Edge Hill University has teamed up with The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to help dozens of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region to scale-up. 

The University’s Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC) has expanded its popular Innovation Sprint Programme to enable 39 SMEs in the region to access its service. 

The programme is designed to help businesses to critically evaluate their performance and achieve significant productivity improvements. 

Professor Simon Bolton, Director of the PIC said: “We are delighted to be able to deliver our growth programme to SMEs within the Liverpool City Region. 

“The programme is highly regarded across Lancashire and the benefits and impact of the programme and the feedback from participants over the last three years has been fantastic. We are looking forward to working with Growth Platform and partners to deliver a holistic range of support to help maximise SME high growth opportunities.” 

The PIC programme is part of a range of support that has been brought together by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and made available through Growth Platform – the Liverpool City Region Growth Company.  

The team of business experts from the PIC have successfully delivered the programme to 135 SMEs across Lancashire over the past three years. On average, the growth achieved was 29 per cent with more than 50 new products launched. 

At the programme’s core is a data-driven innovation methodology, which helps SMEs manage the uncertainty and risk involved in developing a scale-up or growth strategy. Business experts and academics from the PIC work with the decision-makers from the business to help them increase their competitiveness in domestic and international markets and the level of resilience in their business model.   

Decision-makers from the business will work on a 1-2-1 basis with academics and the team of business experts and attend a series of online intensive workshops that are delivered through an interactive digital facilitated platform.  

One business that has completed the programme is Lancashire-based VIVA PR. The company achieved an increase in revenue of 38 per cent and 11 new clients. 

Tony Garner, Managing Director of VIVA PR, said: “The programme was a complete revelation. It gave us the time and tools to completely re-focus our business, so we can offer a transparent service to our clients that is results focussed.  

“Of course, it hasn’t been without its challenges – change can be tough – but the framework and action plan that has been created from the Programme provided us with a clarity of purpose.  The whole leadership team attended the programme and its impact has been truly transformational.” 

Janice Mears, Head of Business Growth at Growth Platform said: “I am delighted that this innovative  programme is now being offered to businesses across Liverpool City Region. We know from the success of the previous Innovation Sprint programme that this will be of real benefit to those businesses who are looking to develop their innovation practices and tackle their scale-up challenges, thereby improving their productivity and driving profitable growth.”  

The Innovation Sprint Programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is set to run from October 2021 – March 2023.

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