£200m business growth accelerator programme goes live

Under-fire business secretary Vince Cable set to launch government-funded coaching programme tomorrow

Business secretary Vince Cable is set to officially launch the £200m government-backed GrowthAccelerator programme tomorrow.

The three-year programme has been devised to help up to 26,000 businesses with high-potential in England. News of the government’s latest initiative may be familiar to some, who have already heard about Business Coaching for Growth, the name by which it was previously known.

Cable will plug the launch of the programme’s new website, www.growthaccelerator.com, despite today being accused of being a “socialist” by Downing Street advisor Adrian Beecroft, the venture capitalist author of the report into business bureaucracy bearing his name.

GrowthAccelerator, which has already begun working with 500 companies, will focus on providing companies with coaching to ignite rapid growth and ensure long-term sustainability. In its first year, up to 6,000 growth companies will be able to access the service delivered by a consortium that contains one of the UK’s leading accountancy firms Grant Thornton, Oxford Innovation, Cambridge’s St John’s Innovation Centre, science and technology training consultancy Pera, and high-growth coaching services company Winning Pitch.

Only companies with the potential to double turnover or employees within three years are eligible to apply to take part in the programme, with the promise of assisting them with plans to raise finance, commercialise innovation, or develop their leadership skills. The businesses must employ fewer than 250 and boast revenues of less than £40m.

As a sign of their commitment, qualifying companies must pay £600, £1,500 or £3,000 to enter the programme, depending on how many they employ. Companies may also be fast-tracked into business incubators, Catapult Centres, or introduced to partners such as UK Trade & Investment, angel and venture capital investors and other professional advisers.

The new site is already proclaiming a number of success stories, such as Midlands-based healthcare training company Human Touch, which has expanded rapidly since launch to 90 employees and a £2m turnover.

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