Businesses are being urged to apply for vouchers that can be used to buy advice from an accredited business adviser.
Jimmy McIarty, founder and lead consultant of accredited small business advice firm Sales Camp UK, which is based in Corby’s High Street, is part of a Government scheme that aims to help start-ups and small businesses get advice at an early stage.
The Growth Vouchers scheme offers advice and guidance to businesses taking part and subsidies of up to £2,000 towards the cost of that advice to successful applicants.
The programme will then monitor business performance over the coming years in order to assess the impact that advice has had.
Mr Mclarty said: “If we can help small businesses in Northamptonshire take their businesses to another level while attracting and keeping new customers, for example, it will set them in good stead to become sustainable businesses contributing to the long-term prosperity of the county.
“The Growth Voucher marketplace will hopefully mean taking advice becomes an integral step for people forming a new business, leading to enhanced sustainability and economic growth.
“Time is of the essence though, as the cut-off date for applications is March 31. Once you have your voucher you have three months to use it, but I still recommend you to hurry, you don’t want to miss out.”
To apply go to www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/growthvouchers/.
Your questions answered
Q What is the Growth Vouchers programme?
A The Growth Vouchers Programme is a research project announced in Budget 2013 using a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) to test what works best when delivering advice to business.It was launched in January 2014 as a £30m programme to test innovative approaches to helping small businesses get advice to help them grow their business.
Q Why is the Government using a Randomised Controlled Trial to allocate vouchers to small businesses?
A RCTs are the ‘Gold’ standard when it comes to research and they are a good way to identify what impact advice has on business performance. They produce robust evidence on what really helps businesses grow and will help develop better business support programmes in the future and help businesses decide what type of advice they need to enable them to grow.
Q How do I apply for a voucher?
A You need to apply here www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/growthvouchers/
Q What about businesses that don’t get a voucher? What benefits will they get from this programme?
A The vouchers are only one aspect of this programme. As part of the programme applicants will benefit from either and online questionnaire or face-to-face diagnostic with an experienced adviser that can help businesses identify what support they need. Whilst the latter will also help the business to develop an action plan to achieve their long term growth ambitions.
Q How do I find an adviser to suit my business needs?
A You can search for a Growth Voucher accredited adviser online at https://marketplace.enterprisenation.com/. If the adviser is not listed here, they will not be eligible to accept Growth Vouchers.