networks


Oxford Innovation has been appointed to manage two major new programmes worth nearly £9 million that have been launched to support the development of high growth potential businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly over the next three years.

Just over £8m of funding for the programmes has come through the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Convergence programme, with a further £900,000 from the South West Regional Development Agency.

Oxford Innovation is a leader in the provision of business support services and mentoring to start-ups and growing companies. It manages a network of innovation centres across the UK that provide a supportive environment for over 300 high growth start-ups as well as three investment networks that help companies to raise funding. Oxford Innovation’s advisors have delivered specialist advice in business practices to thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs across the UK and run highly successful regional Innovation Advisory Service and Leadership Development programmes.

Oxford Innovation’s team of advisory and coaching staff based across the region will provide focused support to potential entrepreneurs, the founders of high growth potential start-ups and established businesses with unrealised potential. The objective is to create new high value added businesses and help existing companies to expand, thereby generating new high value added jobs for the region.

The aim of the Coaching for High Growth programme is to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with high growth potential to realise their potential and improve their performance. Managers of SMEs will be able to access practical coaching and mentoring assistance delivered by experienced coaches who have worked at board level in SMEs and overcome a range of challenges to expand their businesses. The coaching assistance is free and confidential.

The Starting a High Growth Business programme will assist potential entrepreneurs to start up businesses as well as helping entrepreneurs in start-up firms to develop their businesses. Oxford Innovation’s team of experienced advisors will provide practical, hands-on help with matters ranging from creating or developing a business plan, identifying new markets and developing new products and services to raising funding and building a team. There will be a particular focus on entrepreneurs and start-ups in Camborne, Pool, Redruth, St Austell and the Clay Country.

Oxford Innovation’s team has established its offices at The Old Chapel, Green Bottom, near Truro to serve as a central contact point for companies wishing to access advice and assistance. Its operations are run to the highest environmental standards reflecting the theme of environmental sustainability that underpins the programmes.

Thelma Sorensen, chair of Cornwall Business Partnership which aims to have one voice for business in Cornwall, said: “Much of our ERDF Convergence investment is focussing on economic ambition – people wanting to expand their businesses or to start successful businesses. These packages will support exactly those aims.”

Stephen Bohane, Head of Business Development for the South West RDA in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “This is a significant investment from the RDA and Convergence in unlocking business potential in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It will support our most dynamic businesses and entrepreneurs to help them grow and prosper, creating quality jobs and boosting the economy.”

At a consultation meeting held recently in Truro with key stakeholder organisations, Dr Treve Willis, Oxford Innovation’s Project Director for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “We are delighted and honoured to have been given the opportunity to work with a range of entrepreneurs and high growth potential businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to help them to set up new companies and expand existing operations. The region has a significant industrial heritage and a tradition of self-reliance while the quality of the environment here is renowned – these strengths, combined with mobile ways of working which provide more flexibility for business locations, now provide a distinct competitive advantage.

“We want to build on the region’s strengths and work closely with local and regional partners, as well as connecting entrepreneurs into relevant contacts and networks beyond the region, so that we can help generate many new businesses, some of whom will grow into large companies – the future leading lights of business communities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“I would like to thank representatives of stakeholder organisations in the region for welcoming us so warmly since we have begun operating here. Our team already feels part of the business community.”

Rob Walker, Project Manager for the Coaching for High Growth Programme, said: “High quality coaching has been shown to increase productivity, improve team performance and unlock individuals’ potential. We aim to provide a very practical coaching programme and our team can help managers of SMEs who are looking for a new perspective on a business or would like help with specific issues such as growing businesses through a step change, refining business models, identifying new markets, sourcing new technologies, extending geographical reach and building teams. We are also able to link participants into other business assistance and contacts from our wider networks. I welcome enquiries from business people who are interested in finding out more about the programme.”

Sarah Livingstone, Project Manager for the Starting a High Growth Business Programme, said: “New businesses are the future generators of wealth creation for this region and the UK and there is an increasing culture of entrepreneurship amongst young people in this region. We can help such businesses access the funding, knowledge, expertise and networks needed to boost their growth. I look forward to assisting potential entrepreneurs who want to get started in business as well as start-up companies who would like help in particular business areas so that they can develop further.”

The Coaching for High Growth and Starting a High Growth Business programmes are part financed by the European Union with £8,084,430 from the Convergence European Regional Development Fund, and £898,270 from the South West RDA.

- ENDS -

Notes for editors
Press enquiries to: Margaret Henry, PR Director, Oxford Innovation
Tel: + 44 (0)1865 811199 Email: m.henry@oxin.co.uk

Photos available on request
At the consultation meeting for the two major new programmes to support the development of high growth potential businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly:

1. L-R: Sarah Livingstone (Manager, Starting a High Growth Business programme); Rob Walker (Manager, Coaching for High Growth programme); Carleen Kelemen (Director, Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) and Dr Treve Willis (Oxford Innovation’s Project Director for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly).

2. L-R: Rob Walker (Manager, Coaching for High Growth programme); Sarah Livingstone (Manager, Starting a High Growth Business programme); Carleen Kelemen (Director, Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) and Dr Treve Willis (Oxford Innovation’s Project Director for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly).

About Coaching for High Growth and Starting a High Growth Business
The Coaching for High Growth and Starting a High Growth Business programmes encompass two investments which form part of the Convergence programme seeking to develop high value growth business success in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Coaching for High Growth offers intensive coaching and assistance for up to 30 days to managers of high growth potential SMEs to support the realisation of their potential. The team of business advisors and experienced coaches have a range of board level business and sector experience gained from working in SMEs and facing similar challenges to those now faced by participants on the Coaching programme. The team can help managers who are looking for a new perspective on a business or would like help with specific issues such as growing businesses through a step change, refining business models, identifying new markets, sourcing new technologies, extending geographical reach and building teams.

Starting a High Growth Business assists individuals to start up businesses and helps entrepreneurs in start-up firms to develop their businesses. Advice is provided on issues ranging from developing a business plan and securing funding to identifying new markets, building a team and developing new products and services.

The programmes are managed by Oxford Innovation as part of the Convergence programme which aims to build a stronger economy for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
For more information: www.growcornwall.co.uk

About Oxford Innovation
Oxford Innovation has over 15 years experience of delivering business support and mentoring to thousands of companies of all sizes from start-ups and spin-outs to SMEs and large corporations. Advice is offered on all stages of business development from business planning, protection of intellectual property and securing funding to resource identification, manufacturing and sales and marketing.

Oxford Innovation operates a network of innovation centres that provide flexible office and laboratory space to technology, knowledge-based and creative companies throughout the UK.

Oxford Innovation also manages three highly successful investment networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2 million. For more information: www.oxin.co.uk

Oxford Innovation is part of SQW Group. Other divisions include SQW Consulting, which provides consultancy services in sustainable economic and social development to public sector organisations; SQW Energy, which provides energy market design and carbon management services and SQW Asia, which operates from Hong Kong providing economic and management consultancy services to Asia and international markets. For more information: www.sqwgroup.com

About the South West Regional Development Agency
The South West RDA leads the development of a sustainable economy, investing to unlock the region’s business potential. It is helping companies respond to the economic crisis and chart a course for recovery. The RDA is developing or expanding initiatives which include: establishing a Business Loan Fund; coordinating the response to large companies in difficulty and preparing for economic recovery. For more information: www.southwestrda.org.uk

About the Convergence Programme
In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the Convergence programmes are made up of European Regional Development Fund (£347 million) and European Social Fund (£153 million) Convergence Programmes will run until 2013 and follow the successful Objective One Programme and prior to that Objective 5b. For more information: www.convergencecornwall.com Convergence helpline telephone: 0800 0280120.


Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+ 44 (0)1865 811199
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

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