Business growth

Giving North East businesses the support they need to reach their full potential.

What's the plan?

Our ambition for the North East is to increase the density of scaleup businesses in the North East LEP area by 50% by 2024. We want our region to be a growth orientated, dynamic and productive environment where businesses invest, grow and thrive. At a time of change, we want business leaders to be inspired and supported to achieve their goals through strengthened leadership, innovation and trade.

How are we delivering the plan?

We are working on a range of activities to support businesses across the North East to achieve their goals through strengthened leadership, innovation and trade.


How do you define a scaleup business?

A scaleup business is a business which has: A scaleup business is a business which has:

  • A minimum of five employees
  • Minimum £500k annual turnover; and
  • The potential / aspiration to grow turnover and/or profit by a minimum of 20% a year over a three year period

You can find out more information on the Scaleup Institute’s website.

Is there intensive support available for scaleup businesses?

We are currently working with partners to develop a project that would provide intensive support and capital grants to scaleups. We are hoping to launch the project in early 2018.

Do you offer any financial support to businesses who want to grow their business?

The LEP manages three funds directly and supports a number of others. You can find out more about these funds in our funding pages.

How can small businesses get involved?

There are many ways for small businesses to get involved. The North East Growth Hub is the leading digital platform for North East businesses to access a range of business support, finance and funding, resource toolkits, and events. Established businesses also have the option to work with one of our Growth Hub Connectors who provide personal assistance in understanding business issues and pinpoint business leaders to the solutions that can best help them to achieve their vision and goals.

We also provide a mentoring service – Growth Hub Mentoring – that brings business leaders from high growth potential companies together with experienced mentors. Our mentors are individuals who have successfully scaled a business, understand the challenges and are willing to share their experiences to help others as they grow their business.

Through the North East Growth Hub we also deliver a number of programmes, including Supply Chain North East, which helps businesses identify new opportunities that play to their strengths and core competencies to attract new customers, markets and supply chains.

Scaleup North East works with businesses that can demonstrate both the hunger and potential to achieve high levels of growth. Businesses that participate in the programme are matched with an experienced Scaleup Partner who will work with them to achieve defined objectives, ensuring you are taking the actions required to scale.

How do we support investment into the multinationals based in the region. They compete globally and without continued investment their competitiveness is at risk

Working closely with multinationals based in the region is crucially important to ensure they continue to invest and bring new technology, innovation and jobs to the region. A wide range of local partners support multinationals through strategic account management at both the local base and at the HQ. In particular the local authorities aim to forge close relationships with companies to fully understand their development plans and help link in relevant support in a whole range of areas including skills, investment finance, supply chain development, physical property expansions, and helping sort out planning, and transport issues.

The Department of International Trade works closely with local account managers to ensure intelligence gleaned from parent companies can be fed into the plans of North East based facilities. Often investment projects are internationally mobile within the company structure and so helping the companies make the case for investment in the North East is vitally important.

Does the LEP have any role in providing SME businesses with resilience skills during the next challenging year?

We are developing a business resilience toolkit, packed full of information and resources, which will go live on the Growth Hub later this year. Our Brexit Toolkit provides resources for those businesses potentially affected by the UK’s exit from the EU and our Supply Chain North East programme helps businesses broaden their customer base.

Are there mechanisms that could simplify and enhance connections between businesses, especially SMEs, and the region’s universities for research and innovation?

The region’s universities are represented on the Business Growth Board, where we look for new ways of enhancing connections between the universities and the SME business community. The universities are involved in the development of business growth programme such as Scaleup North East and Growth Hub: High Potential.

All the region’s universities also have listings on the North East Growth Hub.

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How can we help your business?

If you want help with your business growth, please visit the North East Growth Hub