KIRKLEES companies with star quality are getting a helping hand.

GrowthAccelerator has been launched by the Government to focus on small and medium-sized businesses with the potential for rapid and sustained growth – to double their turnover in the next three or four years and achieve a growth rate of 20% year-on-year.

The UK-wide programme, which can apply to firms in any sector, has been backed by a £200m investment by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is being delivered in the Kirklees area by Leeds-based business improvement specialist Winning Pitch.

The company specialises in helping businesses develop through marketing, team building, personal development and customised training programmes.

Companies eligible for the GrowthAccelerator programme have to be registered limited companies based in England, employ fewer than 250 people and have turnover below £400m.

The partnership between the private sector and Government will see proven business experts working with companies to identify their barriers to growth and ways to overcome them – covering issues such as securing finance, turning innovative ideas into commercial products or developing leadership skills.

The programme includes an online “Growth Mapper” to provide a 360-degree assessment of the business.

Ann Storey, of Winning Pitch, said: “We focus on the areas that are holding a business back and what is stopping them from growing. We bring in a proven expert in business to coach them and help them overcome the barriers.

“In Yorkshire, we have 70 coaches who are all independent and have been proven to deliver results. They have worked in senior positions, grown a business and achieved things.”

Firms get one-to-one coaching for up to 10 days as well as the opportunity to attend workshops and networking events.”

Ann, who is based in Leeds but also works at the Media Centre in Huddersfield and the Wakefield offices of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have already been able to assist some fabulous local businesses in sectors such as engineering, web design and healthcare with coaching in areas such as access to finance, innovation and business development.

“Companies trying to get into international markets can use us alongside organisations such as UKTI to undertaken feasibility studies.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “GrowthAccelerator is an exciting new programme that is at the heart of the Government’s commitment to help businesses deliver growth by increasing their chance of gaining access to finance and spurring innovation.

“The £200m programme will deliver high quality coaching to a range of businesses that will help them grow and give the economy a real boost.

“The UK boasts vibrant small and medium-sized businesses that have the chance to become the household names of tomorrow.

“With targeted support we are giving entrepreneurs a fantastic opportunity to take their businesses forward to succeed both here and abroad. I look forward to seeing what this great programme helps them achieve in the future.”

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