The Create Growth Programme graphic including logos from WECA and North Somerset Council

The Create Growth Programme

Closing Date: Fri 1 December, 12:00 GMT

In partnership with West of England Combined Authority (WECA), we are delivering an eight-month bespoke training programme of workshops and peer to peer sessions to help creative businesses in the West of England explore opportunities for growth. It is targeted business support for high-growth potential creative businesses, led by Gill Wildman and Mark Leaver.

Cohort 2 will begin in March 2024 and will run monthly until December 2024. Find out more about Cohort 1 in this video:

WECA is one of six successful regions who have been awarded £1.275m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sports (DCMS) to support local creative businesses and unlock economic growth. The Create Growth Programme will build on the success of the Creative Scale Up Pilot (which ran 2019-2022) and aims to support high-growth creative businesses to scale and become investment ready through a targeted business support package.

The Create Growth Programme consists of three complementary strands:

  • A bespoke business support programme delivered by us.
  • Investor outreach activities.
  • Access to a £7m finance fund delivered by Innovate UK.

We are looking for companies who are exploring new growth opportunities. This could include (but is not exclusive to):

  • Reaching new customers.
  • Developing or taking to market a new product or service.
  • Expanding your business to new markets, including internationally.

This programme is not looking to support 'business as usual', but for new business activity that will lead to growth.

Gill and Mark are the core project team, and will be supported by Briony Phillips (Rocketmakers) and Melissa Blackburn (Bristol + Bath Creative R+D) as peer-to-peer group leaders. They will be joined by additional specialists and experts to deliver targeted training workshops.

The programme will also host additional talks from founders and experts on a variety of topics arounds business growth. Specialists and experts on the programme have included Hilary O’Shaughnessy (Unboxed), Ammo Talwar (Punch Records), Silas Adekunle (Reach Industries) and Tash Wilcocks (TPX Impact) and Ameeta Virk (DBT).

Find out how to apply here.

If you're think of applying and want to know more about the process, you can join the programme producers for an online surgery session Fri 27 Oct 10:30 via Eventbrite.

Closing Date: Fri 1 December, 12:00 GMT

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