Group2Grow launched to support Essex business

Group2Grow launched to support Essex business

Let’s Do Business, in partnership with Essex County Council, today announced the launch of a dynamic new program, Group2Grow. Essex County Council has provided significant funding over two years to support ‘Backing Essex Business,’ which consists of a comprehensive portfolio of free business support for Essex businesses of all sizes and types. Group2Grow is a part of the Backing Essex Business portfolio and is fully funded for Essex businesses.

Backing Essex Business builds on the existing help Essex County Council has funded over the last year, which has assisted more than 700 businesses and safeguarded and created more than 600 jobs.

Group2Grow is targeted to build upon and continue support for businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic; enabling recovery and ongoing growth; and in turn helping to create jobs and increase the prosperity and productivity of Essex.

Group2Grow is a new and exciting rapid results business support program, that harnesses the power of facilitated virtual peer group sessions, combined with one-to-one support, delivered by a professional business coach. Successful applicants will benefit from 8 x 2-hour facilitated online group sessions (typically every fortnight) as well as a total of three hours of one-to-one support from a business coach.

This combination of group and one-to-one business support is proven in producing outstanding results with positive economic impacts. In addition, all participants will form part of a network of business leaders, making connections that will, in turn, contribute to the economic growth of the county of Essex.Topics for the 2-hour sessions will be determined by the business coach, together with the cohort members and includes:

  • Analysis of each business
  • How to overcome barriers to growth e.g., finance, skills, and resources
  • How to exploit opportunities for growth e.g., innovation, product development, pivoting, export/import, staff wellbeing
  • Increasing sales and improved marketing e.g., strategy and tactics
  • Improving awareness of key legal issues e.g., Intellectual property, compliance
  • Business growth through Digitech e.g., Ecommerce, digital marketing, websites, social media
  • Leadership development e.g., strategy and planning
  • Increasing business resilience e.g., pivoting and risk management

The one-to-one sessions will explore challenges or opportunities in more detail, leading to the identification of tactics and strategy for change and business growth. The key outcome of the program will be the development of bespoke action plans for each business with solutions to pressing problems that will support the continued profitable expansion of the business.

Group2Grow has been designed as a direct response to the impact of Covid-19 and to support businesses that have the aspiration to grow. Growth can be defined as increasing sales/profits, adding new staff, developing new products/services, finding new market sectors, innovating, expanding premises and opening new sales channels.

Speaking for Let’s Do Business Group, Graham Marley (Chief Executive) commented: “We are extremely excited to launch Group2Grow. Essex is the county of Entrepreneurs and we expect some dynamic results from this program. We’ve hand-picked the business coaches because they have a track record of helping businesses grow- moreover, they’ve each ‘walked the walk’ of running a business.

Group2Grow is a perfect fit for the Essex business community and together with the other services delivered under Backing Essex Business, we are confident that this program will become fully subscribed very quickly.” Councillor Lesley Wagland, Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning at Essex County Council, commented: “Group2Grow is another fantastic scheme to help businesses develop and thrive in Essex, by offering them the opportunity to seek advice and guidance from those who have previously overcome similar challenges or obstacles.

Group2Grow will complement the work that Essex County Council is already doing on economic renewal in supporting and strengthening businesses across the county, and I am delighted to see this exciting programme moving forward. I would encourage businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the support that this scheme has to offer.” Participant businesses can include start-ups, sole traders, established businesses and larger organisations.

All business sectors are eligible, including B2B and B2C, whether they provide products or services (or both). Once applications have been approved, participants will be allocated a cohort of up to 10 like-minded business professionals (but not competitors). The program sessions will commence in September 2021. Group2Grow is the latest addition to the Backing Essex Business portfolio which also includes 12 hours of free business advice, financial services, and recovery loans.There are a limited number of spaces available on Group2Grow which is open now for application registration at https://backingessexbusiness.co.uk/peer-groups